Burnley v Wolves Match Preview

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After an impressive 3-0 win against Everton on Sunday, Wolves’ next league outing is a trip to Turf Moor on Wednesday to face Sean Dyche’s Burnley. A win for Wolves would see them reach their highest ever points total in a Premier League season with 58 points, topping last years total of 57 points. The game kicks off at 6pm and will be broadcast live on BBC. The build-up and first half of the game will be shown live on BBC Two, with the game then moving to BBC One at 6:55pm for the second half.

Wolves Form

After back-to-back defeats to Arsenal and Sheffield United, Nuno decided to switch up his approach against Everton. Daniel Podence was given his first league start as he and Pedro Neto came in to replace Diogo Jota and Adama Traore upfront with Raul Jimenez. Leander Dendoncker was also brought in, with Joao Moutinho dropping to the bench. The brave changes that Nuno made certainly paid off, with the team looking fresh and raring to go.

One thing that Wolves have been criticised for in recent times is their first-half performances as did the Talking Wolves lads on their recent Wolves podcast. They have had a tendency to start games slowly, but on Sunday we saw them putting pressure on Everton right from the start and they even managed to bag a first-half goal, which is a rarity. Podence was very impressive, earning himself man of the match on his debut, with him and Neto causing all kinds of problems for Everton’s defence with their skill and trickery. Ruben Neves was another who impressed, as he looked much more comfortable than he has done in recent games. He controlled the midfield area with ease and the pass he made to assist Jota’s goal was sensational. Hopefully, we will see more of this creativity and attacking threat against Burnley on Wednesday.

Despite how well Wolves played, I think it’s fair to say that Everton were pretty poor. They didn’t offer much and never really challenged the Wolves defence. I think that Burnley will prove to be a much tougher challenge, so the team can’t afford to go into the match on Wednesday underestimating their opponents. 

Burnley Form

Since losing 5-0 to Manchester City in their opening game of the restart, Burnley have been on an impressive run of form. They are unbeaten in five games (W3, D2) and have only conceded twice in that time. 

Their last match was away from home on Saturday against Premier League champions Liverpool. Andrew Robertson’s first-half header put the hosts ahead but a fine strike from Jay Rodriguez in the second-half pulled Burnley back level. The match ended 1-1 and means that Liverpool’s hopes of becoming the first team to win all 19 home matches in a single campaign are over. Burnley became the first visitors in the league this season to leave Anfield with a point and much of that was down to goalkeeper Nick Pope.

Pope was man of the match in their game against Liverpool at the weekend as he made eight saves to deny Liverpool the victory. After the match, BBC Sport reported that Jurgen Klopp himself said “for moments it was Liverpool against Pope”. One of the most impressive things about him is his joint league-high 14 clean sheets this season, alongside Manchester City’s Ederson. Wolves may have a tough time finding a way past him, especially since he has a solid defence in front of him.

Burnley v Wolves Team News

Pedro Neto was forced off early in the second half against Everton with ‘strong cramp’ and it’s unsure if he will be fit for the trip to Burnley or not. With this in mind, I could see Nuno bringing in Jota in his place. I think the rest of the starting line-up will remain unchanged considering how everyone performed on Sunday, so I’m predicting a starting XI of:

Patricio, Boly, Coady, Saiss, Doherty, Dendoncker, Neves, Johnny, Podence, Jimenez, Jota.

As for The Clarets, they will still be without Jack Cork, Ben Mee, Matthew Lowton and Ashley Barnes due to injury.

Burnley v Wolves Head to Head

Since Wolves’ promotion from the Championship the sides have faced each other three times with a win for each team and one draw. Looking at the overall record between the two clubs, Wolves have fared better, winning 66 games in comparison to Burnley’s 38, while the other 27 meetings have ended in draws.

The last time Wolves and Burnley faced each other was in a 1-1 draw at the Molineux at the start of the season. Ashley Barnes fired past Rui Patricio to give Burnley the lead in just the 13th minute of the game. It looked like that goal would be enough to see the visitors take all three points, until Wolves were awarded a penalty in the dying moments. Erik Pieters fouled Raul Jimenez in the box, who went on to cooly place the penalty past Nick Pope and steal a point for Wolves.

Burnley v Wolves Prediction

I think this is going to be a very tight game and I don’t see there being many goals. Burnley are a tough team to break down and have only conceded two goals in their past five games. Even Premier League champions Liverpool only managed to score one past them, which I think indicates just how tough a game it could be. 

Talking ahead of the game, as reported by Wolves, Nuno said:

“It’s always tough. Burnley are a very good team and Sean knows the team, he’s been at the club for a long time, and it’s always very, very difficult to go to Burnley.

“All the games we’ve had against Burnley have been very tough and very demanding. They’re a very good team and Wednesday is going to be a tough challenge for us.”

If Wolves approach this game the same way they approached the game against Everton, threatening and attacking from the get-go, I think they stand a good chance of coming away with something. I’m predicting that Burnley will put up a good fight but Wolves will edge and win 1-0.

Sylvie Devaney is part of the Talking Wolves editorial team – you can follow her on Twitter here.