The Opposition: Burnley

Last updated : 11 April 2010 By Tony Scholes

The Gameplan
One thing is for certain: we won't be playing 4-4-2. After last week's debacle against Manchester City manager Brian Laws admitted that the side wasn't good enough to play that formation.

I can only assume we'll go with a 4-5-1 formation for the remainder of the season starting with the game at the KC this Saturday.

Was going forward but we don't score many now and since November, when we lost 5-3 at West Ham, have only scored more than one goal in a game on two occasions, against West Ham and Aston Villa. So it is difficult to offer any suggestion as to how we might score a goal, and certainly you shouldn't be expecting us to score very many at all.

We concede possession and goals far too easily as the goals against column indicates. Far too often we give the ball away in midfield when under no pressure and that in turn overloads the defence.

We also have an amazing ability to concede the softest goals possible with a string of hard-to-believe individual errors.

There are no suspensions and the one player certain to be out is midfielder Chris McCann. Apart from a brief return of a few minutes in January he's been out of our Premier League team since September when former Hull defender Michael Turner was very fortunate to get away with a poor challenge. Chris has been missed so much. He offers everything that the midfield has been missing, his energy, his ability to get box to box, to make great runs and to get on the end of things to score goals.

Captain Steven Caldwell has been out since December but is on his way back now and has played in two reserve games. Left back Stephen Jordan is also struggling to shake off a knee injury.

Player by Player

It's difficult to ascertain just what the team might be but here are some players who could be in the team:

Brian Jensen - Our Danish goalkeeper is having a difficult time right now and again last week he was responsible for one of the goals as Manchester City hammered us. After an outstanding period during our promotion season he's found it very difficult at times this season but has had some inspired games.

Tyrone Mears - Not playing anywhere near as well as he was at the start of the season. He's been getting caught out defensively but does offer something going forward with his pace.

Michael Duff - Came into the side recently because of injuries to other players. He's done OK for much of the time despite the team not getting results.

Leon Cort - Signed from Stoke in January, he will be familiar to the home fans. Has come in for some criticism from Burnley fans but overall I think he's done well enough for most of the time. Not the quickest though.

Danny Fox - Another January signing. He's not looked the best defensively and we've not had much from him going forward since his debut against West Ham when he scored with a stunning free kick.

Graham Alexander - The oldest outfield player in the league and the oldest to make a Premier League debut. Not back to his best since injury but very much an important member of the side.

Kevin McDonald - Can be good in possession yet a liability when the opposition have the ball. He's a big lad and isn't the most mobile, although rumour has it that he was pretty quick getting to the pub at half time last week.

Jack Cork - On loan from Chelsea. Not had too many opportunities but he looks a tidy player. He'll probably struggle to break through at Chelsea but certainly looks to have enough about him to be a Premier League player.

Wade Elliott - The hero at Wembley last May but has struggled at times this season. Guaranteed a place under Owen Coyle he's been in and out of the side recently.

Robbie Blake - Sometime before the end of the season Robbie will produce a bit of magic and win us some points. I'm a massive fan and will be somewhat relieved when he signs a new deal. Now 34, he's a very skilful player who, with a bit more pace, would probably have been an established top level player.

Chris Eagles - He definitely divides opinion but for me never offers enough and it comes as no surprise that we don't win very often when he's in the starting line up. Can be brilliant, and there were games last season when he was, but they are too few.

David Nugent - On loan from Portsmouth so that's a bit like "out of the frying pan into the fire". For a player who is supposedly not good enough for the Premier League (according to experts) he's done well for me. We probably won't get to keep him next season but I'd like him to still be in our squad.

Steven Fletcher - Good signing. Scored a few goals and has definitely been a success. Not been at his best recently although did score a good goal last week.

Martin Paterson - A bundle of energy. Nicknamed asbo by the squad he's maybe not the best player to play at this level but he'll certainly go out there and give 100%.

Tony Scholes is editor of Clarets Mad. Click below to read Tony's predictions for the run-in.