Friday, November 06, 2009

Burnley preview

Expectation, expectation, expectation.

With a sense of frustration following four games on the spin, the unanimous feeling around the blogs and forums this week is that tomorrow's game takes on an extra significance. Back at home (easy to forget three of the four draws were on the road) and against a side who have badly struggled on their travels so far suggests three points is a given.

Burnley have impressed so far this season, proving that endeavour and belief can stand promoted sides in good stead as opposed to apprehension and an attempt to merely grinding out points. Sure this is likely to lead to more defeats but picks you up the wins that can be the difference between staying up and relegation. The current table is evidence of this, showing that they have yet to draw but have as many wins as ourselves so far.

Of course, these wins have come at Turf Moor and they their record away from home reads P5 W0 D0 L5 F2 A17 Pts0. Little wonder we are such heavy favourites.

Recent absentees Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor are set to return to the side, but key on everyone's lips this week has been the name of Stephen Ireland with the view that we have been lacking a little craft and guile of late. My hope is that the 4-4-2 is abandoned, and the understable caution shown away from home gives way to a more attacking outlook. My changes to the side would be Adebayor to replace Santa Cruz and Ireland to come in for Wright-Phillips with a switch to a 4-3-3 line-up. This leaves the one change at the back with Toure's return, and despite Kompany impressing the past couple of games he will be the one to make way.

Being such heavy favourites can bring an added pressure in itself of course, but this is a pressure that comes with the territory. Our form at home really does have to be the platform we build our season upon, and after the recent draws we round the month out with tomorrow's game, followed by a trip to Liverpool and then a home game against Hull.

Seven points from these three will put us on 26 points through the first 13 games (a third of the way through the season). A good platform indeed and should see us continue our position in the top four heading into December.

Prediction: 3-1.

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