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Saturday 16 December 2017

Clarets to call on Stephen Ward for Chelsea challenge

Stephen Ward
Stephen Ward

BURNLEY boss Sean Dyche could throw Ireland defender Stephen Ward back into the fray against Premier League leaders Chelsea tomorrow after the Dubliner made a full recovery from his ankle injury.

Ward has been out for 11 weeks after suffering the injury in a Premier League game against Newcastle United before Christmas but he made rapid progress in his rehab and, after two appearances for the Clarets’ reserve side, Dyche adds Ward to the first team squad for the clash with Chelsea tomorrow.

“Stephen’s had some games behind closed doors and he feels better again so he will certainly come back into the group at least,” says Dyche, keen to arrest the decline after a return of just one point from the last four Premier League games.

And Ward feels that the Clarets can deal with their intimidating fixture list which sees them face Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool in the next three weeks.

“It’s a hard run of games. We have Chelsea tomorrow, then Swansea, Liverpool away and Man City,” Ward told The Herald.

“Then after the international break it’s Spurs and Arsenal so they are tough. But we have a good record at home and we’re confident of taking points off teams at our place, and we have taken a point from the Etihad this season.

“Obviously Chelsea away tomorrow is a massive test for us but if we approach it the same way we did the game away to Man City in December we’ll be fine.”

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