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Burnley vs. Bristol City

Turf Moor

29th December 2007

3pm

Oh no we play at Home!

Oh no it`s another home game at Turf Moor! Well that`s what Clarets fans are forced to say these days, with still no win at the hallowed ground now since the 23rd October, when Norwich found themselves on the end of a 2-1 defeat. Before that, it was a win against West Brom on the opening game of the season.

In fact the whole of 2007 saw just six wins, mainly due to the disastrous 19 match winless run we had between 2nd December 2006 and 3rd April 2007.

Of course, we have since changed manager, but the home form of the new gaffer is actually worse on paper than the previous incumbent. In Owen Coyle`s home games we have played five teams and not won a single one managing only three points with draws against Stoke, Leicester and Sheffield Wednesday with two disastrous defeats against QPR and our rivals, Preston. Both clubs propping up the Division at the time we played them.

Quite a few fans though are still saying they prefer Coyle`s style of play (even at home) to the more defensive play under Cotterill and certainly our away form has been impressive with no defeat since October (before Coyle even became the new gaffer) The record away under Coyle reads no defeats, three wins and one draw and it`s those results on the road that are keeping the lads in contention for a play-offs place.

We are 10th at the moment on 34 points from 24 games but still only three points away from the sixth placed club, Plymouth. As previously stated, it we miss out on a chance of promotion this season, our home form will be the first to come under the microscope.

Today we play our last match of 2007 with Bristol City the visitors. The newcomers to the Championship, having been promoted from League 1 last season, are flying high and already find themselves in 4th spot with 41 points. However, they will be smarting from a 4-1 drubbing in their Boxing Day match away to leaders, West Brom, so let`s hope this will be a chink in their armour and their confidence will have been shattered.

It won`t be an easy team selection for the Clarets gaffer especially in midfield. Gudjonsson, McCann and Spicer are all suspended after picking up straight reds in recent matches. Graham Alexander, an option for midfield, will also have to sit out this match thanks to a one match ban after picking up a fifth yellow against Ipswich two matches ago. Alan Mahon has also missed the last couple of matches with an hamstring injury and again he remains doubtful.

The most worrying news though is that leading scorer, Andy Gray could again miss the match. He was the surprise omission in the last match on Boxing Day against Leicester City at Turf Moor. Various rumours circulated amongst the fans, that his absence was due to a hand injury, a training injury in midweek and worst of all, transfer speculation that he might be going to Charlton in January. The official line appears to be that Andy Gray needed four stitches to a leg injury following the draw at Ipswich on 22 December and it was this injury that kept him out of contention.

Clarke Carlisle however is now fit and played on Boxing Day but with Alexander suspended, it is anybody`s guess how the back four and midfield will look. One option might be to see the return of Jordan to the team at left back allowing Harley again to slot into midfield with James O`Connor. This would release Carlisle to play at right back with Unsworth and Caldwell in the centre. A possible team selection therefore could be:

Kiraly, Carlisle, Caldwell, Unsworth, Jordan, James O`Connor, Harley, Elliott, Lafferty, Blake, Akinbiyi.

Subs: Jensen, Garreth O`Connor, Jones, Rodriguez, ANO?

I don`t think we have anyone left in the current squad to make up the fifth sub, that is how bad things are and we really are down to the bare bones. If Alan Mahon is close to fitness, they might risk him on the bench. Somehow we have to get through the next handful of games, hope we can pick up points and look forward to the return of the injured and suspended players in the New Year.

The club badly needs to add to the squad numbers if we are to stand any chance of promotion this season and all Clarets fans will be hoping for a positive January transfer window and the Board continuing to 'walk the talk` of ambition.

Owen Offers

'There is no magic fairy dust, we just need to keep working hard and trying to get that home win on the board.'

Burnley Team News:

Gudjonsson, McCann, Spicer and Alexander all suspended. Mahon doubtful with an hamstring injury and Andy Gray could still be sidelined

Player to watch: Ade Akinbiyi

Ade could make only his third start of the season and will be keen to make an impression after being second fiddle to Andy Gray and Robbie Blake for most of the season.

Bristol City Team News:

Bristol City manager, Gary Johnson will be without Louis Carey (Achilles) and Liam Fontaine (suspension) so on-loan Hungarian centre-back Tamas Vasko will make his first appearance since October 2. Christian Ribeiro will also be in the sixteen. Darren Byfield is also likely to be given a start after coming on from the bench in their last match.

Player to watch: Michael McIndoe

Watch this lad and make sure Trundle doesnt get in on the act

Last Time We Met

We got a well-earned point at Ashton Gate back in September with Clarke Carlisle's fancy acrobatics securing a point in the dying minutes after Bristol City had wiped out Gray's openner to lead 2-1. You have to go back to 23rd October 1999 for the last time we entertained Bristol City at Turf Moor. We won 2-0 that day

Match Prediction:

Surely this time! It will be a hard one to win but we seem to be doing better against the top six clubs. 2-1 Clarets

Next Match:

New Year's Day and its away to Blackpool on Tuesday 3pm KO




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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday December 29 2007

Time: 9:56AM

Your Comments

Some talk of Adam Kay on the bench,young apprentice!
turfmanphil
Now confirmed by Official Site:Adam Kay makes the bench as Burnley's player crisis bites deeper Burnley: Kiraly, Carlisle, Caldwell, Unsworth, Jordan, Elliott, J. O'Connor, Harley, Lafferty, Blake, Akinbiyi.Subs: Jensen, Jones, G. O'Connor, Rodriguez, Kay. Bristol City: Basso, Orr, McCombe, Vasko, McAllister, Noble, Elliott, Johnson, McIndoe, Sproule, Byfield.Subs: Weale, Showunmi, Wilson, Trundle, Ribero.
turfmanphil
It just gets worse and worse, Clarke Carlisle goes off injured again (Hamstring), Wade Eliott drops back to right back and Steve Jones comes on into midfield. Half-time 0-0 with the Clarets having some good moments but Bristol City always looking strong on the break
turfmanphil
Absolute bollox again, 1-0 defeat with Ade hitting woodwork three times! Unsworth also misses one match (fifth yellow) and Carlisle injured. Looks like both will miss Arsenal. OK if this had been Cotterill, he wouldnt have been allowed any excuses for no home win in six matches with now three defeats and three draws. We have now gone five matches without a win as well. Small sqaud,terrible luck, woeful Christmas yet again! Sound familiar? Match report to follow when I calm down [Edited by turfmanphil]
turfmanphil
i cant understand whats going on here. what is wrong with our home form, nay, even our away form just lately. things have to change and quickly if we intend to make a push this season.
bhd
I think its simply down to the small squad with no depth to cover for injuries and suspensions..same old story and one that Cotterill had to continually contend with. It only needs one or two further players to hit bad form eg Jordan,Jones yesterday and a squad of 14 available with two kids, looks even more vulnerable! Of course no doubt the SC critics will soon be laying the blame at Cotterill's team and looking to get rid of 'deadwood', when we all know they can play very well but with not enough consistency. The latter magnified in a small squad. Gudjonsson and Akinbiyi have been written off once too often in my opinion and now it looks like Steve Jones will be the next in line for boo-boy tactics
turfmanphil
 

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