PRE BURNLEY

Telegraph-sport

BURNLEY would not have been one of the teams tipped for automatic promotion when predictions were made at the start of the season,
They have been up there all season, and they are there on merit.
Sean Dyche’s team beat us 3-0 in August and are as good a team as we have seen at our place in the League.
They were organised, disciplined and worked extremely hard that day.
It was also clear that they have two very good attacking players in Danny Ings and Sam Vokes.
Given the fact those two have scored 42 goals between them and the fact Burnley have been lucky with injuries in that they have kept their big players fit, I am not surprised at how well they have done.
Keeping players fit is vital when you have a small squad, as we have found to our cost in recent seasons.
Burnley have benefitted from keeping both strikers fit, and both in great scoring form.
Ings and Vokes had not really scored bags of goals before this season.
I have played against Vokes a few times. He is a handful, a good player.
I haven’t played against Ings. He was probably about 13 the last time I played!
But watching Ings, and remembering how impressive he was against us earlier this season, he likes to drop that little bit deeper and pick up balls. He is lively, a spark, and he has a bright future ahead of him.
When their leading scorer Charlie Austin was sold to Queen’s Park Rangers everybody wondered what effect it would have on Burnley. Could they replace his goals?
Ings and Vokes have provided the answer.
Both Austin and Ings are a test for defenders.
Austin is one of those players who is out of the game for long periods and then he pops up when he a chance comes his way and he takes it, something he has done against us a few times.
That is his quality, and he has done well at QPR when he has been fit and played.
Ings is different.
He is always involved, he is always trying to get on the ball, the kind of player who drifts into different areas but at the same time he is just as comfortable in the box.
He will keep you are your toes throughout. He will move you about and you won’t know whether to step out and pick him up when he drops into that little hole to receive the ball. That is a horrible decision for a centre half to have to make.
Both are good players, and a threat.
Of the two, and over the 90 minutes, Ings will present more problems to a defence.
Burnley have the second-best defensive record in the Championship, 26 goals conceded in 32 league games.
Their back four is probably as solid a back four as you will get in this division, well drilled with plenty of know-how.
They are happy sitting quite deep as well.
Although Shacks (former Rams defender Jason Shackell) is extremely quick when he wants to be and is happy playing quite a high line, it suits him when everything is front of him, Michael Duff also. Centre halves are much happier when that happens.
Burnley also have Kieran Trippier who has been one of the best full backs in this division in recent seasons.
Burnley have got experience and quality, they are good enough to go up this season, but they will be very aware of the threat we pose.
They were aware of us in the game earlier this season because they played a system and in a manner designed to stop us playing. They will want to play their more natural game at home today and that might play into our hands.
Turf Moor is a tough place to go.
Burnley have not lost at home and will be full of confidence but we have been as good as any team in the division in the last six months.

This is my site. I play football and have written this thing that you see above this box. There are likely to be typos cos I'm a footballer

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