Clarets to enjoy Ibrox return
A year ago, Burnley played Rangers at Ibrox for the first time in 93 years, but we haven’t had quite so long to wait to go back again with tomorrow’s game just a year and nine days after a Scott Arfield goal gave us a 1-0 win.
It really was a prestigious friendly. No matter what Rangers have gone through in the last few years, they are still considered to be a big club and there is no doubt that Ibrox is one of the iconic stadiums which, on the following day, we were able to see much more of down to the generosity of the staff.
I said at the time that it’s one of those stadiums where you really want to see your team play and the only disappointment is that I left a public message for the board suggesting a potential pre-season game this year at maybe the San Siro or the Santiago Bernebéu which sadly has not come about.
The only disappointment last year was that, with the game being played in midweek, some Burnley supporters weren’t able to get there. This time, with the game being on a Saturday, it has given a second opportunity to those who had to miss out.
All claret and blue eyes should, I would have thought, be on new signing Johann Berg Gudmundsson who is set to make his debut since making the move from Charlton. The second Icelander to play for Burnley, Joey Gudjonsson being the other, will, we have been assured, feature in the game.
I say their eyes should be on him but I suspect there will be more than a passing glance at the Rangers number 8 who goes by the name of Joey Barton. His time at Burnley has been and gone and it was short, less than a year, but his impact at Turf Moor will live long in the memory.
Sometimes former players get booed when they play against us and often I can’t quite work out why. Not for one minute do I think that will be the case with Joey who I expect will receive a terrific reception from the travelling Clarets when he takes to the field tomorrow. No coke bottles this time, just a reception to show our gratitude for his contribution to last season’s promotion.
He’s even been given top billing by Rangers who will include an interview with him in the match programme which features him on the front cover.
Matt Gilks could also be involved. He’s just left us after two years during which he was never able to break through into the first team with his only two competitive games coming in the Capital One Cup defeats against Sheffield Wednesday and Port Vale.
They are among a number of new signings they have made as they move up into the Scottish Premiership, and those numbers include Clint Hill and Niko Kranjcar, both of whom were team mates of Barton at QPR.
We haven’t found it quite so easy bringing in new players with Gudmundsson and his former Charlton team mate Nick Pope the only new additions. I wouldn’t expect Pope to play but it would be an interesting selection; I wonder how often there has been a Pope on the pitch at Ibrox.
I’d expect Sean Dyche to continue with playing some of the players for longer as he’s done in the last two games, building things up as the new season approaches.
We can’t expect Ashley Barnes to be involved but Lukas Jutkiewicz should be and suggestions are that both David Jones and Fredrik Ulvestad (pictured) will have recovered sufficiently to be in the squad.
We’ll select from: Tom Heaton, Paul Robinson, Nick Pope, Matt Lowton, Tendayi Darikwa, Cameron Dummigan, Michael Keane, Kevin Long, Ben Mee, James Tarkowski, Danny Lafferty, Stephen Ward, George Boyd, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Dean Marney, David Jones, Fredrik Ulvestad, Aiden O’Neill, Scott Arfield, Michael Kightly, Brad Jackson, Chris Long, Sam Vokes, Lukas Jutkiewicz, Andre Gray, Rouwen Hennings, Dan Agyei.
Last season we went to Ibrox with a few injury problems. Strikers Marvin Sordell, Sam Vokes and Jelle Vossen were all ruled out along with long term victim Ashley Barnes while Tom Heaton was out with a finger injury and captain Jason Shackell opted not to take part.
In front of over 22,000, with a sizeable following of Clarets, it was Rangers who started the better. Matt Gilks, deputising for Heaton, made one good save and Ben Mee got away with one when it looked certain he’d given away a penalty.
But then, we took the lead. A long kick from Gilks was headed on by Jutkiewicz for Scott Arfield who turned inside a defender before placing a shot wide of goalkeeper Wes Foderingham.
Once in front, we didn’t really look as though we might concede and we ran out 1-0 winners after a performance that was considerably better than the one a few days earlier at Accrington.
Fredrik Ulvestad and the two substitute full backs, Cameron Dummigan and Stephen Ward, were our best players on the night, but it was still early in pre-season.
The teams were;
Rangers: Wes Foderingham, James Tavernier (Fraser Aird 65), Rob Kiernan (Darren McGregor 65), Danny Wilson (Marius Zaliukas 78), Lee Wallace, Barrie McKay (Dean Shiels 65), Nicky Law, Andy Halliday (Jordan Thompson 65), Jason Holt (Tom Walsh 65), Martyn Waghorn (Nicky Clark 65), David Templeton (Kenny Miller 65). Subs not used: Liam Kelly, Ryan Hardie.
Burnley: Matt Gilks, Matt Lowton (Cameron Dummigan 65), Michael Duff (Michael Keane 65), Ben Mee (Tom Anderson 85), Danny Lafferty (Stephen Ward 65), Michael Kightly (Brad Jackson 78), Fredrik Ulvestad (Matt Taylor 65), David Jones (Steven Hewitt 85), George Boyd (Jason Gilchrist 85), Lukas Jutkiewicz. Subs not used: Alex Cisak, Luke O’Neill, Alex Whitmore.Share this page :