Following the promotion under Stan Ternent in 2000 we found ourselves in the same division as Sheffield Wednesday for the first time in 18 years. We won the home game that season 1-0 with a Steve Davis header but lost the game at Hillsborough 2-0 in what was a disappointing performance.
Since those two games we've met a further 15 times in league games, seven at Turf Moor and eight at Hillsborough, and only once has there been a home win, that for Wednesday on the opening day of the 2008/09 season when they left us stunned after a 4-1 win.
We've won only three points against them in those seven home games and in the process have been hit for seven in one of the most farcical of games at the end of the 2002/03 season.
|Keith Treacy, we're just trying to win a game of football|
On that occasion they'd already been relegated and three seasons later arrived having failed to score a solitary goal in any of their last seven games. We were on top form at the time but a Chris Eagles goal on five minutes led to them winning the game 2-1.
I suppose it might therefore be to our advantage that this time they come on a decent run of form since Stuart Gray replaced Dave Jones in the Hillsborough hot seat.
We're not in bad form either. We've got over that Christmas hiccup with successive league wins sandwiching the FA Cup defeat at Southampton despite our superb second half show.
Although the victories have been narrow one goal wins in the end, both have been decent performances when we might just have won more convincingly in terms of the scoreline.
Add the cup tie in and it means we've found the net eight times so far this year in the three games. Danny Ings has got four of them with Sam Vokes netting a couple, his first goals in open play since he scored at Millwall at the beginning of November.
Defenders Kieran Trippier and Kevin Long have both scored too. It was a first ever Turf Moor league goal for Trippier against Huddersfield and the Long goal at Southampton was his first for Burnley.
It means we can go into the game with some confidence and one player very much looking forward to the game is Keith Treacy. He's won his place back in the team in recent weeks at the expense of Michael Kightly and he's turned in some decent performances.
He'll very much be hoping to keep his place tomorrow as we come up against the team he finished the 2011/12 season with on loan and this week he admitted: "I genuinely loved my time at Sheffield Wednesday. It was at a time when things weren't going well for me here and they gave me a chance to play football which is what I wanted to do."
He's very much on our side again now though and added: "We are going really well at the Turf at the minute. It's down to the fans as well to be fair. They get behind us when we need them and if they can do that on Saturday we can get another win."
And asked about how things were going he said: "There's no point over thinking it. We're playing against eleven people on a Saturday or a Tuesday and we're trying to win a game of football. We're not thinking about promotion; we're not thinking about the play-offs, it's just a game of football. It's really that simple for us."
That simple idea has got us up there and kept us up there and we go into the game in second place in the table with the chance tomorrow of the home fans seeing a new signing for the first time since the beginning of the season.
Striker Ashley Barnes, a target in the summer, signed from Brighton just in time to make the trip to Yeovil and get on the bench. He got on for the last couple of minutes plus stoppage time for Danny Ings, a rare treat for manager Sean Dyche to be able to bring on a striker for a striker.
Barnes has said all the right things this week when speaking to the media and I believe he's settled in really well. Some notable football people have this week described his capture as an excellent signing.
I'm sure he'll play some part tomorrow but I don't expect him to start. I think the team will be very close to the one that started at Yeovil last Saturday but should Ben Mee be passed fit then he might well come back in for Danny Lafferty who had a much better game at Huish Park.
We could line up: Tom Heaton, Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff, Jason Shackell, Ben Mee, Keith Treacy, Dean Marney, David Jones, Scott Arfield, Danny Ings, Sam Vokes. Subs from: Alex Cisak, Kevin Long, Danny Lafferty, David Edgar, Brian Stock, Junior Stanislas, Michael Kightly, Ashley Barnes.
There's been a bit of an upturn in fortunes at Sheffield Wednesday. After they lost at Blackpool on the last day of November, owner Milan Mandaric decided on a change of manager. Dave Jones, who had been there since March 2012, was sacked and Stuart Gray placed in temporary charge.
At the time they were next to bottom in the league with 11 points from 16 games. Only Barnsley, due to a worse goal difference, were below them and Yeovil had one point more. They were six points away from a position of safety.
Their 5-2 home win against Reading at the beginning of November was their only victory with the other eight points coming from draws.
Gray got off to a winning start with a home win against current league leaders Leicester. They've now played eight league games under his charge, winning four, drawing two and losing two, and have moved up to 19th in the table with a four point lead over Doncaster who are now third from bottom.
They've taken a lead from Connor Wickham, a player who Burnley tried to sign on loan from Sunderland. According to Wearside sources we looked set to sign him but hours later he was back at Hillsborough, where he played last season, and has recently extended his loan until the end of this month.
He's scored eight league goals for them in just ten appearances which makes him the club's highest goalscorer this season. Matty Fryatt, with four, is the next highest, but he's since returned to parent club Hull.
So, there's no doubt we are playing against a better Sheffield Wednesday team tomorrow than we might have been a couple of months ago and they will turn up having scored ten goals in the last week.
They hit Leeds for six in the lunchtime game last Saturday, to the delight of our group who were lunching ahead of our game at Yeovil, and they followed that up with another four as they put Conference club Macclesfield out of the FA Cup in midweek.
Gray made changes for the cup tie. Goalkeeper Chris Kirkland, for one, was rested and Wickham was ineligible. Both, along with others left out, are expected to play tomorrow.
They signed American defender Oguchi Onyeku from QPR last week and he could make a debut as they will need someone to come in for Roger Johnson. Any hopes of extending his loan were dashed when he moved to West Ham on loan.
Ruled out are Michail Antonio and Giles Coke, both of whom have hamstring injuries, Lewis Buxton (groin) and both Kamil Zayatte and Martin Taylor with ankle problems.
Their expected team is: Chris Kirkland, Liam Palmer, Miguel Llera, Glenn Loovens, Oguchi Onyeku, Kieran Lee, Jose Semedo, Jacques Maghoma, Chris Maguire, Connor Wickham, Atdhe Nuhiu. Subs: Damian Martinez, Rhys McCabe, Joe Mattock, Stephen McPhail, Jermaine Johnson, Jemery Helan, Caolan Lavery.
Last Time They Were Here
I think Charlie Austin will recall our last home game against Sheffield Wednesday. It came at the beginning of October 2012 and proved to be Eddie Howe's last home game in charge of the Clarets.
This game should have all been about Austin continuing his goal spree and leading Burnley to a convincing fourth win of the season. He certainly got the goals, three of them to be exact, but it wasn't enough to give us a win as three times we lost the lead.
|Three goals for Charlie Austin but only one point|
Not only did we lose the lead three times but twice we lost it within a minute after a performance that just wasn't anywhere near good enough defensively.
Wednesday were the better side in the opening exchanges, despite being the worst team in the league on current form at the time, and it was totally against the run of play when Austin got his first.
Ross Wallace got the move started with a ball out to Kieran Trippier, who defensively had a torrid night. Trippier crossed for Austin to head home and for just about a minute things were looking good. Then a routine cross from the left wasn't dealt with and Chris O'Grady nipped in to equalise.
Only Lee Grant, in fine form against his former club, kept us in it and then, seven minutes before half time, and again against the run of play, we went in front again with Austin again heading home a Trippier cross.
It took them until midway through the second half to equalise this time. and it was awful defending that allowed Jay Bothroyd to find O'Grady in acres of space and get his second. Until Martin Paterson just over two weeks ago he was the last player to score twice against us on the Turf.
It looked to be heading for a fortunate point but then, six minutes from time, we thought we'd won it. Dean Marney hit a ball upfield from his own half for Austin to chase with former Blackburn defender Martin Taylor.
Austin got a bit of luck after a bad touch but he didn't need any more luck as he hammered a shot into the corner of the net from the edge of the box.
It was a goal fit to win any game but it didn't win this one as Wednesday, for the second time on the night, drew level within a minute. It was an unstoppable shot from Michail Antonio but how on earth, just after we looked as though we'd won it, he was given that much time and room was hard to believe.
This was a team that just couldn't defend. We were throwing points away and gaining nothing like what we should have been gaining from Austin's goals. That was 11 in 8 league games for him but we were struggling in the bottom half of the table.
Things were to change very soon.
The teams were;
Burnley: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff (Kevin Long 89), David Edgar, Ben Mee, Ross Wallace, Dean Marney, Brian Stock, Junior Stanislas (Sam Vokes 90+1), Martin Paterson (Cameron Stewart 70), Charlie Austin. Subs not used: Brian Jensen, Luke O'Neill, Joseph Mills, Marvin Bartley.
Sheffield Wednesday: Chris Kirkland, Jermaine Johnson, Martin Taylor, Anthony Gardner, Joe Mattock, Nejc Pecnik (Rhys McCabe 45), Jose Semedo, Ross Barkley, Michail Antonio, Chris O'Grady (Gary Madine 82), Jay Bothroyd. Subs not used: Stephen Bywater, Lozano Rodri, Danny Mayor, Daniel Jones, Miguel Llera.
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