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Burnley are in League Cup action tonight with what will be our first ever game at Moor Lane against Salford City who were promoted to the Football League in since 2019 having beaten Fylde in the National League play-off final.

They are now in their fifth season in League Two where they have previously had four top half finishes, their best coming last season when they reached the play-offs having ended the season in eighth place. They were beaten by Stockport in the semi-finals. This season they’ve won just twice in nine league games with both wins coming away from home at Forest Green and Tranmere. They currently sit 21st in the table, just one point above the two relegation places. Their only point in four home games came in a 1-1 draw against Crawley but they’ve suffered defeats on their own ground at the hands of Accrington, Walsall and Notts County.

In the League Cup, they have reached this tie against us via two penalty shootout victories. In the first round they travelled to Deepdale and went 2-0 up with two Connor McLennan goals before Preston came back to draw the game 2-2. That took it to penalties with Salford winning them 4-2; North End firing their first penalty wide and the last one over the bar.

They were rewarded with a home tie against another Championship club, this time Leeds. Again they went in front with a goal scored by former Leeds striker Matt Smith but had to settle for another draw with the game ending 1-1. They won the shootout 9-8 but It was somewhat fortunate with Ossama Ashley seeing his penalty saved by Karl Darlow only for him to be given a second chance with Darlow adjudged to have come off his line.

Matty Lund and Kevin Berkoe have both completed suspensions and are available but they will be without Ethan Ingram who is cup-tied having played for West Brom in the first round prior to is loan move to Salford. All of Ashley, Callum Hendry, McLennan, Luke Bolton, Luke Garbutt, Liam Shephard and Theo Vassell were ruled out through injury for the game at Harrogate last weekend; none of them are expected to return.

The Salford team against Leeds was: Alex Cairns, Liam Shephard, Adrian Marriapa, Curtis Tilt, Luke Bolton, Stephen Mallan, Ryan Watson, Luke Garbutt, Ossama Ashley, Callum Hendry, Matt Smith. Subs: Joe Wright, Matty Lund, Odin Bailey, Connor McLennan, Conor McAleny, Kevin Berkoe, Marcus Dackers, Theo Vassell, Tosin Olopade.

In the same round, a Zeki Amdouni goal gave us a 1-0 win at the City Ground and that has brought this meeting with the Clarets knowing a win will take us into the fourth round of the competition for the fourth successive season. In 2020/21, we beat Sheffield United and Millwall before going out to Manchester City and a year later, we were beaten by Spurs having gone through in previous rounds against Newcastle and Rochdale. Last season we won at Shrewsbury, beat Crawley at home and then lost 2-0 against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Should we win, it will be the first time we’ve ever reached the fourth round in four successive seasons.

Vincent Kompany will undoubtedly make changes for this game but he will be without long term injury and illness victims Hjalmar Ekdal, Darko Churlinov and Michael Obafemi. Lyle Foster will serve the second of his three match suspension. It’s also reported that Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson is unlikely to make it having come off early in the Manchester United game although the injury is not a serious one.

One player expected to play is Jacob Bruun Larsen who was in the team that beat Forest in the last round. Speaking ahead of the game, he said: “It’s a game we want to win and I think that we will see a good team on the pitch and a strong performance. We will do everything to give the supporters something to cheer about.”

He added: “If we play against a top four Premier League team or a League Two team, it doesn’t matter, we have to go out and show the same mentality. I am hoping and aiming to put in a good performance. For me, there are never any easy games and even though they aren’t in the Premier League, it’s not going to be easy.”

in the last round at Forest he made ten from the team that had played in the previous league game. We lined up at Forest: Arijanet Muric, Vitinho, Hjalmar Ekdal, Dara O’Shea, Charlie Taylor, Nathan Redmond, Josh Brownhill, Aaron Ramsey, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, Jacob Bruun Larsen, Jay Rodriguez . Subs: James Trafford, Ameen Al-Dakhil, Josh Cullen, Jack Cork, Sander Berge, Manuel Benson, Wilson Odobert, Zeki Amdouni, Lyle Foster.

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