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The under-21s have two Professional Development League games this week, with a home game on Friday against Peterborough following today’s away fixture at Sheffield Wednesday.

Both of these teams have already beaten us this season, but they are two defeats of just three this season with the most recent of those back in October since which we have played just four league games, winning two and drawing two.

We go into this afternoon’s game against Wednesday in sixth place in the table but six points behind Barnsley and Fleetwood, the clubs closest to us although we do have four and three games in hand respectively. Our hosts have two points more than that and are currently third with 27 points, compared to our 19, but again we have four games in hand having played less games than any other team in the league.

The home game against them was moved from Leyland to Gawthorpe at such short notice that some Burnley fans were already at the County Ground. We were beaten 4-0 in a game that saw Bailey-Tai Cadamarteri score twice and miss the opportunity to complete a hat trick when Charlie Casper saved his penalty.

This away fixture has been a good one for us in previous seasons in the Professional Development League with three wins out of three. We beat them 2-1 in 2017/18 with goals from Rob Harker and Tinashe Chakwana. One season on and Chakwana again scored alongside two for Dan Agyei and one scored by Olatunde Bayode in a 4-2 win.

Last season we bettered that with a 4-1 win with our goals scored by Michael Mellon, Ne-Jai Tucker, Joe Westley and Dara Costelloe. None of those four will play today; Tucker is no longer with the club and the other three are all on loan with Mellon in the news this week because of a horrific head injury sustained in Dundee’s 2-1 win against St. Johnstone at Dens Park.

Today’s game was initially scheduled to be played at Stocksbridge Park Steels but will now go ahead at Wednesday’s training ground with a 1 p.m. kick off.

Also today, kicking off at the same time, the under-18s are at home against Oxford in the U18 Professional Development League Cup quarter-finals. The winners will join Millwall, Watford and either Sheffield United or Swansea in the semi-finals.

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