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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Fleetwood Town v Burnley

Clarets continue pre-season build-up against Joey Barton's Cod Army

23 July 2019

The Clarets head up county tonight (Tuesday) for a re-union with former player Joey Barton as they continue their pre-season preparations at Fleetwood Town.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche is expected to take a near full squad to the seaside – although defenders Ben Mee and Charlie Taylor may be held back until the weekend trip to Wigan as they look to overcome minor knocks.

After a double-header at League Two sides Crewe Alexandra and Port Vale last Saturday, the Clarets will streamline their approach against Barton's side at Highbury Stadium (KO 7.45pm).

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But Dyche insists the priority at the moment remains building towards peak fitness in time for the real thing.

“We will look at the week and see who needs topping up a bit more and the ones who needs a bit less; players who need more minutes,” said the Clarets’ chief.

“That’s what we’ll do in the next two games - definitely the next two and possibly the third one after that.

“Usually by the last game you’re looking at roughly what you think – apart from the odd knock or reason someone can’t play - but until then we’re still in that pre-season mode and open-minded about who’s delivering and who’s on it.”

Barton – who helped the Clarets win promotion to the Premier League in 2016 before returning for a second spell in the top-flight at Turf Moor the following season – is starting his second full campaign in charge at Fleetwood.

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The Clarets won 2-0 at Gaham Alexander's Fleetwood in a 2015/16 pre-season friendly

The 36-year-old led the Cod Army to an 11th-place finish in League One last season.

Ex-Burnley favourite Dean Marney played a part in that – along with former Turf Moor team-mate Ross Wallace – but the midfielder is yet to feature in Town’s pre-season plans this time around and Wallace has not renewed his contract.

The Cod Army won 3-1 at Carlisle United in a friendly last weekend and entertain Preston North End this coming Friday night before they kick off their EFL programme at Peterborough United on Saturday-week.

The Clarets, meanwhile, follow up Saturday’s trip to Championship outfit Wigan with back-to-back home games against Nice and Parma before starting out in the Premier League against Southampton at Turf Moor on Saturday, 10 August.

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