Burnley go into Sunday’s game against Wolves still looking for a first Premier League win to kick start their season.
Much has been made of the Clarets’ European exploits, which alongside their small squad (that has seen injuries to key players), is being widely blamed for the sluggish start to the Premier League campaign. However, with the Europa League now behind them and the opportunity to regroup during last weekend’s International break, the Clarets must now be looking to push on.
However, they face an opponent in Wolves who have spent heavily, who are enjoying a honeymoon period as a newly promoted club, and can boast one of the early season stars of the Premier League campaign thus far, in Ruben Neves.
Wolves’ start to the season is in marked contrast to the Clarets – they’re playing confident, high-tempo football and getting excellent results – most recently when they were unfortunate to only take a point from champions Man City, and latterly when they sealed a last minute victory away at West Ham, when Adama Troare scored his first goal for the club.
However, to make a case for the Clarets, they are the type of dogged, wily opponent against whom newly promoted teams usually come unstuck. They should prove very hard to break down and at some point Burnley’s mis-firing front line is sure to come good. And despite the current feel-good factor at Molineux Wolves have only scored one goal more than Burnley this season and have twice played against ten men!
Another factor that may have some bearing on the game is the fact that referee Andre Marriner has some history with Wolves. A West-Midlander himself, he is deeply unpopular with the Wolves support and it’s rumoured that the club raised objections to him when they were last in the Premier League.
With all things taken into account Wolves will be favourites to win this game. However, following the international break and the opportunity to clear their heads of a post-Europa League hangover, the Clarets should provide a much sterner test for the Premier League new boys. Following the limp effort against Manchester United, I’m expecting a back-to-basics performance and a 1-1 draw.
It’s difficult to predict Burnley’s starting line up with players coming back from injuries and returning from international commitments. However, I’m going to go for:- Hart, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Ward, Lennon, Cork, Westwood, Taylor, kendrick, Wood.