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Defour Could Make Cup Comeback

Midfielder in contention to return to the squad for Carabao Cup tie

24 September 2018

Steven Defour could make an eagerly-awaited return to first team action by helping the Clarets’ bid to reach the last 16 of the Carabao Cup.

Defour hasn’t played at senior level since a knee problem that required surgery curtailed his last campaign in January.

The former Belgium international midfielder then suffered a calf problem in pre-season that delayed his comeback.

But Defour – a key man in the Clarets’ early-season success in 2017/18 – has been working hard to get back to full fitness and after training-ground games and an appearance in the U23s a week ago could get his reward with a place in the squad to face Burton Albion in the third round of the cup on Tuesday night.

“Steven is absolutely chomping at the bit,” confirmed manager Sean Dyche.

“He is very clear and very focused on where he’s at and that’s a good sign and a good thing to see.

“He’s a very experienced player as well, so he knows his own body and he’s feeling very good at the minute.

“We’re certainly considering what his involvement will possibly be.

“We’re certainly looking to make a decision and he’ll play a big part in that.”

Dyche is likely to make a number of changes to the side that beat Bournemouth 4-0 last Saturday to record a first Premier League win of the season in up-lifting style.

But is he still determined to maintain the winning threat by avoiding an upset at the hands of Nigel Clough’s Brewers as Burnley make a first visit to the Pirelli Stadium.

And the Burnley boss believes the game-time chalked up by most of his squad in a season that is already 12 games old will have them prepared to meet the challenge of a Burton side that has knocked out Shrewsbury and Aston Villa to reach this stage and has won its last three home games in League One.

“After Saturday you want to continue that, no matter who plays. They’re all part of that winning mentality and that winning feeling and they will want to do that as well,” added Dyche, who has so far used 19 outfield players across the Europa and Premier Leagues.

“Most have played a number of games this season, which is unusual

“Sometimes by this game you have got some who haven’t played a lot of football and some who might not have played a competitive game.

“Now we have a group where virtually everyone has played competitive football, which is another thing we’ll look to use wisely.”

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