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Having moved up to EPPP Academy 2 status last year, our under-23s moved into the Professional Development League last season and tonight we kick off our second season with a home game against Cardiff City.

1819 burnley matej vydra signs 1 1000x500The game was originally scheduled to be played at Curzon Ashton but 24 hours after that information was published it was moved to what was described as a behind closed doors venue. It was just two days ago that I learned it was at the Turf, and that information has been revealed today by Cardiff City who have published their own match preview.

The league allows for three over age outfield players to take part alongside an overage goalkeeper. Last season we rarely took up that option other than to bring players back from injury, such as Nahki Wells, Dean Marney, Tom Heaton and Jon Walters.

Tonight, however, we are expected to field the maximum number allowed. It was thought that Robbie Brady would feature, but manager Sean Dyche has now suggested otherwise and there is certainly no chance of Steven Defour featuring.

The manager told the Lancashire Telegraph: “Steven Defour is not ready, he’s going to be a number of weeks I think. Robbie is closer, but we still have to be careful, they’ve been out months and it’s important they come back with every chance to be up and running and not throw them back too quickly.” Brady did feature in a couple of pre-season games but was forced off with injury in the second of them.

The one player Dyche confirmed would play is most recent signing Matěj Vydra (pictured) and there could be a first game in Burnley colours for Ben Gibson. He said: “Vyds will play, Robbie maybe not, still on the back of a niggle. Nothing too serious we don’t think. But Vyds will definitely play, Tom possibly, we can only play three and a keeper, Tom, Longy, Ben and Vyds probably the four.”

The game kicks off at 7 p.m. Up the Clarets have not been given permission to cover the game.

Update: Burnley team confirmed, we line up: Tom Heaton, Jimmy Dunne, Ben Gibson, Kevin Long, Ali Koiki, Tunde Bayode, Mace Goodridge, Christian N’Guessan, Dwight McNeil, Matěj Vydra, Dan Agyei. Subs: George McMahon, Teddy Perkins, Marley Blair, Jordan Cropper, Ntumba Massanka.

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