No Red Sea to cross this time to get to Horwich
Feature by Tony Scholes
Updated Saturday, 9th February 2013
Today sees the reverse of this season's opening day fixtures and that means we are off to Horwich to take on Bolton Wanderers.
There have certainly been some changes at the two clubs since that opening day fixture. Eddie Howe led Burnley into what we thought was going to be his second full season in charge whilst in the opposition dug out was the self proclaimed unluckiest manager in Premier League history, the pantomime villain that is Owen Coyle.
By October both those managers were gone with Dougie Freedman being poached from Crystal Palace to take over at the Reebok and Sean Dyche arriving at Turf Moor having enjoyed one full season as a manager at Watford in the days when they were an English club.
Dyche has now been in charge of the Clarets for over three months and this week made his first signing, although there were no new players arriving through the door. That first signing was that of Ross Wallace.
|Ross Wallace is looking forward to the game|
The Scot was coming out of contract at the end of the season, one of a number of players in that situation, but signed a new deal that will see him remain with Burnley until the end of the 2014/15 season.
Wallace is now looking forward to his first game since committing himself for those extra two years and, recalling games against other North West clubs, said: "Derby games have been superb since I have been here, and hopefully with the away following we have at Bolton we can give them something to shout about.
"When Owen Coyle was there, there was a little bit of an edge to it, but hopefully we can keep that edge. Fans like the derby feel, there will be some tackles going in and we are looking forward to it.
"They still have some really good players, but we will do our homework on them and hopefully we will come up with a game plan that can give us the win."
There's been a doubt over Wallace's fitness this week but he's expected to be fit. That might not be the case with Michael Duff. He returned to the team last week after missing two games with a hamstring injury, but he was forced off early in the second half at Peterborough with a calf strain.
Dyche, who was linked with a move to Nottingham Forest this week, admitted: "Duffo is unlikely, we think it's a bit of a calf strain. It's settling down well but we think it's unlikely, we've just got to wait until we can have a closer look."
That should mean a recall for either David Edgar or a second first team game for Kevin Long. Edgar was on the bench last week and replaced Duff and he looks the most likely to take his place.
Martin Paterson will be pushing for a recall with Junior Stanislas the most vulnerable, but I expect Stanislas to continue on the left hand side with the change in defence being the only one from last week's team.
The line up would then be: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, David Edgar, Jason Shackell, Danny Lafferty, Dean Marney, Chris McCann, Ross Wallace, Danny Ings, Junior Stanislas, Charlie Austin. Subs from : Brian Jensen, Luke O'Neill, Kevin Long, Brian Stock, Marvin Bartley, Keith Treacy, Martin Paterson, Sam Vokes.
Bolton are in a difficult run just now with only two points from four league games in 2013, their only win coming in an FA Cup 3rd round replay against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
That run of results has seen them slip to 20th in the table with 34 points. It's their lowest position of the season but for a team proclaimed as promotion favourites ahead of the season they have not been in the top half since mid-September.
The managerial change came after Coyle was sacked after defeat at Millwall at the beginning of October on the day Howe last managed Burnley. They lost to a stoppage time goal from Darius Henderson and this after former Claret Chris Eagles had all but blazed a penalty into the upper tier of the away end at the Den.
Freedman was the choice, surprisingly making the move from Crystal Palace where he was revered. At the time of the move, Palace were fourth in the table with Bolton in 16th place.
He's added to his squad in January with such as Craig Davies from Barnsley and loan signings of West Brom defender Craig Dawson, Steve De Ridder from Southampton and the most interesting of them Medo Kamara, a Sierra Leone international who signed from FK Partisan.
They've had their injury problems. Mark Davies is on his way back and has a 50/50 chance today, but the game will come too soon for both David Wheater and Stuart Holden, both of whom have played a development squad game.
Definitely out are Keith Andrews, Matt Mills, both with thigh injuries, and Joe Riley (foot). However, Freedman has given strong hints that Kamara could be thrown in for his debut although it does look as though Craig Davies might have to wait a while longer before getting his first start for his new club.
None of the new signings have started yet although the suggestions are that De Ridder could come in for Eagles.
Last time out they lost at Watford. Their team was: 1. Adam Bogdan, 18. Sam Ricketts, 5. Tim Ream, 12. Zat Night, 3. Marcos Alonso, 7. Chris Eagles, 20. Jay Spearing, 21. Darren Pratley, 25. Josh Vela, 27. Chung-Yong Lee, 19. Marvin Sordell. Subs: 24. Andy Lonergan, 15. Craig Dawson, 42: Steve De Ridder, 11: Gregg Wylde, 9; David Ngog, 14. Kevin Davies, 28. Craig Davies.
Last Time We Were There
Our Premier League game at the Reebok in January 2010 came just 18 days after God/Judas/Moses* (*- delete where applicable) had walked out on Burnley with the biggest Exodus seen at Turf Moor in years as disciples Stewart, Davis, Hughes, Roberts, Henry and even the assistant kit man went with him.
Over 5,000 claret and blue pilgrims were in attendance, our biggest away following in the Premier League, but it was a night of big disappointments as we suffered a defeat at the hands of the biblical one and lost two players to injury.
In truth it started quite brightly. He of shorts and socks pulled up was frantically trying to change things as Burnley started much the better of the two.
|Debut for Frédéric Nimani|
By this time in the season we'd got used to things going wrong for us away from home and so they did again. Chris McCann, back for his first league game since September, went down clutching his left knee.
That was the end of the game for him and it would be April 2011 before he would play competitive football again for us. On came Kevin McDonald who was about to start his longest, and ultimately last, run in the Burnley first team.
Thankfully we'd named a midfielder on the bench. Sadly we hadn't named two. Four minutes later, Graham Alexander, a player who just never suffered an injury, went down and he had to be replaced. This time Martin Paterson was the choice.
The game plan was out of the window. The good start had gone but for much of the remainder of the first half we did remain the better side, but ten minutes from the end we did concede what proved to be the only goal of the game.
It was a poor mistake from Christian Kalvenes, in for the injured Stephen Jordan, as Chung-Yong Lee and Kevin Davies linked up with the former smashing a shot against the underside of the bar.
That was it. Any football played that night had already been played. The second half was appalling stuff. All that was left was a debut for Coyle's last Burnley signing Frédéric Nimani and the former manager trying to applaud the Burnley fans at the end. The visiting supporters were having none of it.
The teams were;
Bolton: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Gretar Steinsson, Gary Cahill, Zat Knight, Sam Ricketts, Chung-Yong Lee (Vladimir Weiss 90), Fabrice Muamba, Tamir Cohen, Matt Taylor (Ricardo Gardner 77), Kevin Davies, Ivan Klasnic (Johan Elmander 52). Subs not used: Ali Al Habsi. Jlloyd Samuel, Paul Robinson, Andy O'Brien.
Burnley: Brian Jensen, Tyrone Mears, Michael Duff, Clarke Carlisle, Christian Kalvenes, Wade Elliott, Graham Alexander (Martin Paterson 17), Chris McCann (Kevin McDonald 13), David Nugent, Steven Fletcher, Chris Eagles (Frédéric Nimani 66). Subs not used: Diego Penny, David Edgar, Robbie Blake, Steven Thompson.
Previous Games against Bolton
|Last 20 Years|
|1994/95||Division 1||h||2-2||16,687||Davis, Deary|
Click HERE to see all previous results against Bolton