Well, that was a great result against Spurs wasn’t it...and as predicted Gareth Bale didn’t like the rain! And Paddy Power paid me out at 13/5 for the win... Since then other results have been a bit mixed, the Everton Villa draw did us a favour, but Arsenal won. We have three games now that look okay on paper, but as they say, you don’t play games on paper. If we finish with three wins, we have an outside possibility of finishing 7th and qualifying for Europe.
Well, I say Europe, it is the new Europa Conference...an odd league designed to “give more countries a chance to have their teams play in Europe”. Quite frankly I don’t want to be in Europe next year, an extra 15 potential games will not help, particularly with the small squad that Bielsa likes. But still, it would be great to finish the season with 3 wins, and hopefully finish eighth!
So, onto Burnley, and Sean Dyche has been moaning about transfer budgets again...if only Burnley were a bigger club they could spend more money....in the 12 years since they got promoted player values have gone up hugely so I am not sure we can compare our £100m to what Burnley spent on promotion.
I went to Turf Moor last January. I had booked a trip off the rock to see Leeds Millwall but hadn’t realised it was the FA Cup 4th Round weekend, and Millwall qualified, so I was in Leeds with a mate and no game. It turned out there was virtually no football in the north of England that weekend, so we went to Burnley vs Norwich in the cup. It was fecking freezing...the wind blew straight off the hills into the stand. The game wasn’t bad actually, and it was hard to understand why Norwich were bottom of the league as they beat Burnley playing some nice football that day. There were about 8,000 people in the ground, with the stand behind the goal being closed...the guys around us were friendly enough, but it all felt a bit lacklustre. It was nice to see some ex Leeds players though, with Wood and Lennon playing and Charlie Taylor and Bailey Peacock Farrell on the bench.
I only knew one fact about Burnley before I went, and that was that the town is the worlds largest consumer of Benedictine, after the East Lancs Regiment was based in Normandy in the First World War. When we went to the bar in the stadium, after having a couple of pints in “The Royal Dyche” it was so cold we were tempted to try a Bene ‘n Hot. Not sure I will be rushing back....
Famous Burnley fans include:
- Labour Spinmeister Alistair Campbell
- Fast bowler James Anderson
- Coronation Street actor Johnny Briggs
- Antiques expert Eric Knowles
- Weatherman John Ketley
Apparently Snoop Dog and Prince Charles are both fans too...would love to see them at a game together...
So, onto the game itself. Nick Pope appears to be out for Burnley (meaning Peacock Farrell is likely to play), and we seem to have a pretty full squad to pick from, with only Costa out, which will give Bielsa some dilemmas. Does he recall Cooper, or leave Struijk and Llorente in the centre, is Koch replaced by Phillips, and does the Energiser Bunny stay at left back after a great game last weekend? And that is before we get to the question of the youngsters.
Being Bielsa I suspect we will get:
Ayling Cooper Llorente Alioski
Rafa Dallas Klich Harrison
Which would give is a very strong bench including Rodrigo, Koch, Struijk, and potentially Roberts, although I would like to see Shack get a game too. Personally I think we will see Greenwood and maybe Somerville get 20 mins if things are going well.
Weather forecast is wet, but not windy and about 11 degrees, but it will be warm at home watching the game on Sky.
I am predicting 1 - 3 to Leeds with goals from Bamford, Rafa and Alioski, Wood scoring for them. Although the referee is Graham Scott who didn’t give the card against Baldock for the dreadful foul in the Blades game.
Continuing my popular services of ManxWhites favourite charts, here is John Snows cholera map. It uses small bar graphs on city blocks to mark the number of cholera deaths at each household in a London neighbourhood. It proved that most of the households used the same well for drinking water, and scientists then started to understand water borne diseases. A proper sewerage system was then built and cholera epidemics virtually ended.