The Reds visit Turf Moor unbeaten in 22 games

By The Editor's Chair
20 April 2017

An "Old Style" Lancashire Derby is revisited on Sunday April 23rd, Kick Off 2.15 pm.

Such is the enormity of the commercial brand that is Manchester United, football fans worldwide only have to talk about 'United' and everyone knows who they are talking about. Quite a contrast to 'little old Burnley' .

Maybe a real "David versus Goliath" battle in today's football financial market but Clarets' fans will certainly not be looking at the game in this way when the two teams take to the football pitch on Sunday. And with 10 home wins for Sean Dyche's side already this season, why should they?

Instead, all Clarets fans will be hoping a new hero emerges to join the ranks of Robbie Blake, Brian Jensen and Tom Heaton from recent Premier League glories against the Red Half of Manchester.

Who can forget Blake's wonderful winning goal when the Red Devils visited Turf Moor as Premier League champions in Burnley's first Premier League promotion year 2009/10? Or the equally important Brian Jensen penalty save from United's Michael Carrick in the same game?

Nobody  needs reminding of Tom Heaton's incredible performance at Old Trafford earlier in the season. This included one of the saves of the season, a spectacular Peter Schmeichel style "Star Save", denying Zlatan Ibrahimovic, in what could have been a match winning United goal when the free scoring  Swede looked certain to score from close range.

Will a new Claret hero emerge from the list young of players who have ended up at Turf Moor after failing to secure their playing futures at Old Trafford? Former United starlets Tom Heaton, Robbie Brady and Michael Keane are all almost certain to play for Burnley on Sunday.

All eyes will again be focussed on young England starlet Michael Keane, who looks increasingly destined for a triumphant return to the playing ranks at Old Trafford.

If I try and look through the eyes of a young Claret fan for a minute, it makes me almost envious that I won't be in their shoes on Sunday. How excited are they going to be attending Turf Moor with their family, seeing the likes of Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic line up against their beloved Clarets?

We all inevitably discuss the "overpaid and overrated" superstar soccer players who are present in the top flight of football today. However, the perception amongst the  younger football fan is much different.

We tend to forget how the older generation of Burnley fans used to attend Clarets' games and fear much vaunted Fourth Division strikers. Now the Clarets are playing week in, week out, against genuinely World Class players.

It feels good to have made the quantum leap from rags to riches, let's enjoy the success and hope it continues for many more seasons?

Not for one minute am I writing off Burnley's chances of victory. Sunday promises to be another great day of Premier League football at Turf Moor. Mourinho's United will be aiming for their 23rd consecutive unbeaten Premier League game, coincidentally on the 23rd day of the month.

Will the game provide us with a cause to recollect the events of the day and look back on the significance of the number 23? I hope so.

The game seems to have fallen right for the Clarets, being squeezed in between some high profile games for Mourinho's "overplayed" team. The "Special One" desperately wants to win the Europa League Cup this season, because it will automatically bring Champions League qualification next.

There is also the big Manchester Derby following the Burnley clash. The main focus for Manchester United may not be on Burnley, Mourinho has already been been quoted this week  as saying, ' We don't have many players fit'. The irony of it really makes me laugh.

The Clarets have a massive incentive to win the game. Premier League survival is tantalisingly close for the Clarets and one more win will surely seal it. The players and fans of Burnley Football club know this all to well and I fully expect them both to respond in the right way and finalise their safety in style.

The managerial clash between Sean Dyche and Jose Mourinho is in my opinion, a no contest in terms of sportsmanship. Mourinho may have the trophies but often and somewhat unfortunately, the man from Portugal brings the beautiful game into disrepute with his erratic behaviour and sheer arrogance.

Dyche meanwhile shows real respect for the game and his opponents. He doesn't need the vast amounts of money thrown at managers like Mourinho. His time is yet to come, but in the meantime we are all proud to have him as the manager of Burnley Football Club.

A full house, looks all set to witness a great game  of football on Sunday.

This match preview was written by uber Burnley fan Michael Donnelly, alias "The Donz". (TEC).

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