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Burnley vs Birmingham City – Preview
April 2, 2012 Blues News

Team News

Burnley are without top scorer Jay Rodriguez and Martin Patterson so Charlie Austin should start. He scored a hat trick at the weekend.

Blues will have an unchanged squad as Keith Fahey and Jonathan Spector are not fit to return.

Reverse Fixture

Blues won 2-1 in November with goals at either end of the game. Jean Beausejour opened the scoring in the 2nd minute and Chris Burke got the winner in the 91st.

Recent Form

Blues have an even two wins, two draws and two defeats in their last six games and remained in 4th place despite having played one less game than the other sides.

Burnley are 16th and Saturday’s 5-1 victory over Portsmouth was their first win since mid-February.

Outlook

Despite being against the bottom club Friday’s win may prove to be very important as it puts Blues in a very good position to secure a playoff spot. I said before that we had to win two out of our five remaining away games so to win the first one reduces the pressure for the remainder. Fourth place is probably the best we can hope for so we only have to match the results of those immediately below us to retain that place. Winning our game in hand will give us that extra breathing space but I’ll be happy with four points from this one and Palace at home on Saturday.

We won’t find out until the game starts whether Saturday’s demolition of Portsmouth was a one off in a run of poor form or a case of them hitting their stride. It would be typical for them to have a late season burst just when they are about to play us. Usually I’d say that they are the type of team you like to play in the final month of the season as they aren’t relegation threatened and have little hope of a playoff spot. Burnley fans will probably have to be content with the knowledge that their one season in the Premier League will just have to be a pleasant memory. Especially as they have lost two of their top strikers.

Blues have named an unchanged squad so may end up naming an unchanged starting eleven. There are no available options at the back or in central midfield so the only possible changes are Redmond and Huseklepp for Townsend and Zigic. Elliot is also an option if Chris Hughton wants to play a five man midfield like he did against Cardiff. Burnley are an attacking side so a good proportion of chances may well come on the break which also happened in the Cardiff game. Defending well will be important but with David Murphy back I feel more comfortable in that area. As long as we keep Charlie Austin quiet they don’t really have too many other dangerous players.

Being a game in hand we have very little to lose as only a very heavy defeat will see us drop down the table so we might as well have a go. Anything gained in this game will give us vital breathing space from the chasing pack and will reduce the number of teams that we need to watch out for. I already think that the likes of Leeds, Leicester and Derby are unlikely to challenge now. I reckon we will get something from this one but maybe only a point. I still can’t bring myself to be too optimistic about Blues away from home.

Burnley 1 Blues 1

C’mon you Blue Boys

 

 

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"3" Comments
  1. Spotlight Kid

    There’s some very poor statisticians among those polling in the play off points needed vote (above right) if 70% think 74 points or less will do. Unless Blues can finish on 76 points or above the season exertions will have been in vain – which means at least 13 points from the last 7 games – starting with 3 tonight, no ifs no buts…

    Blackpool’s current form and easy run in means there are now 5 teams effectively chasing 2 remaining play off places. Blues have a tricky set of 4 difficult away fixtures to contend with, and given how many ‘simple’ (OK no game is ‘simple’, but..) away games they have failed to turn into points this must be a worry. Furthermore, the best team in the division (Reading) feature in one of the home games.

    CH says today in the BM that he has no idea of the points needed, but that’s for player & public consumption only, as he doesn’t want any slight trip in the run in to turn into a catastrophic stumble out of the frame. If he didn’t have his slide rule ever handy and ’76+ points’ circled in red in his diary he wouldn’t be the manager he is. And to do that Blues need to believe inside themselves they can put some back to back wins together again after that disastrous March campaign – starting tonight.

    Burnley 1 – 3 Blues

  2. AylesburyBlue

    Blackpool’s form? They’ve won two from six and they are a side that can just as easily lose to Barnsley as beat Southampton. In fact if you add the points gained in the last six to the current totals Blues would finish 5th on 71.

    It would probably need more than that but a win tonight and in the next two home games would see us comfortably in the playoffs before the Reading game kicks off.

  3. Spotlight Kid

    ..I thank you….

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