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Burnley FC column: Top of the table clash will have the ex factor
IF Burnley’s trip to Leicester City did not mean enough already, for Alex Cisak and David Nugent it may just mean that little bit more.
Cisak is expected to be on the bench for the Clarets once more on Saturday.
Tom Heaton’s form, a minor hiccup against Huddersfield aside, will see to that.
But the game will still have an extra significance for Burnley’s number two goalkeeper.
It will be the first time he has returned to Leicester City since his sad exit from the East Midlands club three years ago.
Cisak had high hopes for his time with the Foxes, after leaving Australia as a teenager to join the club.
He was tipped for big things, described by some as ‘the best young keeper they’d ever seen’, until a wrist injury put paid to all of that.
It threatened to end his career entirely, before he was released in 2010.
Cisak joined Accrington Stanley that summer, and I remember speaking to him after a friendly at Clitheroe.
It was clear then how much his Leicester experience had affected him.
Here was a man with a point to prove, to show that he could still make a success of his career.
The court case Cisak brought against the surgeon who operated on his wrist at Leicester Hospital – a case that the goalkeeper lost in October – was sad in so many ways.
It is to be hoped that Cisak will get the chance to make better headlines in the years to come, and Saturday’s game could be a small step towards that.
Promotion to the Premier League is currently on the agenda for both Burnley and Leicester.
The winners of the top of the table Championship fixture will deal a psychological blow to the other.
One suspects victory would be even more satisfying for Cisak, on his return to the King Power Stadium.
But he is not the only one facing his old club, and the Clarets will be aware of the danger posed by Nugent.
The Leicester forward has scored four times in six games against Burnley since his loan spell at Turf Moor during the Premier League season in 2009/10.
One earned a draw for Portsmouth against the Clarets, the other three all secured wins for Leicester.
Stopping Nugent on Saturday will be one of the biggest tasks Jason Shackell and Michael Duff have faced all season.
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