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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Wolves v Burnley

Big match build-up ahead of the Clarets' trip to Molineux

25 August 2019

The boot is on the other foot for the Clarets as they head for Molineux on Sunday.

This time last season, Sean Dyche’s men were engaged in a Europa League campaign and between legs of their play-off tie against Olympiakos.

Now it’s Wolves’ turn, with the Midlanders competing in Europe for the first time since the 1980/81 season after succeeding the Clarets as the seventh-place finishers in the Premier League last term.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side has had an easier time of it than the Clarets did in the Europa League, with the draw giving them two gentle looseners in the opening two qualifying rounds.

Wolves Molineux carousel.jpg

A tie against Italian outfit Torino – who finished seventh in Serie A last season – is more testing but a 3-2 away win in the first leg on Thursday night has given Wolves an excellent chance of reaching the group stage.

That fixture was a seventh match in 29 days for Espirito Santo’s men, who will be looking to finish the job at Molineux next Thursday.

Burnley, by contrast, have played just twice so far with a win and a defeat in their opening two Premier League games.

But defender Erik Pieters – an experienced European campaigner from his time in Dutch football – knows the Clarets can’t just rely on a lighter workload to help them look for their first away success of the campaign.

“We can take advantage of it, but it must not be our first thought – that they had a game on Thursday and we must be fresh and we are going to win this game easily,” said Pieters.

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“We still have to be on the front foot and be sharp and play our own game to make sure we get the points.”

Wolves have drawn their first two domestic games, including a 1-1 draw at home to Manchester United on Monday night, to make it an unbeaten start.

But Pieters has been encouraged by the early signs for Burnley following his summer signing from Stoke.

“We have a really good side, I think, and we showed that in the first two games,” he added.

“I think we played well. We are going to make it difficult for a lot of teams.”

Team news

The Clarets are still without winger Robbie Brady and midfield man Steven Defour, while on-loan midfielder Danny Drinkwater is not yet ready to make a debut.

Wolves made four changes to their previous starting line-up for their European tie in Italy.

Winger Ruben Neves was rested for the game against Torino but may return after scoring a superb equaliser against Manchester United last Monday night.

Defender Matt Doherty may also return.

Form guide

The Clarets are looking for their first away points of the season after pushing Arsenal all the way last weekend before leaving the Emirates Stadium on the back of a 2-1 defeat.

Barnes goal PA.jpg

Wolves are unbeaten in the Premier League with two draws so far – 0-0 at Leicester City and 1-1 at home to Manchester United.

And the Midlanders are also undefeated in five Europa League qualifiers, winning home and away against Northern Irish side Crusaders and then rattling up an 8-0 aggregate win over Armenian minnows Pyunik.

They then extended their 100 per cent start in Europe with a 3-2 win at Torino on Thursday night.

Opposition camp

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo: "We just want to play, play, play, keep on playing, keep on growing and this is our main objective now.

“We try to always learn and see different experiences. We decided to go with our own approach. But for sure Sean (Dyche) knows how tough it is because he has been there once.

Nuno Espirito Santo August 2019.jpg

“When you have the experience you can truly judge how tough it has been for the boys – it has been very tough.

“Burnley are a strong team, a team that has been playing for a while together.

“We know their strengths and we want to compete and the approach is always the same, recognising the strengths of our opponents, knowing there will be a weakness.

“We want to take advantage and try to put our ideas (over), especially at Molineux, so it’s good to be at home in front of our fans and we know that it is going to be tough, we are going to fight for each and every ball.”

Match stats

The Clarets' 2-0 win over Wolves at Turf Moor in March ended a run of seven successive top-flight defeats to the Midlanders.

Wolves are unbeaten in their last nine home league games. They last went 10 unbeaten in 1979.

Only Sadio Mane (15) and Sergio Aguero (14) have scored more Premier League goals in 2019 than Clarets' striker Ashley Barnes, who has 12.

Referee

Craig Pawson

VAR

Peter Bankes

Kick-off

Sunday 4.30pm

 


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