Burnley vs Barnsley Preview: Changes expected for the Clarets
Pope is hoping to play a part on Saturday (photo: Getty Images)

Burnley vs Barnsley Preview: Changes expected for the Clarets

Goalkeeper Nick Pope is one of those who could return to Sean Dyche's side.

Chris Lincoln

Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope was described as "chomping at the bit" by manager Sean Dyche and is expected to feature in the Clarets' FA Cup matchday squad after being sidelined for the majority of the season.

Embroiled in a relegation scrap, the home side are likely to make a number of changes but they face a Barnsley side who have been in good form thus far this season.

"We want to be good in the Cup"

Dyche admitted to the Burnley website: “There are a number of players who have played the majority of games, so that has to be factored in.

We want to be good in the Cup, of course, and we want to take that on. But we’ve also got to use it wisely. We’ve got to make sure the players are as fit as they can be ready for when we go back into the Premier League."

However, Dyche can call upon the services of Steven Defour, whose last return from injury ended in an EFL Cup exit, and Stephen Ward who are both fit again for selection along with Pope.

The England international will be looking to stake a claim to become Burnley's number one again, after Joe Hart was dropped and with Tom Heaton's future remaining unclear.

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Barnsley in good form

Yet Barnsley have impressed this season, despite their relegation from the Championship in May. All five of their most recent League One fixtures have been against sides from the top ten but they have won three and drawn two, conceding just two goals in the process.

They have also scored eight goals in their two FA Cup games thus far, comfortably seeing off Notts County and Southend United.

Hopes of an upset will be boosted by a return to action for top goalscorer Kieffer Moore and he is expected to partner Cauley Woodrow in attack. With seven goals in 14 games, Woodrow put pen to paper on a permanent deal after an initial loan move from Fulham.

However, Burnley are enjoying a mini-revival, winning successive Premier League fixtures to lift themselves out of the relegation zone.

Hosts have a strong record against Barnsley at Turf Moor

In the last 11 years, Barnsley have reached the semi-finals and the quarter-finals of the FA Cup but also failed to progress past the third round on eight occasions. However, they did knock Burnley out in 2013.

Yet their recent record against Premier League sides in the FA Cup isn't great, losing their last four and conceding 14 in the process.

Barnsley have also only beaten Burnley once in their last ten visits to Turf Moor. However, they will fancy their chances if this game goes to a replay, losing just one of their last four against the Clarets at Oakwell.