Tomorrow will see us play at this ground, opened in 1994, for the fourth time. We've played Huddersfield there twice, once in the league and once in the Worthington Cup, when it was called the McAlpine Stadium and more recently, in pre-season 2010, we played Stoke there in a pre-season name during its Galpharm Stadium period.
Now the John Smith's Stadium, we face a Huddersfield team who are in the Championship this season after a nail biting play off final against Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United.
|Sam Vokes, looking to get his first goal|
Beaten only seven times all season, it ended with them in fourth place. They accounted for MK Franchise in the play of semi-final and then played out a 0-0 draw in the final against the Blades.
That took it into a penalty shoot out and the drama continued. Having failed to score in the game, both sides continued to fail in front of goal in the shoot out and after four penalties each the score was just 1-1.
Then things changed and both sides scored all of their next six penalties which just left the two goalkeepers. Huddersfield's Alex Smithies scored before Steve Simonsen missed and that was enough to take the Terriers back to the Championship after an eleven year absence.
No doubt the star of the show for them during last season was striker Jordan Rhodes. He scored two of the three goals they got in the play offs. He also scored two Carling Cup goals but more importantly he led the goalscoring chart in League One with an impressive tally of 36 league goals of which only one was a penalty.
He's been much sought after this summer. Even Shebby Singh has put in a big offer, but for now he remains at Huddersfield where he's scored their only goal so far, that from the penalty spot against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.
Prior to that game they'd gone out of the Capital One Cup at Preston (0-2) and been beaten in the first league game by Cardiff, the only goal coming from Mark Hudson in stoppage time.
There are some familiar names in their squad to Burnley fans, for differing reasons. Alan Lee is expected to be on the bench tomorrow. It's now just over thirteen years since Stan Ternent brought him to Burnley from Aston Villa.
In their midfield are Adam Clayton and Oliver Norwood. Clayton was signed from Leeds during the summer but for some time the speculation was that he was about to sign for us. Norwood, a Burnley fan, joined from Manchester United. Norwood played at the Turf last season for Coventry where he was on loan.
There is no doubt that Rhodes will be the one to watch, but manager Simon Grayson has added to his attacking options today with the loan signing of former Evertonian James Vaughan from Norwich City.
Vaughan will be added to the squad from Tuesday's game which was: Alex Smithies, Paul Dixon, Joel Lynch, Peter Clarke, Jack Hunt, Sean Scannell, Keith Southern, Oliver Norwood, Adam Clayton, Jordan Rhodes, Lee Novak. Subs: Ian Bennett, Scott Arfield, Calum Woods, James Spencer, Anthony Gerrard, Danny Ward, Alan Lee.
The big question for Burnley fans concerns Martin Paterson. So impressive against Bolton last Saturday, he then missed the game at Middlesbrough after suffering from a tight hamstring.
It's been a bad three years for Pato and everyone wants to see him fit. The club have played down this latest absence and are hopeful that he'll feature tomorrow.
His place on Tuesday was taken by Sam Vokes. It was the only change to the team. He partnered Charlie Austin, playing for almost an hour before being replaced by Marvin Bartley.
Without Danny Ings, he currently forms our strike force along with Paterson and Charlie Austin. After getting his first start of the season at Middlesbrough, he said: "Pato looked very strong on Saturday and all three of us offer different options.
"It was good to work alongside Charlie on Tuesday. I worked with him last year, but at Middlesbrough I thought we worked well, we had a few chances and he got his goal. "
He added: "It's tough to get in the team, but when you do, it's a chance to prove yourself ,score goals and play well. It's what you're judged on as a striker, so I'd like that first one under my belt and try and get a few more.
"It was good to get my first start, I would have liked to get off the mark and get the three points, but I thought we did well and we'll try and take that into the Huddersfield game."
It's all a question of Paterson, but I'm not sure that Eddie Howe will be ready to risk him until he's 100 per cent but he might just put him on the bench. If he doesn't start, as I suspect, then I think we'll start with the team that started at Middlesbrough.
We could line up: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, David Edgar, Jason Shackell, Joseph Mills, Ross Wallace, Dean Marney, Chris McCann, Junior Stanislas, Charlie Austin, Sam Vokes. Subs from: Brian Jensen, Michael Duff, Ben Mee, Marvin Bartley, Brian Stock, Martin Paterson, Alex MacDonald, Shay McCartan.
Last Time We Were There
|Nik the Greek was the star|
That last league game for us at Huddersfield came in September 2000. On that occasion we were the newly promoted team. We'd made a decent enough start and were sat in the middle of the table with nine points from seven games.
Things weren't going well for Huddersfield. In the previous season they were top of the league at Christmas but then went on a nightmare run and ended the season in eighth place, 17 points behind champions Charlton.
That poor form had continued into the 2000/01 season and they were bottom of the league when we went there with manager Steve Bruce just about on his last legs.
We won the game 1-0 with a first half goal from Andy Payton, a player we'd signed from Huddersfield less than three years earlier, but the star of the show was Greek goalkeeper Nik Michopoulos.
Contrary to belief, he was not making his debut. He'd been brought into the side on the Tuesday before against Crystal Palace and retained his place ahead of Paul Crichton who is now goalkeeping coach at Huddersfield.
He made a string of fine saves but the win would have been more comfortable but for a strange decision by Uriah Rennie to rule out a Mitchell Thomas goal in the second half. Mitchell never did score a goal for us.
The home crowd were getting at Bruce, he was sacked three weeks later, but the Burnley fans had found themselves a new hero in Nik the Greek.
The teams were;
Huddersfield: Nico Vaesen, Craig Armstrong, Jon Dyson, Rob Kozluk, Chris Lucketti, Ben Thornley, Chris Beech (Kevin Kyle), Dean Gorre, Kenny Irons (Scott Sellars), Kevin Gallen, Martin Smith. Subs not used: Martin Margetson, Kevin Gray, Thomas Heary.
Burnley: Nik Michopoulos, Glen Little (John Mullin), Steve Davis, Ian Cox, Mitchell Thomas, Lee Briscoe, Micky Mellon, Kevin Ball, Paul Cooke, Andy Cooke (Graham Branch), Andy Payton (Ronnie Jepson. Subs not used: Gordon Armstrong, Brad Maylett.
Previous Games against Huddersfield
|Last 20 Years|
|1992/93||Division Two||h||2-1||10,615||Deary, Clayton|
Click HERE to see all previous results against Huddersfield