Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Previews

Preview: Burnley v Montpellier

Brady and Barnes set to figure as Clarets take on French opposition at Turf Moor

28 July 2018

The Clarets revert to friendly mode for the first of two warm-up games against European opposition when they meet French side Montpellier at Turf Moor on Sunday (kick-off 1.30pm).

Burnley then face Espanyol at home on Sunday-week in two fixtures that will play an important part in the build-up to the Premier League campaign – which starts for the Clarets with a trip to Southampton on Sunday, 12 August.

And while few, if any, of the players who helped secure a 1-1 first-leg Europa League draw at Aberdeen on Thursday night are likely to be involved ahead of next Thursday’s return leg, the visit of Montpellier will offer the chance of important game-time for a number of the Clarets’ squad.

Winger Robbie Brady, who travelled to Pittodrie but was not considered for inclusion in the second-round qualifier first leg, is set to feature as he steps up his return to action following a first public run-out in a 45-minute appearance at Curzon Ashton a week ago.

And frontman Ashley Barnes is also likely to see his first taste of pre-season action since a brief outing at Cork City just over a fortnight ago, after shaking off a knee problem.

However, Steven Defour is not yet ready to return from a calf injury and goalkeepers Nick Pope and Tom Heaton are sidelined.

“Robbie is one who will get some more minutes on Sunday in his comeback,” confirmed boss Sean Dyche, who is having to juggle the demands of the Europa League while looking to get players match-fit for the start of the domestic programme.

"He is making good progress but at this stage, even with these friendlies and the Europa League we still need to be careful.

"We all know that’s the bigger picture; not for any other reason other than the business side of the club.

“Barnesy we are also hopeful of getting some minutes on Sunday, but even now, these games now are not about score-lines.

“They are about getting people through them, especially following the inury to Nick Pope.

"We still have to find the right balance between putting a team out that competes, and making sure the players are in good shape for when the Premier League comes around.

“The Montpellier and Espanyol games, you want to put two really strong sides out, but now, because of the injuries, we have we are going to have to be careful, so it's probably going to have to be a diluted side for both.”

Along with Brady and Barnes, senior men Charlie Taylor, Jon Walters, Nahki Wells, Phil Bardsley and Kevin Long could also be involved after filling the substitutes’ bench at Aberdeen.

And there could also be further senior experience for the likes of Dwight McNeil, Jimmy Dunne and Dan Agyei after they helped secure a 3-2 win at Preston last Monday night thanks to first goals at that level for McNeil and Agyei.

Montpellier, who finished 10th in Ligue 1 last year, will bring a full-strength squad as they play their fourth pre-season game and first away from their Stade de la Mosson home.

The 2011/12 league champions, managed by their former defender Michel Der Zakarian and who recently signed former Wigan striker Andy Delort on loan from Toulouse, drew 1-1 with Spanish side Villarreal on Wednesday night following a win and a loss against lower division French opposition.

The French domestic league kicks off on 11 August, with Montpellier starting out at home to Dijon.

Adults tickets to watch both matches against Montpellier and Espanyol cost just £15, with the combined price for over65s/under-22s £10 and under-18s £5.

That offer runs until 12 noon on Sunday with full details HERE

Fanzone

Please note that the fanzone will not be open for the friendly games, however the Foundation Bar in the Jimmy McIlroy Stand will be open to all fans free of charge.


Advertisement block