Back home and that brings with the inevitable discussion again about our home results. Right now we've won just five times at the Turf this season in fifteen games, drawing and losing five each of the remaining ten games.
|Kieran Trippier spent last season on loan at Barnsley|
Whilst the wins have come against teams at either end of the table, the defeats have all been against teams in that middle block where we find ourselves right now.
I suppose the current home form does show four games without defeat, but twice we've returned home from good away wins and not been able to follow them up with home wins, drawing the last two against Derby and Peterborough.
Awful weather has ruined those last two games so hopefully tonight things will be better. There's no sign of any gale force winds nor of those awful conditions that caused chaos a week last Saturday.
Saturday was disappointing at Southampton, and that's put the pressure on for a win tonight. It will, however, be a similar squad to the one that featured on Saturday.
Eddie Howe is looking forward to having three extra players available in the very near future. Junior Stanislas is on the mend. He's missed the last four games and that's the case also for Martin Paterson who is that bit closer to a return.
Then there's Danny Ings. He's not played yet for Burnley and although tonight comes too soon for him he could well be set for a place in the squad on Friday.
One player especially looking forward to the game is right back Kieran Trippier who spent last season on loan at Barnsley.
He said this week: "There are a few familiar faces but there's a new manager, lots of new faces in and it'll be a difficult game.
"They'll come and throw everything at us. Barnsley have been around in the Championship long enough now so I think it'll be a difficult game, but one we're looking forward to and hopefully we can get the three points.
Should Pato make it I would think it will only be a place on the bench. As for the team; there could be returns for Marvin Bartley and Josh McQuoid although I do feel Dean Marney will be very unfortunate should he be left out.
If Howe does decide to go with the team that played much of the second half at St. Mary's, we'll line up: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff, David Edgar, Ben Mee, Ross Wallace, Marvin Bartley, Chris McCann, Josh McQuoid, Charlie Austin, Jay Rodriguez. Subs from: Brian Jensen, Brian Easton, Dean Marney, Keith Treacy, Zavon Hines, Martin Paterson.
Our Opponents - Barnsley
Barnsley; I couldn't decide what sort of season they would have when I looked at things last August. They'd brought in new manager Keith Hill from Rochdale and he'd brought in a few players from lower divisions.
It was, I suppose, a gamble, but it is one that does seem to have paid off and they are in a comfortable position in the table. They have 39 points and, while they might have problems trying to threaten the top six, they are well and truly clear from any relegation worries.
It also shows something of a recovery after a difficult start to the season that saw them win just one of their first nine league games, that a surprise 2-1 win at Reading.
It's one of four away wins with the others coming at Leeds, Peterborough and most recently at Leicester, they won there on the day we were winning at Middlesbrough.
Ricardo Vaz Te is their leading goalscorer this season with ten league goals, but he won't be in the line up tonight having been sold to West Ham last month. When he scored in their 2-0 win against us in October it was his first goal in English football since May 2006. Since, he's just gone goal crazy prompting Sam Allardyce to reunite him with the other ex-Bolton players at West Ham.
Of Barnsley's current players, the one with the most goals is a familiar figure to Burnley fans, our former striker Andy Gray. Manager Hill described him recently as Barnsley's best and fittest player.
His seven goals this season should guarantee him a start tonight and he could be joined by two other ex-Burnley players. Stephen Foster is a regular and will play and Jay McEveley is fit again and could return not having played since mid-January.
One player who definitely won't feature is David Cotterill. He was recently released from Swansea City and is about to sign for Barnsley, if he hasn't signed already. However, he has no chance of playing tonight as Barnsley will need to get international clearance with Cotterill's last club having been in Wales.
Their home game against Birmingham was called off on Saturday meaning they haven't played now for ten days. That game was a 2-1 defeat at Watford. The team that day was: Luke Steele, Rob Edwards, Stephen Foster, Craig Davies, Matty Done, David Perkins, Scott Wiseman, Jim McNulty, Korey Smith, Andy Gray, Michael Tonge. Subs: David Preece, Bobby Hassell, Chris Dagnall, Nathan Doyle, Scott Golbourne.
Their team should be similar tonight although both McEveley and Jim O'Brien will be pushing for a place on return from injury. Suggestions in Barnsley are that Scott Golbourne, a recent signing from Exeter, could get his first start.
Last Time They Were Here
Burnley's home game against Barnsley last season came early in the season when the Clarets were beating all before them at Turf Moor. It was the sixth home game and the fifth win as two second half goals from Chris Eagles and a third from Chris Iwelumo gave us a 3-0 win.
The game came after we'd lost two late points three days earlier at Sheffield United, drawing the game 3-3 after leading 2-0 and then 3-2 in stoppage time.
|Chris Eagles scored twice in a superb performance|
With injuries, this game provided Brian Easton with his league debut for the Clarets and he was a mere spectator as we got off to a blinding start with Chris Eagles, in what proved to be his best spell of form in three years at Burnley, tormenting Barnsley down our right hand side.
Unfortunately we didn't get the early goal and the pace dropped off as Barnsley got more into the game, but more than once they found Leon Cort, playing his last full ninety minutes for Burnley, in excellent form.
We were the better side in the first half but had to settle for going in at 0-0 at half time.
At the start of the second half we got exactly what we couldn't find in the first half, a goal. Having said that, right from the start an Easton slip allowed in Barnsley full back Kieran Trippier who thankfully shot wide.
He should have scored, it was a bad miss, and he and Barnsley paid. A ball up was knocked down by Iwelumo for Wade Elliott. he laid the ball off for Eagles who made no mistake with a brilliant shot from just outside the box.
Iwelumo was then very unlucky as he saw an effort come back off the bar and then we thought we should have had a penalty. Referee said no but assistant said yes and Eagles converted.
There wasn't going to be a repeat of Saturday. We never let Barnsley close to getting back into it and it was all over when Iwelumo added the third with a first time shot having been fed by Dean Marney.
The teams were;
Burnley: Brian Jensen, Tyrone Mears, Leon Cort, Andre Bikey, Brian Easton, Jack Cork, Wade Elliott, Dean Marney (Graham Alexander 89), Chris Eagles (Ross Wallace 79), Chris Iwelumo (Martin Paterson 84), Jay Rodriguez. Subs not used: Lee Grant, Michael Duff, David Edgar, Steven Thompson.
Barnsley: Luke Steele, Bobby Hassell (Jim O'Brien 69), Stephen Foster, Jason Shackell, Jay McEveley (Luke Potter 61), Kieran Trippier, Hugo Colace, Nathan Doyle, Adam Hammill, Goran Lovre (Chris Wood 74), Andy Gray. Subs not used: David Preece, Diego Arismendi, Jacob Butterfield, Liam Dickinson.
Previous Games against Barnsley
|Last 20 Years|
|2001/02||Division 1||h||3-3||14,690||Morgan(og), Briscoe, Payton(pen)|
|2005/06||Carling Cup||h||3-1||4,501||Lowe, Akinbiy, Spicer|
|2009/10||Carling Cup||a||2-3||5,270||Fletcher, Eagles|
|2010/11||Championship||h||3-0||14,428||Eagles(2 1pen), Iwelumo|
Click HERE to see all previous results against Barnsley