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    Burnley Match Preview


    Burnley preview by MikeE:

    I was thinking of waiting until after the Bradford game to post this, but it seems that ‘3 days isn’t enough’ for a preview no matter how well written it was by riverholmes. So here is your Rovers vs Dingles preview, you ungrateful turds :P

    Going into this season, we had the highs of running a Europa League team (Sparta Prague) close to a draw and an 8-0 battering of 6th tier York City. This has been followed by the worst beginning to a season we could’ve hoped for, with pre-season ending in 3-1 defeat to League 2 Carlisle United, followed by two resounding defeats in the League (2-1 to Southend away, and 3-1 to Doncaster at home – repeat, AT HOME).

    In amongst all this crap, we beat Coventry 3-1 in the first round of the Carabao (wtf?) Cup. Apparently, this is the new name of the League Cup, rather than the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy equivalent (which is the Checkatrade Trophy). Could they not just insert ‘League’ in the name, just to distinguish which competition is which? Anyway, as this is the only competition so far in which we’ve earned a positive result (despite sounding like it’s named after Bullwinkle’s Mexican cousin), I’ll try to approach it with a sense of optimism. Remember that Sheffield Utd didn’t win a game last August and ended up winning League 1! Let’s hope esteemed Grandad Tony Mowbray can do the same.

    I don’t need to explain how important these matches are to both sets of fans (though I may need to use pictures for that lot). Rovers vs Burnley is one of the oldest rivalries in world football, without getting nearly as much hype from the media as other ‘rivalries’ such as Blackpool vs Fleetwood or Bolton vs…erm…

    Souness described out rivalry as one of the most intense he’d known (even after Galatasaray vs Fenerbahce, Rangers vs Celtic, or Liverpool vs Everton) as did Mark Hughes (even after Utd vs City, Real vs Barca, or Liverpool vs Everton). Our rivalry MATTERS.

    For 35 years, we held a proud record of never being beaten by this lot until a couple of years ago; just one in a long line of records destroyed by our Chicken Overlords. The decline of our record started long before that, however, as it is now 7 years since we last beat the Dingles (1-0 when Martin Olsson took his famous dive, and Dunny smashed it in from the penalty spot). Since then we’ve had a succession of lucky draws (‘David Dunn was miles offside, he hates Burnley!’ and Rhodes shinning it in of the defender’s clearance), followed by 3 losses on the bounce – two of which came at Ewood *sigh*, including the fateful record-ending 1-0 loss *double sigh*.

    Make no mistake, we are now the underdogs of this fixture with Burnley being promoted to the Premier League at JUST the right time, after we were relegated from it at JUST the wrong time. It couldn’t have been written, even by the most optimistic of b*****ds, but it happened. But it strikes me now that we have always thrived as the underdogs; Premier League win competing against the likes of Utd, Newcastle, Liverpool and Leeds, Worthington Cup win vs Spurs (Mark Hughes, anyone?), and going from near-relegated to Europa League in a single season (Mark Hughes, anyone?)

    Let us take on the spirit of Bob Crompton, Mr. Blackburn Rovers, once regarded as the greatest player (and moustache) in the world and he came from Blackburn. He captained Rovers to two First Division Championships, captained England 22 times (out of 41 caps) with esteem, heart, and skill, later going on to manage our (and his) beloved club to our last FA Cup win in 1928. The Rovers board thought they could do better, so they removed him as manager, leading us to plummet until Crompton was rehired. He then led us from the relative doldrums (above our current position) to be Second Division champions! His wonderful record with us culminated in both the saddest and happiest way a Rovers fan such as he would wish to pass away. He sadly died the evening after he led Rovers to a sound 3-2 victory over the b*****ds. I feel like more needs to be made of this brilliant man with his remarkable record (sod your Matthews or your Finney or your…erm, who have Burnley got? McIlroy?).

    As for this game, we are underdogs and under no pressure to win (unless you count our sickening start to life in League One, or the pressure of the match itself, or pressure from the Police to make the match as unenjoyable as possible for either set of fans). I think we need to abandon the ‘expansive football’ approach, especially with Sean Dyche being in the Allardyce mould of ‘percentages, lump it’ football. Play a rigid back 4, with a midfielder sitting back when needed, and give 5 of our attacking players freedom to attack rather than pass, pass, pass. I felt we played this way fantastically when we battered this lot in the April Fool’s Day massacre and we need to take inspiration from games like that. Just hope one of our lot squares up to a few of them - remember our galactico midget Salgado? THAT’s the attitude we need!

    I’m going for a 4-3 Rovers win (hoping the scum used up all their luck vs Chelsea), with Dunny lacing up his boots for our 95th minute penalty winner.

    Links between the clubs:

    Jim Appleby, Eric Binns, Adam Blacklaw, Marshall Burke, Andy Cole, Paul Comstive, John Connelly, Gordan Cowans, Nathan Delfouneso, Peter Devine, Shane Duffy, David Hamilton, Kevin Hird, Lenny Johnrose, David Jones, Walter Joyce, Michael Keane, Alan Mahon, Andy Marriott, David May, Jay McEveley, Keith Newton, Bradley Orr, Johnny Price, Steven Reid, Paul Robinson, Cameron Stewart, Andy Todd, Keith Treacey.

    Obligatory fan interview:

    My girlfriend’s father is, unfortunately, a Dingle. On the bright side, it provides me the perfect opportunity to ask questions to someone from the USA (Uther Side of Accy):

    Before we kick off, how do you feel about our Chicken Overlords?

    It is a mess. As they are a private company, there is not a lot you can do about it although I think the ACVs on Ewood and Brockhall are excellent ideas. Questions do need to be asked of the quality/ suitability the due diligence carried out by the FA, the Premier League (at the time), the Football League (now), especially around the involvement of agents. Left a really rotten smell. Maybe questions should also be asked of the Walker family of the due diligence they carried out when they sold.

    Despite enjoying your demise, I hope it eventually levels out. Without rivalries, football would be a bloody dull sport.

    So, we’ve held a proud record of 35 years unbeaten over you and you’re now 7 years into your own run. Reckon you can match it?

    Pointless record especially when teams don’t play each for long periods. Absolutely meaningless.

    Of the list of players who played for both clubs, who is your favourite (FYI, mine is Andy Todd)?

    Despite being past his best with us, I would go with David May. His class shone through when we needed it to.

    What do you make of your start to the season and ours, and do you think either will matter come the big game?

    Clarets start couldn’t have been better, however a poor result on Saturday will take the shine off. Rovers start is not good; pretty dreadful to be honest. But while our lofty status above you and our respective starts make us favourites, that’s irrelevant come matchday. It’ll be a tighter game than either set of fans think, imo… but, we’ll still come out on top!

    Will Dyche remain at Burnley much longer? He’s well past the average tenure of a manager in either the Premier League or Championship.

    Sean Dyche will stay at Burnley for a while yet, I reckon. I think he would have gone by now if money was a big motivator. Let’s see at the end of this season.

    What is your likely starting eleven, who is your dangerman, and who is your weak link?

    Difficult one, that. I can see Dyche resting a lot of first team players -- Heaton, Defour, Cork, Brady, Lowton, S Ward etc. Burnley don’t really have an outstanding player, we play as a unit. The most skilful player is Defour but doubt he will play. Fringe players and players returning from injury will most likely start. Our weak link is a lack of quality goal scorer. Here is my line up for what it is worth.


    Nick Pope


    Charlie Taylor

    Phil Bardsley

    Kevin Long

    Tom Anderson


    Dean Marney


    Scott Arfiled

    Ashley Westwood


    Ashley Barnes

    Daniel Agyei


    Score prediction?

    Rubbish game, but 2 - 1 to us. Not really bothered about the result as long as there are no needless injuries or suspensions.


    FYI, my girlfriend then wanted to add her thoughts on the game, which pretty much amount to this:


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