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Burnley fans will know tomorrow’s FA Cup opponents are Barnsley and Barnsley fans will know they are facing Burnley. Goodness knows how the likes of the BBC and Sky will cope with it given they still get us confused despite the fact that it is fast approaching five years since we last met.

Yes, the FA Cup, not a competition we’ve been particularly strong in over recent years. Since Stan Ternent took us to the quarter-finals and that embarrassing defeat at Watford, we’ve failed to get past the 3rd round on eight occasions since, reaching round four twice and getting dizzy with five 5th round knock outs, the most recent of them two years ago when we went out to then non-league Lincoln.

1819 burnley stephen ward 00 500x500This competition hasn’t been quite as bad as the League Cup and, in fairness, other than that Lincoln disaster, the last three teams to knock us out have been Spurs, Arsenal and Manchester City, but there is no doubt that a cup run is overdue and we’ve got a good chance to kick start one against a team from two divisions below, albeit a team playing well.

Barnsley were relegated last season but under new manager Daniel Stendel are currently in fourth place with 46 points and are currently unbeaten in their last five games, the last defeat came at Wycombe on 8th December.

As a League One club, they’ve had to come through the first two rounds proper of the competition. In the 1st round they beat Notts County 4-0 before winning 4-2 at Southend in the 2nd round.

Kieffer Moore and Cauley Woodrow have scored in both those games. They might have been without both these players for tomorrow too but both are now available. Moore was a doubt through injury while Woodrow was on loan from Fulham and was set to return. Barnsley, however, have now made the signing a permanent one.

When it comes round to cup week, the debate always starts as to how many changes Sean Dyche might change. It’s usually a hefty number and I’m expecting the same tomorrow. The manager sprung something of a surprise in the press conference. I was expecting Nick Pope to potentially be involved but certainly not Steven Defour or Stephen Ward although it looks likely that they will play.

What might the team be? We know that we will be without Robbie Brady, suspended, and it does look as though Phil Bardsley might miss out too having been forced off at Huddersfield. With Aaron Lennon also currently out of the reckoning, it leaves us short in terms of wide replacements.

If Dyche wants to give his fringe players some game time, we could line up: Nick Pope, Matt Lowton, Kevin Long, Ben Gibson, Stephen Ward, Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson, Steven Defour, Jeff Hendrick, Dwight McNeil, Matěj Vydra, Sam Vokes. As for the subs, some of the players who featured at Huddersfield will be on the bench I expect with potentially Ali Koiki and Josh Benson under consideration.

Barnsley will be without two players they might have expected to play. Defender Dani Pinillos is doubtful with an injury and Brad Potts has today been sold to Preston.

 

LAST TIME IN THE CUP

 

We’ve played Barnsley twice previously in the FA Cup. The first of the games was way back in the 1910/11 season when we won 2-0 but much more recently we were beaten 1-0 at Oakwell. That was in January 2013 in what was Sean Dyche’s first FA Cup tie as Burnley manager.

1213 burnley dane richards 00 300x300The game had more than its fair share of talking points. Referee Paul Tierney, in charge of a Burnley game for the first time, yellow carded the wrong man, showing it to Brian Stock instead of Michael Duff, and soon after gave Stock a second yellow and sent him off. I don’t think he got much else right to be fair.

It was also the afternoon when we first saw Dane Richards (pictured). He came on for Ross Wallace just over twenty minutes from the end and he was quick, making two early runs and then fizzling out. We were only to see him once more.

But the day proved to be a disaster for Brian Jensen. Dyche had named his strongest available team other than switching goalkeepers and it was an awful mistake from him that allowed Barnsley to score the only goal five minutes from the end. He was a forlorn figure at the final whistle, not even acknowledging his team mates or the Burnley fans.

The teams were;

Barnsley: Luke Steele, Scott Golbourne, Stephen Dawson, John Stones, Tom Kennedy (Tomasz Cywka 68), Jimmy McNulty, Martin Cranie, David Perkins, Jim O’Brien, Chris Dagnall (Danny Rose 82), Marlon Harewood (Reuben Noble-Lazarus 85). Subs not used: Ben Alnwick, Stephen Foster, Kelvin Etuhu, Bobby Hassell.

Burnley: Brian Jensen, Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff (Marvin Bartley), Jason Shackell, Danny Lafferty, Dean Marney, Brian Stock, Danny Ings, Ross Wallace (Dane Richards 69), Keith Treacy (David Edgar 45), Sam Vokes. Subs not used: Lee Grant, Luke O’Neill, Junior Stanislas, Wes Fletcher.

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