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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: BURNLEY V TOWN

1 January 2016

Boss looking to start the new year in style at Turf Moor

Mick McCarthy is looking for his side to start the new year the way they finished 2015. 

Blues chalked up a fifth straight away win at Brighton on Tuesday night to follow up the last gasp Boxing Day success over QPR, victories that have taken Town four points clear off the chasing pack outside the Play-Offs.

Victory over Burnley on Saturday would see Town leapfrog the Clarets into fifth place but the boss is fully aware how things can change around very quickly in the Championship. 

“Look at Brighton, I think it’s six games or so without a win for them. In that time, we have won four games and picked up 12 points and closed the gap on them,” the Town boss told Ipswich Player HD. 

“We’ve made up eight or so points on them and that’s how quickly things can change in this league. 

“Yes, it’s nice having that four point gap on the others below but it doesn’t mean anything. It’s always where we are in May that will count.”

Mick’s team will create a Club record six successive away wins if victory is gained at Turf Moor but the boss knows the challenge ahead. 

“We finished 2015 on a high with the wins against QPR and Brighton and it would be great to start the new year in the same way but that’s a big ask,” he added. 

“Burnley have got some very good players and you’d expect them to be there or thereabouts come the end of the season. 

“They beat us at Portman Road the year they went up. [Scott] Arfield got the only goal. There was nothing in that game. It was a proper match but they carried on from there and deservedly went up. 

“We know it will be a big test for us but we are playing well and they will be aware we have won five on the bounce.” 

Subscribers to Ipswich Player HD can watch the full interview with Mick now.     

Team News
Burnley
Strikers Ashley Barnes and Lukas Jutkiewicz are both sidelined but the Clarets may welcome back Michael Duff, Dean Marney and George Boyd.

Town
Ainsley Maitland-Niles missed the win over Brighton with a foot injury but could be back in contention. Larsen Toure is still out with a groin injury, joining David McGoldrick and Teddy Bishop on the sidelines.   

Where they stand
Burnley – 5th
Town – 6th 

Last time we met
Burnley were fresh out of the Premier League when they arrived at Portman Road in August and goals from Freddie Sears and David McGoldrick gave Blues a 2-0 win that was merited on the night. "Burnley are a better side now than they were then," warned Mick. 

Key players
Andre Gray
The striker is bang in form and leads the Championship goalcharts after his hat-trick against Bristol City during the week. He scored for Brentford in the 2-2 draw against Blues on the opening day of the season before his big money move to Turf Moor and is likely to provide the main threat to Town clinching a third successive win.

Jonathan Douglas
Rewarded again for his willingness to burst into the box with the equaliser against QPR on Boxing Day and has provided a sound foundation for Town in the middle of the park alongside Cole Skuse. He will know all about the threat that Gray carries having played alongside him in the Brentford team that reached the Play-Offs last season.

Sky Bet
For the latest odds, click here.

If you are not at the game, you can still follow every kick from Turf Moor on Ipswich Player HD. Our social media channels will also have live updates from the match.



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