Burnley v Portsmouth, Sat 27 Feb 2010

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Graham Alexander is poised to make his return from injury when Burnley host Portsmouth in the Barclays Premier League.

The player-coach has been out for a month with a calf strain but has been training this week and is nearing full fitness.

Chris McCann has also missed the last four games with a knee problem and is in line to feature for the reserves next week, although the Pompey match has come too soon.

Clarke Carlisle will take his place in defence after scans revealed he did not break a toe against Aston Villa last weekend, while Stephen Jordan and Steven Caldwell remain doubtful and Christian Kalvenes is out.

On-loan striker David Nugent is ineligible to play against his parent club, so Martin Paterson is expected to deputise.

Burnley boss Brian Laws has warned his players they cannot rely solely on their home games for points if they are to beat the drop.

The Clarets go into the clash lying 19th in the league, with last weekend's 5-2 defeat at Aston Villa meaning they have won only once in the top flight since October.

A promising start to the season has developed into a relegation dog-fight, but Burnley remain in touch with the teams immediately above them and their run-in gives plenty of grounds for optimism.

Although they have collected just a solitary point on their travels this season, Burnley have only been beaten twice at their own ground and extending that run of form would appear to be their best hope for survival.

But while Laws admits the matches at Turf Moor will be vital, the manager has also stressed that his team must add some away points to their tally to keep themselves up - and is confident they will.

"We have got to try and pick up a couple of points here and there (away)," Laws said.

"We have played Villa, so move that game away. It's another one we don't have to worry about away from home and we have five left.

"More importantly, we have got seven at home and they are all winnable. If we won them all we would stay up.

"But that is not going to be true so what we are going to do is make sure that between now and the end of the season we pick up a few points away from home - and we will. I'm very confident of that."

On-loan striker Frederic Piquionne is a doubt for Portsmouth, who have finally gone into administration.

The Frenchman is struggling to be fit for the Turf Moor clash because of a hamstring injury sustained during last week's home defeat against Stoke.

Tal Ben-Haim could figure after groin surgery, Aaron Mokoena may return after knee ligament trouble and Hermann Hreidarsson will continue playing despite an uncomfortable Achilles, however Anthony Vanden Borre (hamstring) and Kevin-Prince Boateng (ankle) remain sidelined.

Portsmouth administrator Andrew Andronikou insists every aspect of the ailing club's finances will be "reviewed and scrutinised" - but has promised supporters he will save the south coast side.

The club went into administration with debts of #70million and Andronikou, an insolvency practitioner from UHY Hacker Young, now has the job of assessing the extent of the damage along with colleague Peter Kubik.

Andronikou said in a statement: "We are looking to immediately address the significant monthly tax burden of the club by implementing a swift cost rationalisation programme. Every aspect of the club's overheads will be reviewed and scrutinised. Our aim is to maximise all revenues and to eradicate all unnecessary costs.

"We have many difficult decisions to make in next few days. I promise you we will save your club and take you forward."

Andronikou also believes it will be necessary to sell "one or two" players, although the club would need special dispensation from FIFA to do this outside of a transfer window period.

He also said that manager Avram Grant had promised him he would stay until the end of the season.

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

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Tal Ben-Haim
Christian Kalvenes
Frederic Piquionne
Hermann Hreidarsson
Steven Caldwell
Kevin-Prince Boateng
Graham Alexander
Premier League
Stephen Jordan
Aaron Mokoena
Anthony Vanden Borre
David Nugent
Clarke Carlisle
Chris McCann
David Nugent
Martin Paterson

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