Pope Poser For Liverpool Clash
Decision to be made on keeper comeback as three players undergo surgery
The Clarets are weighing up a recall for Nick Pope as the England goalkeeper closes in on a return to action.
Pope missed Burnley’s weekend defeat to Leeds United with a minor knee injury.
But the 29-year-old is expected to be fit for England duty next month if, as expected, he is named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the delayed finals of Euro 2020.
Pope is also likely to play in the Premier League before the end of the campaign, with Burnley boss Sean Dyche deciding on whether to bring back his number-one against Liverpool at Turf Moor on Wednesday night or delay his comeback until Sunday’s finale at Sheffield United.
“It’s touch and go whether he plays in this one and we’ll have to make a call on that,” said Dyche ahead of the visit of the Merseysiders.
The Clarets will definitely be without the quartet of Phil Bardsley, Dale Stephens, Kevin Long and Robbie Brady.
Brady is recuperating following an Achilles tendon injury, while the other three have all undergone surgery to clear up on-going problems.
Bardsley (hernia), Stephens (ankle) and Long (Achilles) are now starting on the road to recovery with the build-up to the 2021/22 season in mind.
“We are finishing off the season with a low number of players and we’ve got to get them right,” added Dyche.
“So, anyone with anything even moderately serious we’re having to take them out, in theory to make sure that by the beginning of next pre-season we come back with a full complement of players who are fully fit.
“That's already been compromised with Dale Stephens, who has a chance of next pre-season, although we’ll have to wait and see, and we'll wait to see with Bardo etc etc.
“We've got to try and re-plan going forwards. Recruitment is a different thing but inside of our camp the players that here and (trying to make sure) they’re at full fitness.”
Sat, Feb 5, 2022