Tomorrow's game is our first league away game of the season and we have to go back to a game at Leicester seven years ago since we came home from the first away game with all three points. In the six seasons since we've suffered five defeats, including the 4-1 reverse at Hillsborough on the opening day of the 2008/09 season, with the only point coming from a 1-1 draw at Ipswich in 2010.
We go there having drawn our opening fixture last week against Bolton on the Turf and will be wanting to get some more points on the board having struggled in the opening games of the last two seasons.
|Danny Ings is enjoying a rich vein of form in front of goal|
One of the talking points again this week has been that of a potential new striker following the sale of Charlie Austin eight days ago. No one has come in and I understand we are not close to making a signing.
Just about every possible striker has been linked with us; those who are available and those who aren't. For some time Billy Sharp looked to be the one most likely but he looks to be out of Burnley's reach while manager Sean Dyche has all but ruled out a move for Leicester's Martyn Waghorn.
The latest name in the frame is that of Craig Davies who came on as a substitute against us in the Bolton game. Bolton boss Dougie Freedman has tried to pour cold water on it but they will be looking to see someone exit after bringing in Jay Spearing today.
That means Burnley will go with the same forwards who were available last week and that includes Danny Ings who is, thanks to a bit more jiggery pokery, in a rich vein of form in front of goal. Having scored in the last four pre-season games and the cup win at York we've managed to change the David Wheater own goal against Bolton into an Ings goal.
That means Ings has now scored eight competitive goals for Burnley but I was surprised to learn from the television highlights that his latest goal came in his 50th appearance for the club. I checked it, and it's correct, although 23 of those have been substitute appearances.
The York game was also a milestone for Kieran Trippier. The in form right back made his 100th appearance in Burnley colours. It was his seventh in that particular competition; he's made one FA Cup appearance too with 92 appearances in the league.
Trippier is confident of Ings continuing his scoring and said this week: "Danny has scored in his last six games, is a very good player and if we can keep him fit and keep him playing, he will score lots of goals."
Manager Sean Dyche has been impressed too. He knew he needed goals from other sources once Austin left and said: "We want to get goals from everywhere and attack with freedom.
"I don't think Danny has held back in coming forward to lead the attack. He has been brilliant for us, scoring goals and creating chances and long may that continue."
Ings will be a certain starter tomorrow and, with both Michael Duff and Ben Mee still reportedly out of the reckoning, I expect him to line up in a team unchanged from the one that started against both Bolton and York.
If so we will line up: Tom Heaton, Kieran Trippier, Kevin Long, Jason Shackell, Danny Lafferty, Ross Wallace, Dean Marney, David Jones, Junior Stanislas, Danny Ings, Sam Vokes. Subs: Alex Cisak, Luke O'Neill, David Edgar, Brian Stock, Scott Arfield, Keith Treacy, Ryan Noble.
We'll certainly need to watch for the backlash tomorrow. We face a Sheffield Wednesday team that were beaten last Saturday at QPR, this after taking the lead, and then went out of the COCUP against local rivals Rotherham in New York.
Manager Dave Jones, hardly one to give another team any credit, admitted that they deserved the Rotherham defeat, but he was the first manager this season to tear a strip off a referee after their defeat at QPR.
Now Jones says he wants Hillsborough turning into a fortress again but warned his players about the threat from the Clarets. "Burnley are a good side but I will be saying that about every team in the Championship this season because this is a very difficult division and it is only getting harder," he said.
They are expecting a big crowd but it will be two less than expected after two of their supporters were banned by the club from attending both home and away games after they were arrested at QPR for releasing flares and smoke bombs.
Wednesday will be without three players. Jermaine Johnson was sent off in their cup defeat and starts a three match suspension. Joe Mattock is out with knee ligament problems and although defender Reda Johnson is back in training he is not expected to feature.
That means at least two changes from the team that lost at QPR which was: Chris Kirkland, Anthony Gardner, Kamil Zayatte, Joe Mattock, Liam Palmer, Jermaine Johnson, David Prutton, Giles Coke, Atdhe Nuhiu, Michail Anotonio, Jeremy Helan. Subs: Adam Davies, Jose Semedo, Martin Taylor, Miguel Llera, Jacques Maghoma, Rhys McCabe, Gary Madine.
Last Time We Were There
The Sheffield Wednesday v Burnley game kicked off 2013. Played on New Year's Day we won the game 2-0 in what was a good performance and the result lifted us into the top half of the league.
It was the day we first heard the Ginger Mourinho chant and was also the day that Keith Treacy announced his comeback, albeit it proved to be only a temporary comeback.
|Keith Treacy opened the scoring|
We were forced into the game without Charlie Austin and that provided fans with a lack of confidence and no surprise with Austin having scored over half of our goals. Junior Stanislas was injured and there was a further blow when the teams were announced with Dean Marney also out.
Brian Stock replaced Marney; Sam Vokes got his first start since the August debacle at Huddersfield and Martin Paterson was recalled, replacing Treacy who had started in the previous game against Leicester.
Kieran Trippier provided us with our closest effort in the first half and we also had to contend with a barrage of high balls into our box, particularly from set pieces, against a very big Wednesday side.
By half time we really should have been in front, but it remained goalless providing ammunition for those who thought we couldn't score goals without Austin.
The second half changed that. Treacy, on as a substitute late in the first half for Paterson, benefited from some smart refereeing by David Webb. Danny Lafferty was fouled but Webb looked for the advantage as Ross Wallace played the ball to Treacy who hit a shot from outside the box into the bottom corner for his first goal since he scored at Peterborough over 15 months earlier.
Treacy it was who played the ball into the box only for home defender Lewis Buxton to handle. It was a clear penalty and Wallace stepped up to make it 2-0 and ensure the year got off to a winning start for Burnley.
The teams were;
Sheffield Wednesday: Chris Kirkland, Lewis Buxton, Miguel Llera, Anthony Gardner, Joe Mattock, David Prutton (Jermaine Johnson 72), Ross McCabe, Kieran Lee, Jeremy Helan, Michail Antonio, Mamady Sidibe (Chris O'Grady 59). Subs not used: Stephen Bywater, Taylor, Jones, Corry, Gary Madine.
Burnley: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff, Jason Shackell, Danny Lafferty, Brian Stock (Marvin Bartley 90+1), Chris McCann (David Edgar 61), Danny Ings, Ross Wallace, Martin Paterson (Keith Treacy 41), Sam Vokes. Subs not used: Brian Jensen, Luke O'Neill, Kevin Long, Cameron Stewart.
Previous Games against Sheffield Wednesday
|Last 20 Years|
|2001/02||Division 1||a||2-0||21,766||Taylor, Cook(pen)|
|2002/03||Division 1||a||3-1||17,004||Taylor, Little, I Moore|
Click HERE to see all previous results against Sheffield Wednesday