More injury problems for Clarets

Last updated : 08 February 2003 By Tony Scholes

Graham Branch - back from suspension
Although Graham Branch is back after serving a one match suspension it looks as though two of the players involved in the heavy defeat to Reading could now drop out through injury. Lee Briscoe picked up a thigh injury in that game and had to come off at half time but it now appears that Glen Little, used as a first half sub, also received an abductor strain and like Briscoe is doubtful for today’s game at Coventry.

Both players are being given as long as possible but we believe that neither will make it and will join Steve Davis and Paul Weller on the side lines.

Initially it looks as though Branchy could come in for Briscoe and take the position on the left hand side of midfield but the more likely option is that he will come back in at left-back with McGregor dropped with Alan Moore returning to the side on the left hand side of midfield.

Despite the heavy mauling the two central defenders managed to escape major criticism but obviously not from Stan. Although he praised Driss Diallo he was all set to shunt Arthur into the reserves on Wednesday at home to Bury before the game was called off.

Apart from suspensions Arthur has been an ever present this season, the last game he missed was the 6-2 defeat against Rotherham, but he will almost certainly be left out this afternoon with Coxy partnering Driss for the first time.

I expect the Clarets to line up: Marlon Beresford, Dean West, Driss Diallo, Ian Cox, Graham Branch, Tony Grant, Paul Cook, Alan Moore, Ian Moore, Gareth Taylor, Robbie Blake.

This would leave the subs bench being selected from: Nik Michopoulos, Arthur Gnohere, Gordon Armstrong, Mark McGregor, Andy Payton and Dimitri Papadopoulos.

The main news from the opposition camp is that they are still awaiting international clearance to enable them to field new loan signing, 37 year-old Spanish defence Vicente Engonga. They still think there is a chance it could come through this morning to enable Engonga to make his Sky Blues’ debut.

Manager Gary McAllister is considering making changes, particularly up front where goals have been difficult to come by. This could lead to a return for former Wimbledon and Bolton striker Dean Holdsworth with either Jay Bothroyd or Gary McSheffrey missing out.

He was hoping to be able to select Julian Joachim who has been out for three months injured but he failed to come through a reserve game without problem and he will not be in contention. Neither will Dean Gordon who was substituted last Saturday with a hamstring injury.

Coventry are expected to choose from: Morten Hyldgaard, Barry Quinn, Jan Sara, Mohammed Konjic, Richard Shaw, Vicente Engonga, Calum Davenport, Youssef Chippo, Craig Pead, Gary McAllister, Ritchie Partridge, Jay Bothroyd, Gary McSheffrey, Fabien Debec, Isaac Osbourne.

Click HERE for more on Coventry, a look back at past results and a former player of both clubs.