Football

Burnley Vs Crystal Palace, Sat 5 Mar 2011

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Burnley boss Eddie Howe will be without a trio of strikers when his side host Crystal Palace.

Steven Thompson has undergone surgery on a groin problem and looks set to be sidelined until next month.

With Martin Paterson out with a thigh injury and youngster Wes Fletcher nursing an ankle knock, Howe has seen his attacking options vastly reduced.

The visit of the Eagles will be the Clarets` first home game for a month on Saturday as they bid to edge closer to a coveted top-six finish.

Last weekend`s 2-1 victory at neighbours Preston underlined the pedigree of Howe`s men, and they are aiming for another three points at Palace`s expense.

"We want to continue this run," said Howe.

Palace boss Dougie Freedman will hand Julian Speroni a late fitness test before naming his squad.

The 31-year-old goalkeeper suffered a slight groin injury during the closing stages of last weekend's 3-3 draw with Reading, although the Eagles boss is confident a week`s worth of rest will have done his first-choice shot-stopper good.

Lewis Price, who arrived at the club from Derby in the summer, will make his debut if Speroni fails to recover in time.

Striker Jermaine Easter will be hoping for a starting role after stepping off the bench to earn his side a point against the Royals, but midfielder Alex Marrow is unlikely to feature despite returning to light training following an ankle injury.

Left-back Matty Parsons has joined Barnet on a month's loan, while fellow full-back Lee Hills remains a long-term absentee with a knee problem.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Lee Hills
Jermaine Easter
Dougie Freedman
Steven Thompson
Football
Championship
Lewis Price
Wes Fletcher
Alex
Julian Speroni
Crystal Palace
Eddie Howe
Martin Paterson
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