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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Burnley v Sunderland

All the build-up to tonight's big cup tie at Turf Moor

28 August 2019

The Clarets launch their Carabao Cup bid tonight (Wednesday) when they will be looking to avoid an upset against League One Sunderland and book their place in the draw for the last 32.

While Burnley under Sean Dyche have barely put a foot wrong in League football, their record in the League Cup has been disappointing.

The Clarets have fallen to lower league opposition in three of the last four seasons and haven’t been past round three since Dyche led his side to the last-16 in his first full season in charge in 2013/14.

Understandably, Premier League football, or the pursuit of it, has been the priority as the Clarets have sought to establish themselves in the top tier.

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That remains the case, but with an impressive squad at his disposal Dyche is aiming to keep the fires burning on two fronts by getting past a Sunderland side enjoying an unbeaten start to the campaign.

“The Premier League is very important,” said the Burnley boss, who has also seen his side start the season well with four points from their first three league games.

“But whatever way you look at it, you still want to do well in the cups and you want to do well in every competition you can.

"The focus is still on the Premier League, I make no mistake about it, but I think we have a more competitive squad now. We will definitely be putting out a team I believe can win.”

Sunderland, who got to the final of the competition in 2013/14 as a Premier League club, beat Accrington Stanley in round one and currently sit joint top of League One as they seek a return to Championship level after dropping into the third tier for only the second time in their history in 2018.

Team news

The Clarets are set to make a number of changes as boss Sean Dyche dips into his squad strength to give game-time to those who haven’t featured heavily in the Premier League yet.

Loan signing Danny Drinkwater is expected to make his Burnley debut in midfield but widemen Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Robbie Brady are ruled out.

Sunderland are also expected to alter their line-up as they keep more than half an eye on their League One trip to Peterborough on Saturday – which will be an eighth game in four weeks – and continuing their early promotion push.

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Northern Ireland striker Will Grigg is among those expected to come into the starting line-up, along with former Preston defender Conor McLaughlin, ex-Coventry City goalkeeper Lee Burge and former Clitheroe loanee Duncan Watmore (above).

Form guide

The Clarets return to Turf Moor for the first time since their season-opening 3-0 win over Southampton.

A one-goal defeat at Arsenal and last Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Wolves – where only an injury-time penalty denied Burnley maximum points – have maintained an impressive start to the campaign at top-flight level.

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Sunderland have hit form since their first-round win at Accrington Stanley.

The Black Cats started their League One campaign with back-to-back draws before a 3-1 victory at the Wham Stadium launched a run of four successive wins in an unbeaten start which has helped them share top spot in the table.

A Chris Maguire hat-trick at the Stadium of Light earned Jack Ross’ side a 3-1 win over AFC Wimbledon last Saturday.

Opposition camp

Sunderland manager Jack Ross: “We go to Burnley on Wednesday and then Peterborough United on Saturday which is a big game and a really tough test.

“It’s likely we will make a lot of changes on Wednesday.

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“We’ve got a good squad here and we’ve got players who are ready to go, and we will utilise that squad properly on Wednesday evening.

“We want to go and win the game – that’s the way we will approach it.

“Equally though, we have to be mindful of the game we have on Saturday and the amount of travelling we have between these two games as well.”

Match stats

This will be the first League Cup tie between the two sides.

If scores are level at 90 minutes, the tie will go straight to penalties.

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The Clarets knocked Sunderland out of the FA Cup in a replay and were unbeaten in two Premier League meetings in the 2016/17 season, including a 4-1 win featuring an Andre Gray hat-trick (above).

Burnley are unbeaten in their last five home games against the Black Cats – stretching back to March, 2005.

The Wearsiders last reached round three of the League Cup in 2017, when they lost 3-0 at Everton. Burnley have gone out in round three in the last two seasons.

The draw for round three takes place after tonight’s televised matched between Lincoln City and Everton. Burnley or Sunderland will be ball number 28.


Darren England


Wednesday 7.45pm

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