War of the Roses
14th April 2007
The Clarets will be hoping to make it four wins in a row as they hike the short distance across the Pennines over to Leeds for another battle in the War of the Roses saga.
Burnley in the Red corner are still not mathematically safe from relegation although will be relaxing more than Leeds in the White corner,who could be effectively down if they dont get three points today.
Leeds are currently third from bottom nine points behind the Clarets who are 17th.
Three points for the Clarets however and we will be on 54 points, equalling last seasons tally with four matches and a maximum 12 points still to play for.
The Clarets will want to win as many games as possible before the end of the season as we try to forget the awful winless run between December and March. A run that began after the last time these two teams met following a Clarets victory 2-1 at Turf Moor and where in the same match we lost out top goalscorer, Andy Gray for three months.
How fitting it would be (as our recent article 'Gray Leeds the Way' explains)if Andy Gray was to score his first goal in this match since the last time we played them,especially in view of his Leeds family connections.
Ironically, despite our 19 match winless run, we could still finish the season with our best performance in the post-Digital era needing 60-66 points. Something to play for today then and six points from our local rivals this season will give the Clarets the bragging rights for some time especially if Leeds fail in their bid to avoid the drop!
Clarets Team Talk
Apart from long standing injuries to Alan Mahon and Stephen Foster, all the remaining players in the squad are available for selection.
In view of the confidence and winning performance of late, one can expect Steve Cotterill to name an unchanged starting eleven for this match for the fourth time and may indeed also name the same bench from our last three matches.Expect the following team to be announced
Jensen, Harley, Thomas, Caldwell, Duff, Jones, Djemba-Djemba, J O'Connor, Elliott, McVeigh Gray
Subs: Coyne, McCann, Spicer, Coughlan, Akinbiyi
I expect the Clarets defence may be too solid for Leeds today and the lads have now gone 375 minutes of football without conceding a goal.
If continued the improved confidence shown by Jones and Elliott of late coupled with the excellent contribitions from James O'Connor and Djemba-Djemba in midfield could prove too much for the struggling Leeds side.
Andy Gray has been awesome in the last few matches without getting on the score sheet. He has to score soon. Paul McVeigh, playing just behind Andy looks dangerous and always ready to pounce scoring two goals in three matches.
We should win this and our only danger is not to relax too much with Leeds having more to fight for.
It will be an interesting battle,lets hope the Red Rose team are up for the challenge and dont let the Clarets faithful down.
Leeds Team News:
Leeds will be without suspended skipper Jonathan Douglas. He is sitting out a five-match ban. David Healy will be wearing the captain's armband.
Leeds gaffer,Dennis Wise has no other new injury or suspension concerns. Rui Marques will probably continue to play whilst Frazer Richardson recovers from an hip injury.
Player to watch: Robbie Blake
Our former player is always a danger and we should avoid giving too many freekicks away in our own half. He was however on the bench in their last match against Colchester coming on late. It will be inteersting to see how both former Clarets perform,Blake and Moore if they feature in the match.
Burnley Team News:
Steve Cotterill will be able to name the same starting eleven for the fourth consecutive match should he wish to. It is unlikely that Alan Mahon (Groin) and Stephen Foster (Achilles) will be risked.
Player to watch: Andy Gray
For all the reasons previously mentioned. How fitting it would be for Andy to score in this match, his first since the previous encounter between these two sides at Turf Moor back in November 06!
Last Time We Met!
A 2-1 victory back in November at Turf Moor with goals from Gifton Noel-Williams and Andy Gray. That sweet victory was tinged with sadness thanks to an injury to Andy Gray that saw him out of action for three months.It was also to be our last win for the next 19 matches!
Normally, I chicken out and go for a draw in away games. If however, we continue to play like we have been doing in the last three matches,I think we will be too strong for Leeds and we will win 0-1 (Andy Gray goal please)
Norwich at Turf Moor Tuesday April 17th @ 7:45pm KO