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Thanks for the Memories – Burnley Preview
Birmingham City head north to take on Sean Dyche’s Clarets as Blues look to try to gain their first win of 2013. It promises to be a tough test for Lee Clark as Burnley look to push for a playoff place whilst Blues are holding on above the relegation trap-door.
The Clarets are in a terrific run of form at the moment, having won five of their last six games since drawing at St Andrews on December 22 – with the only defeat coming in the FA Cup. Indeed, the last player to score against Burnley in the Championship was Nikola Zigic, who equalised in the 89th minute to give Blues a point in the pre-Christmas clash.
Striker Charlie Austin may be out still with a hamstring injury but Ben Mee and Kevin Long may return. Danny Ings will be looking to continue his run of good form up front should Austin continue to be sidelined.
Blues will have to give a late fitness test to Jonathan Spector but otherwise it’s a relatively full squad that will travel north with only long-term injury victims Stephen Carr, David Murphy, Darren Ambrose and Will Packwood plus Keith Fahey not travelling north.
After last week’s bizarre non-selection of strikers, the question will be whether Clark will return to Marlon King and Nikola Zigic once more – particularly after their performances off the bench which rescued a point for Blues. Ravel Morrison has suffered with illness all week and thus could miss out and I expect we may well see either Mullins and Gomis or Mullins and Reilly in the middle today. Paul Robinson remains in the squad having signed a deal until the end of the season.
Burnley seem confident that they will pick up the points today and looking at their form it’s hard to argue with that. The sad thing is that this game could be a swansong for a few players as the transfer window comes to an end – if that is the case I hope they leave us with a final flourish and some good memories.
Correction: As pointed out by Jim the Nose on SHA, Burnley lost 1-0 to Leicester on December 29 and thus David Nugent is the last player to score past them. Sorry.