Football

No mercy from O'Shea

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John O'Shea wants to bring Burnley crashing down to earth a bit sooner than normal at Turf Moor on Wednesday night.

Manchester United are the Clarets' first visitors for a top-flight game since 1976 and a capacity crowd will welcome Sir Alex Ferguson's men, providing a pretty hostile atmosphere in the process.

Having opened their title defence with a narrow win over Birmingham on Sunday, O'Shea is determined to make it two victories on the trot, saying: "We know teams that get promoted are on such a high in the first month in particular, then they realise how tough the Premier League is. We have to make sure they realise it a bit earlier than normal."

It used to be said London clubs were at a disadvantage in the championship stakes due to the number of local derbies they had to play.

Now the balance has shifted to the north-west. Including Stoke, there are nine teams from the region, with Burnley the latest addition.

Mind you, there is not much travelling involved. And, for United at least, it is better to get the game out of the way now than in the depths of mid-winter.

"We are glad not to be going to Turf Moor in December or January," said O'Shea. "We get the best of the pitch, which could be an advantage. There are definitely worse times to be playing Burnley.

"We are not travelling too far either. We know exactly what it is like when you play the likes of Wigan or Bolton and we are aware the atmosphere will be pretty intense.

"But we have had great results against all those sides and hopefully we can use that as the key for this one."

Wes Brown stands by to replace Jonny Evans, while Michael Carrick and Anderson look set to start in central midfield after not even making the bench at the weekend.

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Topics:
Stoke City
Football
John O'Shea
Bolton Wanderers
Wes Brown
Premier League
Michael Carrick
Alex
Manchester United
Wigan Athletic
Birmingham
Jonny Evans
Anderson
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