Match preview: Burnley v Blackburn Rovers
The infamous ‘Cotton Mill Derby’ takes place in East Lancashire on Saturday and the stakes are higher than ever.
After a long 34 years without a win against their arch enemies, Burnley fans are looking to finally end that hoodoo.
34 years is a long time to wait - generations of Burnley fans have never seen their team beat Blackburn.
The last win for Burnley came on Saturday, April 14th 1979 when Tony Morley and Brian Hill took all three points at Ewood Park in a 2-1 win for the Turf Moor outifit. Burnley fans will be glad to know they did the double on their rivals that season, Paul Fletcher and Peter Noble also scoring on Boxing Day 1978 in a 2-1 victory.
However, in that period since April 1979, only10 games have been played and three were draws.
Two of those draws came from last season’s meetings.
Sam Vokes rescued a point for Burnley at Turf Moor with a last gasp equaliser and a 10-man Burnley team were left broken when Blackburn born and bred David Dunn found the net in the 95th minute from an off-side position to salvage a point for the home side.
Currently sitting in third place in the Sky Bet Championship with three wins from five games, Burnley could top the league with a win on Saturday.
Eight places below them with seven points are Rovers, however with nine goals in their last two games they will be hoping their goal scoring run continues at Turf Moor.
Blackburn were dealt a blow this week as Jordan Rhodes pulled out of Tuesday night’s international fixture. Rhodes was due to play for Scotland against Macedonia but had to withdraw from the squad with an injured hand - although he is expected to feature at the Turf.
One man definitely out is Rovers’ talisman David Dunn, who has scored four goals against Burnley. He had an operation on a knee injury suffered in training at the start of the week.
Burnley’s strike force is, thankfully, intact with Danny Ings and Sam Vokes fighting fit. With eight goals between them so far this season, the pair will be looking to pounce at the weekend.
The only injury Burnley have is winger Ross Wallace who is out of action with a knee injury. Sean Dyche brought in new recruit Michael Kightly on deadline day who could face a baptism of fire and even become a Burnley hero should he make his debut on Saturday.
Burnley haven’t forgotton the injustice of last season’s meeting and with the added incentive of topping the league should they win, it could be the best chance Burnley have had in 34 years to end the Blackburn hoodoo.