No own goal from Frank this time

Ian Moore - knotted feet rather than a shot at goal
It is Leicester City who roll into town, little over a month since the corresponding league fixture was played at the ‘Crisp Bowl’.

Two long weeks have past since that most remarkable afternoon at Kenilworth Road. For most it has been two weeks of joyous reflection, yet at the same time, fourteen days of questioning and wondering - which players will be fit enough, what consequences await Micah Hyde in his personal hearing and just who will come in as cover for the suspended Jensen in the Burnley goal?

Craig Levein’s side will come into this game brimming with confidence after finding some recent good form on their travels, not to mention their improving defence which appears to be more and more watertight every week. On the other hand, Burnley themselves are currently experiencing a rich vein of form, having accumulated ten points from the last five games at Turf Moor.

Games against the foxes have been relatively sparse in recent years, with the last Burnley victory at Turf Moor coming in February of 1976. Things therefore need to change if Steve Cotterill’s side are to extend their recent 100% winning run beyond three games and in the process, cement their position as a top half Championship outfit.

As we take a look back at some of the recent games between the sides, it was one of the ‘you’re not fit’ officials, Graham Laws, who started proceedings on a Turf Moor pitch which could barely accommodate a single revolution of a rolling ball. On that rain-soaked New Year’s Day afternoon, just under twenty minutes passed before Mr Laws quite predictably abandoned the clash, or maybe that should read splash! Consequently, we were left with a playing surface better suited to mud-wrestling, particularly in front of the Bob Lord Stand, with walk on fans then facing the possibility of not being fully refunded for their ten minute drenching.

When the rescheduled fixture eventually took place, it is fair to say that Burnley outplayed Leicester City, yet they lacked conviction in front of goal. With new signing, Ade Akinbiyi, serving a three match ban for THAT debut incident against Sunderland, it turned out to be a night of sheer frustration for the Clarets, as a plethora of chances went begging.

Ian Moore arguably had the best opportunity of the night on two minutes, as he was put through on goal by Jean Louis Valois. Rather than putting away what was a very good chance, he didn’t even manage a shot on goal, as Ian Walker stood tall before gathering the ball from the knotting feet of the Burnley forward.

In what was a poor half, David Connolly appeared to be the player most likely to score for the visitors, but fine defending from Frank Sinclair and Gary Cahill restricted him to half chances at best.

Frank Sinclair - put through his own goal but the Clarets were still beaten
Things didn’t change in the second half, Burnley were the side on top and this time it was Graham Branch with a one on one chance. Branch like Moore, was foiled by the ex-England shot stopper, Ian Walker. To compound the misery of the home support, an inch perfect Michael Duff cross, just seconds from full time was headed into the ground and over the crossbar from all of four yards; a chance which looked impossible to miss. It ended as it had started, deadlocked.

Our only other meeting with Leicester since returning to the second tier of English football came in 2002/2003, as the Clarets were out foxed in a game that ended 2-1 to the promotion chasing visitors. Burnley didn’t play like a side who had just lost three games in a row, as Ian Moore came close on a number of occasions in the first half, thanks mainly to some excellent Robbie Blake link up play.

Just shy of the hour mark, Paul Cook was replaced by Alan Moore. From there on, our midfield failed to re-establish its natural shape and Leicester slowly started to exploit its weaknesses. Burnley continued to create chances, but were made to pay around the 80 minute mark as Paul Dickov (now Blackburn Rovers) jabbed the ball home from a Matt Elliott head down.

Just four minutes later and from another corner, City wrapped up the game, as Marlon Beresford flapped at Muzzy Izzet’s centre, leaving Trevor Benjamin with the easiest of easy headers.

Just to make things a little exciting for the Clarets contingent, our very own, Frank Sinclair arrived right on schedule to score one of his trade mark own goals, passing a Glen Little cross past his own keeper and to make the score 1-2. It was at that score that the game ended. With Frank suspended this Saturday, it can safely be assumed that he won’t be scoring another own goal!