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Mark Howarth is one member of the youth team expected to play

Mark Howarth is one member of the youth team expected to play

The old song used to suggest there was a notice on the doorstep saying welcome unto thee, but there will be no welcome this afternoon for Burnley supporters when we take on our local rivals Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League Cup.

Last season, a tie between the two clubs was played behind closed doors at Turf Moor. It was a decision Blackburn quite publicly disagreed with but, although there has been a relaxation with home fans admitted, they too have placed a ban on away supporters for this fixture.

I find it a worrying state of affairs that the players of two clubs can compete in such a competition with supporters prevented from attending, but there are no options and although other local news outlets will be admitted, there will be no place for Up the Clarets today meaning we will not be able to provide a full report.

It will be a tough game I would suspect for what will be a very young Burnley team. Teams are permitted to play three outfield players and a goalkeeper over the age limit. In the last game against Watford we took advantage of that and fielded defenders Jon Flanagan and Kevin Long along with goalkeeper Nick Pope.

Although reported elsewhere that Patrick Bamford, who scored our second goal from the penalty spot in the 2-0 win, was a third over age outfield player, that was not the case. The rules state that an under-23 is a player born after 1st January 1993. Bamford was born in September 1993 while Flanagan was actually born on 1st January and missed out by only a day.

That last game was played on a Monday, two days after a first team game. This time it is a day before which, you would expect, will rule out the likes of Flanagan and Bamford in any case and Long will miss out having been sent off in that Watford win.

And with so many players out on loan, it will mean dipping deeply into the youth team I would suspect. Mark Howarth, Nashé Chakwana, Dwight McNeil and Ali Koiki were all in the squad last time and they are expected to be joined by youth players Oliver Younger and Scott Wilson which would see us potentially field four players aged 16.

Kick off this afternoon is 2 p.m. and if you subscribe to Clarets Player you will be able to watch the game.

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