Preview: Burnley v Stoke
07 Jan 2010 - 14:47:59
Burnley's season is in danger of falling apart after Owen Coyle opted to leave the Clarets this week in order to take up the managerial position at Premier League rivals Bolton Wanderers.
It brings Coyle's successful spell at Turf Moor to an end, a period which saw the club earn promotion to English football's top-flight and come within a whisker of reaching last season's Carling Cup Final.
Coyle leaves Burnley with the club above Bolton in the table, although there have been signs in the last few weeks that the Clarets had peaked as their slide down the table increased in tempo.
They have failed to win any of their last nine league matches since beating Hull City 2-0 in October and are just two points above the drop-zone with 18 games of the season remaining.
Their home form remains excellent though, they have lost just one of their ten league games at Turf Moor, but their away record is dire.
In ten matches on their travels, they have secured just one point and conceded 31 goals.
Stoke City make the short trip to east Lancashire on Saturday with only one away league win all season but they will have been buoyed by their 3-2 home win against Fulham on Tuesday which brought their six-match winless streak to an end.
Tony Pulis may be without goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen who damaged a finger in the warm-up for the game against the Cottagers and had to be replaced by Steve Simonsen.
The last time the two teams met at Turf Moor was during the 2007-08 Championship campaign when the match ended goalless.
On the opening weekend of this season at the Britannia Stadium the Potters eased to a 2-0 victory with Ryan Shawcross opening the scoring before Stephen Jordan put the ball into his own net.