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Match Previews

Preview: Burnley v Birmingham City

14 August 2015

Burnley host Birmingham City in their second consecutive early televised kick-off of the season and their first fixture of the 2015/16 Sky Bet Championship campaign at Turf Moor.

The Clarets kicked off the season with a 1-1 draw at Elland Road, with Sam Vokes’ 86th minute leveller cancelling out Mirco Antenucci’s super strike just minutes earlier.

The visitors have started the season with two victories. Goals either side of the break from Wales international David Cotterill and Arsenal loanee Jon Toral secured a 2-1 victory over Reading, with summer signing Tomasz Kuszczak saving a 97th minute penalty to preserve the points.

Gary Rowett’s men then followed that up with a Capital One Cup victory over Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium.

The Clarets will be looking to build on their solid start to the Championship campaign in front of a Turf Moor crowd.

Burnley: DL- - -

Birmingham City: WW - - -

Blues’ winger Demarai Gray enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2014/15. The England U20 international scored a first-half hat-trick against Reading in December and he went on to win the Football League Young Player of the Month.

He was voted the Club’s Young Player of the Year and his solo match-winner against Wolves also won the goal of the season.

He made 43 appearances and scored 6 goals last term and having committed his future to St Andrews, the academy product will be hoping to continue his progress.

Birmingham City (Macheda 64’, 90’, Huws 69’) 3-3 Burnley (Marney 30’, Duff 67’, Vokes 86’)

Randolph, Spector, Packwood, Robinson, Blackett, Lee (Macheda 60), Adeyemi, Huws, Burke, Novak, Shinnie (Zigic 79)
Subs not used: Martin, Ibe, Doyle, Caddis, Rusnak

Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Wallace (Stanislas 62), Marney, Jones, Arfield (Edgar 90 +1:51), Ings (Barnes 75), Vokes
Subs not used: Cisak, Kightly, Treacy, Long

Attendance: 16,695

Michael Keane is set to resume defensive duties this weekend in the Turf Moor curtain-raiser against Birmingham City.

The Clarets defender missed Tuesday’s Capital One Cup exit at Port Vale with a tight hamstring injury.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche took no chances at Vale Park, option to partner Ben Mee with Michael Duff at the heart of the back line.

But the England U21 international has been given the green light for the opening home game of the campaign.

However, Burnley will again be without injured duo Matt Lowton (shin) and Fredrik Ulvestad for the visit of the Blues.

David Coote will take charge of the Clarets clash against Birmingham City this weekend.

The Nottinghamshire official was at Griffin Park on the opening day of the season, and issued a single yellow card in the 2-2 draw between Brentford and Ipswich.

Mr Coote will be assisted by Mr. Kevin Mulraine, Mr. Thomas Kirk and Mr. Graham Salisbury.

Sean Dyche: “To get back to the Turf is good, after a while away, and home crowds and home backing are always great to have.

“I’ve grown to know the fans will get right behind us with a real positivity and I don’t see why that would change.

“I think they will be looking forward to seeing the team perform.”

Gary Rowett: “We’ve had a good first two games in terms of results and we're confident. The players are working hard and I'm really pleased.

"I think Burnley away will be one of our toughest away matches on paper, but it's up to us to show what we're about.”

Burnley are Sky Bet's odds-on favourites to secure three points against 16/5 shots Birmingham on Saturday, live on Sky Sports 1HD.

Sam Vokes’ strike against Leeds was his first league goal since March 2014, and the striker is 5/1 to net the opener and 7/4 to score in 90 minutes.

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