Burnley striker Steven Fletcher faces a late fitness test ahead of the Barclays Premier League match against Stoke at Turf Moor.

Fletcher missed the defeat by Arsenal at the weekend after suffering a broken hand on international duty with Scotland.

Chris McCann (knee) and Steve Caldwell (groin) remain sidelined through injury as Burnley attempt to climb out of the relegation zone.

Veteran striker Robbie Blake believes Burnley can take the first step towards safety in Wednesday's game.

A victory would lift the team out of the relegation zone and give the players a welcome boost ahead of a further home game against fellow strugglers Wolves on Saturday.

Burnley have been written off already by many pundits and tipped for a quick return to the Coca-Cola Championship.

But Blake, 34, is adamant they can prove their critics wrong.

He said: "People are writing us off but there are 10 games to go. It is a bit harsh.

"We are not expected to stay in this league but we know we are good enough to do that.

"It's the teams in and around us who are under pressure. We have just got to believe in ourselves.

"We always create chances and score goals. We have good attacking players. That's what we have got to build on.

"It is a massive week. It is pivotal in the season. If we can get three points against Stoke it will set us up nicely for Wolves.

"We know we are good enough to turn teams over at home. We have got to attack them from the start. If we do that we will get the result we want."

Blake knows they will have their work cut out against a Stoke side he claims are under-rated.

"They don't get the recognition they deserve, " said Blake. "They have players who can pass the ball.

"They are a very difficult side to beat but as well as that they play football. We are aware it will be very competitive."


Stoke City



Stoke manager Tony Pulis has a number of injury concerns ahead of the game.

Glenn Whelan is the latest to need treatment after suffering a hamstring problem. Matthew Etherington (knee), Danny Higginbotham (back) and James Beattie (knee) are all doubtful through injury.

Salif Diao is sidelined with a calf strain while Ryan Shawcross remains suspended.

Stoke captain Abdoulaye Faye believes they still have to work to do to retain their top flight status.

That's why he believes it is vital the team bounce back at Burnley following the FA Cup defeat by Chelsea.

Although Stoke would appear to be safe with 34 points and 11 games remaining Faye is refusing to take anything for granted.

He told the Sentinel: "The objective of this club is to stay in the Premier League.

"We need to look forward and prepare for the next game against Burnley and be ready to play really well.

"The match is more important than Chelsea. We need to win these games to stay in the Premier League."

Faye says he is getting back to his best form after an indifferent season, which has seen him troubled by a back injury and sent off twice.

The central defender completed his first full game for nearly two months at Stamford Bridge and is ready to kick on.

He said: "It is a long time since I played 90 minutes because of injuries. But now I am fit and I am happy that I've played the full game.

"Last year I was never injured. That's just life, but I am getting better and better. With two more games I will be fine."

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