Opposing View: Burnley
What were your hopes, fears & expectations for the season?
I was hoping to improve on last year, but would have taken anything in the top half, especially after losing Charlie Austin just before the start of the season.
Also it was vital we set out to win games, which I'm not sure we did in many matches last season.
Is it fair to say Sean Dyche has won over the fans who were perhaps less-than-convinced by him last season after a good start tailed off?
We've been unrecognisable this season compared to some of the performances in the spring.
Having a full pre-season with the players has obviously been vital to honing the pressing game Dyche wants.
I still have a couple of small question marks over him, but very happy overall.
What has changed between this season & last & can you last the course?
We've got rid of a few of the fringe players and almost everyone is contributing now.
Fitness levels are extremely good, which means we can press for 90 minutes without tiring.
The strikers - Danny Ings and Sam Vokes - have really stepped up a gear or two and the new boys - Tom Heaton, David Jones and Scott Arfield especially - are all arguably better than the players they replaced.
Can we last the course? Hard to say but I'd have liked a couple of loan signings before the window closed. We have virtually no cover in a handful of key positions.
A horrible November - though not as bad as ours - what's gone wrong-ish?
Not sure really.
Some of the lads look a bit flat, which is slightly concerning given we have a long winter with a small squad ahead of us.
We've stopped keeping clean sheets as well, which puts more pressure on the forwards.
We can't keep expecting Ings and Vokes - who we've taken to calling Vings - to both score every week.
Who will be your key man on Tuesday?
It's tempting to say Dean Marney since our recent blip - it's still a blip rather than a slump - has coincided with him being injured.
But I don't know if he'll be fit. Ings is our talisman - he makes things happen from nowhere - so him.
Hard to call with two good sides that are out of form.
It could easily be decided by a mistake. Keep an eye on Kevin Long, who hasn't played for a while but will have to come in on Tuesday. Score draw, maybe 1-1.
Any injuries & suspensions?
Dean Marney is presumably still a doubt and what we thought was a minor problem appears to be dragging on.
Michael Duff is suspended after idiotically getting himself sent off on Saturday so I'm guessing Long will come in - he's usually been first reserve at the back.
I'd like to see us move Scott Arfield inside and add Junior Stanislas out wide and drop David Edgar if Marney doesn't make it.