We're on our way to the Windy City
I’m not sure who it was that designed this hotch potch of a stadium on a hill but he certainly ensured that there would be very little chance of a game ever being played there without a gale blowing through.
The fixture means a first return for our manager Steve Cotterill who left the Potters in October 2002 to join Howard Wilkinson at Sunderland, a decision that the home fans have never forgiven him for. He is bound to get something of a hostile reception from the home fans who are just not prepared to move on.
Assistant manager Dave Kevan is also going back to a ground where he was involved as player, coach and acting manager whilst loan player James O’Connor could play there against Stoke for the first time having been an unused substitute with West Brom last season.
Stoke had just been knocked off the top of the league when they visited the Turf in what was something of a controversial draw. We led 2-0 early in the game but at 2-1 had Michael Duff somewhat harshly sent off for a handball and in the end had to settle for a point after Stoke came back to make it 2-2.
Their manager Tony Pulis apparently missed the game, he said afterwards that he had been watching Stoke on top in a one sided game so could not have been at Burnley.
The problem they have is with scoring goals and since that draw at the Turf they haven’t scored two goals in a game and have netted just six times in seventeen league games with both Ade Akinbiyi and Gifton Noel-Williams claiming two each although Akinbiyi didn’t even get a touch to one of his.
They are though the meanest defence in the division and have conceded only nineteen times all season which is two less than the Clarets.
Pulis has strengthened the squad since we last met and in October brought in Leeds central defender Michael Duberry on loan and more recently signed both Lewis Buxton and his own son Anthony Pulis from Portsmouth.
The two Pompey players were signed two days before Christmas but 24 hours later Pulis Jnr was on his way again, this time joining League Two side Torquay on loan and he made his debut for them yesterday on loan.
There was a return to form in early December with three successive 1-0 wins but in the holiday matches they have collected one point from a Boxing Day 0-0 draw against Preston and have failed to score a goal in any of the games.
Noel-Williams was left out yesterday with Steve Cotterill signing Chris Greenacre replacing him as they were somewhat unfortunate to go down 1-0 to a poor Forest side.
to see all Stoke’s results this season.
Tony Pulis will have one problem when he comes to name his side tomorrow. They may well have benefited from the poor refereeing of Michael Jones at Burnley but the same referee yesterday sent off two Stoke players in that match at Forest meaning that both of them will be out.
Clint Hill was the first to go five minutes from time and Clive Clarke followed him in stoppage time which means there will be two changes in defence.
The likely Stoke line up will be: Steve Simonsen, Lewis Buxton, Wayne Thomas, Michael Duberry, Marcus Hall, Darel Russell, Nick Henry, Lewis Neal, Carl Asaba, Ade Akinbiyi, Chris Greenacre. Subs: Ed de Goey, Gifton Noel-Williams, John Eustace, Dave Brammer, John Halls.
The one thing we now know for certain is that Robbie Blake won’t be in the squad and will almost certainly not be a Burnley player by the time we play Liverpool in the FA Cup next Friday.
He wasn’t in the sixteen for the nineteen minute epic against Leicester yesterday and I don’t see Steve Cotterill making any changes to the starting eleven with the only change likely to be on the bench where Gary Cahill should return if he has recovered from illness.
Some are of the opinion that Micah Hyde could miss this game because of suspension, that is not the case and he will be out for the FA Cup tie.
There have been suggestions that Danny Coyne could be close to a return to the first team squad although it will probably be Friday before he is considered for the bench.
We are expected to line up: Brian Jensen, Michael Duff, Frank Sinclair, John McGreal, Mo Camara, Lee Roche, Micah Hyde, Tony Grant, James O’Connor, Graham Branch, Ian Moore. Subs: Gary Cahill, Richard Chaplow, Amadou Sanokho, Joel Pilkington, Matt O’Neill.
Our visit to the Windy City came early last season and was played at the beginning of September. Stan Ternent made three changes to the side that had beaten Crewe the week before, even leaving out man of the match Richard Chaplow.
The reason was he had been out and brought in three loan players in Delroy Facey and Gareth Farrelly (from Bolton) and Andy Todd (from Blackburn).
It was one of our best performances of the season and we were 2-0 in the first half with both David May and Luke Chadwick scoring their first Burnley goals. Stoke pulled one back through Carl Asaba in the second half but he was then somewhat harshly sent off by Cooperman.
It ended 2-1 but we had been by far the better side with both Farrelly and Todd impressing in their first Burnley games.
The teams were,
Ed de Goey, Wayne Thomas, Paul Williams (Chris Ilewumo 80), Marcus Hall, Darel Russell, Keith Andrews, John Eustace, Clive Clarke, Chris Greenacre (Marc Goodfellow 63), Gifton Noel-Williams, Carl Asaba. Subs not used: Neil Cutler, Lewis Neal, Karl Henry.Burnley:
Brian Jensen, Dean West, David May, Andy Todd, Mo Camara, Luke Chadwick, Robbie Blake, Tony Grant, Gareth Farrelly (Paul Weller 73), Graham Branch, Delroy Facey (Ian Moore 79). Subs not used: Richard Chaplow, Matt O’Neill, Alan Moore.
Previous 20 Seasons
Pickering Payton Little(2)
Click HERE to see more results against Stoke since our first meeting in the inaugral league season of 1888/89.