Date:Friday March 30 2007
31st March 2007
Never has there been such a 'must-win' game as this in recent times as the Clarets face Luton at home this Saturday desperate to break the run of 18 games without a win. We have dropped down the table in freefall and although in 18th place on 41 points we are now only two points away from the club third from bottom. Luton are in an even more precarious position in 23rd place with only 36 points.
Despite having a far superior goal difference and a game or two in hand over all the clubs below us, the Clarets fans will be agonising with pre-match tension before kick-off and we simply must get a win in this 'six pointer' of a match.
Luton as well as problems on the pitch have also had problems off the pitch with the recent sacking of Mike Newell. Its typical that they would sort out their managerial vacancy just before they faced us, with the announcement that former Leeds manager, Kevin Blackwell will now be in charge. Lets hope the momentum and lift teams often get from a managerial change deserts the Hatters on Saturday!
Clarets fans will be eager to know how we line up for this match with a spate of recent injuries, especially in the back four causing concern. Its expected that our new loan signings, Coughlan and McVeigh may also feature in this match as Steve Cotterill attempts to ease pressure and fears of relegation.
So come on Clarets fans, now is the time to lift the lads and cheer them to the rafters. The tide must now surely turn
The official news would suggest that only Foster and Mahon are still unavailable to play due to injury. This makes selection of the team almost impossible with too many permutations and options. It is widely expected that our new loans, Graham Coughlan and Paul McVeigh will feature at some point although if Andy Gray is fully fit, I suspect he will play upfront with Ade Akinbiyi with McVeigh on the bench. Coughlan could well start in this match and may partner Steve Caldwell, if the Captain has now fully recovered from his broken hand and shoulder injury.
Djember-Djembe may again be given a run-out in midfield in preference to out of form Joey Gudjonsson.
Always interesting to see what new players have to offer and if we see Paul McVeigh as well all much the better.
Sol Davis has a thigh and groin problem, while striker Sam Parkin has had a long-standing ankle problem involving an operation in recent times
Luton will also be without midfielder Ahmet Brkovic (ankle) and Paul Underwood (illness).
He has been out of action for a few weeks but looks likely to return to the squad after playing in a midweek reserve game.
We last played Luton at Kenilworth Road last October coming away with three points in a 2-0 win thanks to a brace from Andy Gray. How times have changed both clubs were in the play-off positions at the time.
We cant lose this match and although it could well be a tense scrappy affair between two struggling sides, our luck must change and I will predict a convincing 3-0 win
Burnley v Plymouth Tuesday 3rd April at Turf Moor 7:45pm KO
Date:Friday March 30 2007
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