Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Burnley Preview: Can Wolves show the Clarets how to deal with European football?
Photo: Getty Images - Oli Scarff

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Burnley Preview: Can Wolves show the Clarets how to deal with European football?

Despite having already played twice this week, Wolverhampton Wanderers look to earn their first win of the season, at the expense of Burnley.

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Luke Williamson

Burnley will look to bounce back to winning ways against a Wolves side preparing for their third game in six days.

Following on from the opening day demolition of Southampton, the Clarets produced another fine performance despite coming up short at Arsenal.

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Sean Dyche's men were formidable on the road when they finished seventh two seasons ago and are looking to replicate that on the way back to the top half of the table.

Wolves took the Clarets' spot in the final European place last season and are discovering the hectic schedule involved in having a good run in the Europa League.

A 1-1 draw in the Premier League at home to Manchester United was followed with a successful trip to Turin as they beat Torino 3-2 on Thursday.

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Two draws in the Premier League isn’t the best start for the Midlands team however, progression to the group stage of the Europa League is just one game away.

Both teams will be looking to use this game as the propeller for their season to take off.

Team news

Last season, Nuno Espírito Santo was renowned for keeping his starting eleven intact, however, with the number of games his men are playing, he could be tempted to freshen his side up, which could see Patrick Cutrone making his full debut.

Matt Doherty did pick up a knock against United and is very unlikely to feature, but this is the only new injury concern for Wolves.

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Burnley don’t have any new concerns either and are waiting for injured stars Robbie Brady and Ben Gibson to return to full training before involving them in the matchday squad.

Summer loan signing Danny Drinkwater is close to making his debut for the club, having scored for the Under 23 side in midweek, with Dyche confirming he will feature in the Carabao Cup next week. 

Predicted line-ups

Wolves: Patricio; Bennett, Coady, Boly; Jonny, Moutinho, Neves, Dendoncker, Traore; Jimenez, Jota.

Burnley: Pope; Lowton, Mee, Tarkowski, Pieters; McNeill, Cork, Westwood, Rodriguez; Barnes, Wood. 

Key men

Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota both found the net in the midweek success, having caused a resolute United back four numerous problems on Monday.

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The work these two do for their team without the ball is almost as impressive as what they do in possession, tracking runners into their own halves to win the ball back.

Ruben Neves scored a trademark goal from outside the box against the Reds and was spraying the ball around the park like someone with triple the experience he has.

Ashley Barnes has started the season in inspired form, hitting the net three times in the opening two games and has drawn comments from opposition fans about his take-no-prisoners approach to attacking and, alongside Chris Wood, is looking a real threat whenever the ball is pumped into the box.

Ben Mee and James Tarkowski will be critical of themselves for the two goals conceded at the Emirates last week but, with Nick Pope behind them, they are forming a solid understanding in the core of the team.

The stats

Recent history seemingly favours the home side, with Burnley failing to beat their opponents at Molineux in the last four attempts. 

It would be the first time since 1900 that Wolves beat the Clarets five times in a row at home.

Avoiding defeat would also see Wolves hit 10 league games on an unbeaten run that stretches back into last season, for the first time since 1979. 

Burnley had recently struggled against Sunday's opponents with last season's win at Turf Moor snapping a seven-game winless run against Wolves.

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The win in March was the first time the Clarets had beaten Wanderers in the Premier League.

Ashley Barnes has found the net 12 times this calendar year, only bettered by Sadio Mane and Sergio Aguero

Can he add to this tally on Sunday, with kickoff at 4:30?

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