Closing Watford Gap
27th November 2007
The Clarets face the first of two difficult games down South tonight as they take on current leaders, Watford at Vicarage Road before travelling across to Charlton on Saturday to play the third place club.
Burnley are currently 13th on 22 points with a game in hand over most clubs and only 5 points behind the play-off places. Starting tonight they will be hoping to close the 14 point Watford Gap! The lads have been playing better away from home of late and this is the first such game for new gaffer,Owen Coyle and what a test this will be. Our last match could still be regarded as disappointing for Clarets fans, with only a 0-0 draw against Stoke last Saturday despite having most of the possession and attacking flair.
On the injury front, Spicer may stil be out and faces a late fitness test. Caldwell, Duff and Berisha of course will not feature. Its not clear either whether Jordan is just resting and recovering after injury or whether Harley is currently preferred.
There doesnt however appear to be any fresh injury worries and the new gaffer might be tempted to name the same starting eleven and 16. He could however spring one of two surprises after intimating players on the periphery of the team might be given their chance. He certainly did this with Joey Gudjonsson last Saturday and the midfielder looked a different player after coming on from the bench compared to the Cotterill days.
The line-up and 16 could be something like this:
Kiraly, Alexander, Harley Carlisle, Unsworth, Elliott, McCann, Mahon, Lafferty, Gray, Blake.
Subs: J O'Connor , Akinbiyi, Jensen, Jones, Gudjonsson
Defender Clarke Carlisle will also be returning to his former ground for the first time since his transfer to Burnley in the close season and should be hoping to prove a point. Lets hope for at least that point!
'I think home or away you've got to look to win games. You're not going to achieve it every game but it doesn't stop you from going in that manner, and that's the way we'll treat it,' said the new gaffer
'I've been in football long enough as a player, and in coaching and management as well ... we don't fear games.
'We'll give Watford every respect because of how they go about their business and the quality they have but, for me, I always wanted to play against the best players and the best teams, and (tonight) provides that opportunity because Watford, at this moment in time, are the best team in the Championship'
Watford Team News:
Damien Francis came off the bench in Watford's 3-2 defeat at Barnsley and may start after suffering a recent knee injury
Mart Poom may also feature after recovering from a back problem.
Jobi McAnuff has also shrugged off a thigh strain.
Player to watch: Marlon King
Could be the danger man but they have so many and we will need to be on our guard in defence.
Burnley Team News:
John Spicer could be sidelined still after missing the Saturday match against Stoke. He will have a late fitness test.Caldwell is still recovering and Duff and Berisha are out with long-term cruciate damage
Player to watch: Clarke Carlisle
Can he help to keep out his former colleagues?
Last Time We Met
Last season of course Watford enjoyed a season in the top flight before doing the yo-yo thing! You have to go back to 2005 for when the teams last met. That day on the 17th December we got a Christams bonus thumping the Hornets 4-1 at Turf Moor. Ample revenge for the disappointing defeat at Vicarage Road 3-1 during August.
Hard fought draw 1-1, hoping to nick it by the odd goal
Charlton (A) on Sat 1st December @ 3pm KO