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30 March 2019 Venue Turf Moor Attendance

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PREVIEW: Burnley v Wolves

Tale of the tape as the Clarets prepare for Sean Dyche's 300th game as boss

29 March 2019

Sean Dyche will be looking to take his Burnley managerial career full circle when the Clarets face Wolves at Turf Moor.

The ‘Old Gold’ provided the first opposition of Dyche’s reign in November, 2012 when the Clarets secured a 2-0 win with goals from Martin Paterson and Charlie Austin.

And Dyche would welcome a repeat as he marks his 300th game as Burnley boss.

“I’d take it,” he said.

Sean Dyche won his first game in charge of the Clarets with the help of a goal from Charlie Austin below

The Clarets are bidding to bounce back from a four-game losing run to open up further daylight between themselves and the Premier League’s bottom three.

A last-minute goal by Leicester defender Wes Morgan extended that sequence ahead of the international break and left the Clarets just two points clear of the relegation places.  

But Dyche knows his side is capable of producing a result and slowing Wolves’ challenge to replicate Burnley’s achievements of last season in finishing ‘best of the rest’ behind the league’s top six.

“They have some very good players and they’re in a good situation this season,” said Dyche, who is looking to keep Burnley in the top tier for a third successive year.

“They’ve had a couple of blips along the way but, generally, they have delivered good performances.

“Every game in the Premier League is a different challenge and every game is a tough game. I don’t think anyone is unbeatable.

“They are a good side and we have to recognise that, but I think they’ll be well aware that we are still a force and still a team that can upset the records, if you like, and the viewpoint from others by delivering good performances.”

Team news

The Clarets will give a late fitness check to Johann Berg Gudmundsson, who returned early from international duty with Iceland with a minor calf problem. 

Wolves are missing only suspended defender Ryan Bennett.

Form guide

The Clarets are looking to end their four-match losing run – their only four league defeats of the calendar year.

Wolves come to Turf Moor in good nick with a top-seven finish and a place in Europe a possibility on two fronts.

The West Midlanders could replicate the Clarets’ route into the Europa League from last season via the league or gain entry by winning the FA Cup.

Their quarter-final win over Manchester United last time out has given them a last-four meeting with Watford next weekend.

In the league, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side has lost just once since mid-January, with four wins and three draws during that run.

However, they have taken just two points from their last three games away from home.

Opposition camp

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo: "Burnley are a very good team at home: physical, aggressive, well organised. I expect a tough game between two teams who compete well.

"I can only focus on myself and the players, the things we want to do. But we realise how difficult it is going to be. We have to be switched on." 

Match stats

Wolves' 1-0 win over Burnley last September was their first victory in five attempts against the Clarets. 

Wolves have conceded in 11 successive away games in the Premier League.

Five of the Midlanders' last eight league games have been 1-1 draws.

Clarets' winger Dwight McNeil has been involved in six league goals - with two for himself and four assists - the second-highest figure for a teenager this season behind Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon.

Referee

Chris Kavanagh

Kick-off

Saturday, 3pm

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Match Reports

Burnley 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0

Clarets secure vital win to mark manager's 300th game

30 March 2019

Just like he did in his first game as Burnley boss, Sean Dyche master-minded a 2-0 win over Wolves.

There have been numerous high points in between that day in November, 2012 and Dyche's 300th game in charge.

But the importance of this result will rank fairly highly on his list of achievements as Dyche’s side ended a run of four successive Premier League losses with a victory that lifted them five points clear of the relegation places and earned valuable breathing space in the relegation scrap.

It wasn’t a classic performance as Burnley battened down the hatches in the second half as they sought to protect the early lead given them by Conor Coady’s own-goal.

But once again, just when it was needed, the Clarets passed a major test of character as they held their nerve to repel the FA Cup semi-finalists with only a second clean sheet in the league since the turn of the year.

And then to cap a superb defensive performance and bring some symmetry to the occasion, man-of-the-moment Dwight McNeil added a classy second goal to secure the victory that brings safety a step closer and make it a happy anniversary for the manager.

In a game of such magnitude, the Clarets couldn’t have asked for a better start.

Burnley hadn’t beaten Wolves in a top-flight fixture at Turf Moor since 1963, but this was all about the here and now and within two minutes the Clarets were in front.

McNeil, fresh from his first involvement in the England set-up and debut Under-20 cap, delivered a perfectly flighted free-kick which found Chris Wood on the move.

The striker’s first touch took him around goalkeeper Rui Patricio and although Wood’s effort then hit a post, Wolves captain Coady could only bundle the ball into the net to lodge his third own-goal of the season.

That was hardly the prelude for a barn-storming display, but the Clarets – with Jeff Hendrick back on starting duty in place of Johann Berg Gudmundsson – had a measure of control they were determined not to release.

Wolves, chasing the seventh-placed finish that gave Burnley a route to Europe last season, were never allowed to get into their expansive stride as Clarets’ keeper Tom Heaton spent most of the first half as a spectator – bar one dash of his line to take the ball off the toes of Dioga Jota.

But two minutes after the re-start, Jota flashed a cross-shot just beyond the far post as a reminder that the Clarets still had work to do and Ivan Cavaleiro then missed the visitors’ best chance when he blasted the ball over from Leander Dendoncker’s pull-back.

Cavaleiro was then replaced by top scorer Raul Jimenez as Wolves – juggling their resources ahead of a week involving games against Manchester United and Watford in the FA Cup's last four – looked to make their growing pressure count.

Heaton did finally have a save to make as he easily held a far-post header from Jonny but the Clarets, through a combination of concentration and dogged determination, kept the Wolves at bay.

And then with a quarter of an hour to go, McNeil lifted the pressure, calmed the nerves and secured the points with a piece of individual brilliance.

James Tarkowski - having just made a vital block in front of his own goal - powered a headed clearance to the teenager in space 40 yards from goal with room to run into.

There was only one thing on McNeil's mind as he advanced into the penalty area, weighing up his options and feigning to shoot to commit at least one of the Old Gold shirts trying to closing him down. 

Then, having opened up a route to goal, he drilled a perfectly angled left-foot shot skidding across an unsighted Patricio and into the far corner to make it two goals in two games for the Clarets’ new shining light.

Seven minutes later he left the stage to a standing ovation to be replaced by Gudmundsson, sufficiently recovered from a calf strain sustained on international duty to contribute from the bench.

And while this was arguably Dyche’s day,  McNeil and his team-mates deserved their share of the plaudits as they took a step closer to getting the job done.

Burnley: Heaton; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil (Gudmundsson 86); Barnes, Wood. Substitutes: Lowton, Brady, Gibson, Hart, Ward, Vydra.

Booked: McNeil

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Rui Patricio; Saiss, Coady, Boly, Traore (Helder Costa 72), Dendoncker (Doherty 59), Neves, Joao Moutinho, Jonny, Ivan Cavaleiro (Jimenez 59), Jota. Substitutes: Gibbs-White, Ruddy, Ruben Vinagre, Kilman.

Booked: Ruben Neves

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Attendance: 20,990

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