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Wood And Wells Good To Go

Nahki Wells in the U23s but also set to join Chris Wood in squad for Southampton

2 November 2017

Nahki Wells will play for the Clarets’ under-23s tonight before travelling as part of the first-team squad to Southampton on Friday.

And manager Sean Dyche is optimistic he will be joined on the journey south by Chris Wood, with the Clarets’ top scorer expected to be fit to face the Saints.

Wells was on the Burnley bench for Monday night’s 1-0 win over Newcastle United but will play against Colchester United in the Premier League Cup at Curzon Ashton on Thursday evening (kick-off 7pm) to further top up his match fitness after recovering from summer ankle surgery.

“Nahki is going to play tonight,” Dyche told Clarets Player HD. “He’s at the end of his pre-season, if you like, and he gets another 90 minutes.

“He will be part of the squad for Saturday but he will part of the team tonight, which is important.

“The international break is coming up and I still want him to have some down days, like the players get.

“He’s looking very fit, looking sharp, (it’s) just getting the last 90 minutes in before you deem him really fit and part of the group, other than getting first-team action, which is the final edge.”

The availability of Wells following his summer signing from Huddersfield Town will give Dyche four frontmen to pick from, with Jon Walters still to return following a knee injury.

Wood missed the win over Newcastle – which lifted the Clarets to seventh in the Premier League – with a hamstring strain he sustained in Burnley’s defeat at Manchester City nearly a fortnight ago.

But the New Zealand international is back in training and likely to be in the mix to face Southampton on Saturday before he links up with the All Whites for their World Cup qualifying play-off against Peru.

“I’m happy with the strikers, I’m happy with the way they are performing. There’s a lot of competition up there, which is a good thing,” added Dyche.

“He (Wood) has been on the grass with us today and we think he will be involved, I say ‘think’ to make sure he has no reaction over the next 24 hours.”

Midfielder Steven Defour also did some light training on Thursday, after coming off in the win over Newcastle with a tight groin, to keep him in the frame to extend his ever-present record this season at the St Mary’s Stadium. 

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