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FA CUP PREVIEW: Burnley v Barnsley

Tale of the tape as the Clarets launch FA Cup bid against League One Tykes

5 January 2019

The Clarets launch their FA Cup challenge against Barnsley looking to avoid an upset and keep firing on all fronts.

Successive Premier League wins since Boxing Day have lifted Burnley out of the bottom three and restored the feel-good factor to Turf Moor.

Continuing the battle to stay in the top flight remains the number-one goal heading into 2019 and many of the players who have helped put those recent points on the board will get a breather.

But manager Sean Dyche still sees value in the Cup as the Clarets bid to improve on their recent poor record in the competition and give useful game-time to squad members who could still have big roles to play in the second half of the campaign.

“There are a number of players who have played the majority of those games, so that has to be factored in,” said Dyche, whose side played eight league games in 33 days from the start of December.

“We want a healthy balance. We want to be good in the Cup, of course, and we want to take that on.

“But we’ve also got to use it wisely, especially when we’ve been stripped of players at times in the past few months.

“We’ve got to make the players are as fit as they can be ready for when we go back into the Premier League.

“And, hopefully, we can put on a performance, win this game and we’ve got a group ready for the next game as well.”

The Clarets will be aiming to kick off a run and earn their place in round four by knocking out a Barnsley side that has already negotiated two rounds and is challenging for promotion from League One and an instant return to the Championship under former Hannover 96 manager Daniel Stendel.

The German (above) may also have split priorities, but Dyche is taking no chances as Burnley look to stay on a roll.

“We’ve done our homework on Barnsley. They’re a decent side and they’re going well at the moment,” added the Burnley boss.

“Whatever team we put out on Saturday they’ll be capable, but they’ll know they’re in for a game.”

Team news

The Clarets are expected to make several changes as manager Sean Dyche rests a number of players following a run of eight Premier League games in 33 days.

But his options are likely to be increased by the return from injury of goalkeeper Nick Pope, defender Stephen Ward and midfielder Steven Defour.

Winger Aaron Lennon is facing at least another month out following knee surgery.

Barnsley have completed the permanent signing of Cauley Woodrow following seven goals – including three in the FA Cup – from the striker during a loan spell from Fulham.

However, former Blackpool midfielder Brad Potts will be involved after clinching a move back to Lancashire to join Preston.

Thirteen-goal top scorer Kieffer Moore (above) is available for the visitors after missing three games through injury.

Form guide

Burnley have bounced back to form in the Premier League with back-to-back wins over West Ham and Huddersfield lifting the Clarets out of the bottom three.

They will now be looking to keep the momentum going by getting part round three in the FA Cup for only the third time in eight seasons.

Barnsley’s recent record in the competition doesn’t make great reading either.

Since reaching the semi-finals in 2008, the Tykes have only once gone past round three – a run to the last eight in 2013.

However, Daniel Stendel’s side have negotiated two rounds so far this season, beating Notts County 4-0 and Southend 4-2.

And Barnsley’s form in League One is also impressive with just two defeats in 11 games.

A 0-0 draw at promotion rivals Luton Town on New Year’s Day extended their unbeaten run to five games – with just two goals conceded – and kept them fourth in League One.

The VAR system will be in use for the first time at Turf Moor.

Opposition camp

Barnsley assistant manager Andreas Winkler: “The league is the priority but, if you’re in the third round, you want to go to the next round.

“We’re looking forward to playing against a Premier League team; they have a strong side but you never know. There are no penalty shootouts in the first game, so maybe we could go for a draw – or maybe more.

“Not to be arrogant, but we will have a lot of confidence – that is the basic to be successful and I’m sure we won’t be nervous.

"It’s not Liverpool and it’s not Manchester United, but we have lots of respect for a Premier League team like Burnley and they’re organised and every player has lots of quality.

“The pressure is on Burnley, not on us; we are focussed on League One and the pressure is on them, especially playing at home. We have a young squad with lots of energy and I think we will be good competition for them.”

Match stats

The Clarets’ only defeat in their last eight home FA Cup ties was their fifth-round defeat to Lincoln City two seasons ago.

Barnsley have won just one of their last 10 games at Turf Moor – a Championship win in December, 2008.

This will be the third FA Cup meeting between the two clubs, Barnsley beating Burnley in Sean Dyche’s first cup tie as Clarets boss in January, 2013. The Clarets won the first tie in 1911.

Referee

Simon Hooper (plus VAR)

Kick-off

Saturday, 12.30pm


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