Opponents in focus - Burnley
Burnley were one of the sides that joined us in being relegated from the premier league last season so battle will continue here with our new manager, Steve Cotterill, well known to them following his spell as their manager - he could, I do not know if he would, argue that he started the moves forward that saw them find that premier league place?
We did not beat many sides in the league last season, let alone do the double - although Burnley were a side that we did manage this against. Penalty misses could have proven costly in both the home and away games but thankfully Aruna Dindane and Jamie O'Hara were spared.
In all we have meet 52 times, there is literally nothing to separate us as we have both won 22 times meaning there have been 8 draws.
At Fratton we hold a 16-5 lead with 4 draws, away from home at Turf Moor it is 17-6 in Burnley's favour with 4 draws. As far as goals go Burnley 'just' shade is having scored 75 to our 74.
The biggest victory was a 7-1 win for Pompey in 1929/30, with Burnley's biggest win being a 4-0 win in 1972/73.
For me, with all due respect to Burnley and Brian Laws, although they say the table never lies I feel that last season was an exception as I do think that bar the 'off-the-field' issues we would have finished above them. As for Laws, again with all due respect, at the time I felt that his appointment as Owen Coyle's replacement was an appointment with the no power championship very much in mind, as it proved.
In all honesty I do not really know who is and who is not left with Burnley at the moment - I have not really kept up to date with their comings and goings so I do not know who has stayed/arrived at Turf Moor! As much as 'goals win games' not conceding them also makes the difference so Brian Jensen 'should' have a part to play for The Clarets this season, although Chris Eagles is always a player that I have quite liked and at this level he is a player that really should flourish, as he has previously.
The trip to Turf Moore on Monday April 25th 2011 is one that I very much look forward to. The ground is fascinating, and one of the few genuinely 'old school' grounds left - the wooden seats are a real throwback. The cricket club next door makes a fantastic watering hole too as its dirt cheap, which means you drink even more, as I found last season! At least you do not spend as much though...
Burnley will come to Fratton first though; Saturday December 4th - as it stands - is the date for the diary.
In all honesty I think that we are looking at a couple of clubs here that will struggle to push for promotion this season. I would 'think' that Burnley are a midtable(ish) side and, and this is not negative, just staying up this season is something that I would be more than happy with us doing.
Opponents in focus: Barnsley FC - here.
Opponents in focus: Bristol City - here.