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Preview: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Burnley - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burnley, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Wolverhampton Wanderers take on Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday, with the visitors looking to put more distance between themselves and the relegation zone.

Wolves, meanwhile, will be aiming to extend their winning run to three matches.


Match preview

Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo pictured on March 2, 2021© Reuters

Having finished seventh in each of their two seasons back in the Premier League since gaining promotion from the Championship in 2018, this campaign has undoubtedly been a more disappointing one for Nuno Espirito Santo's side.

While a relegation battle has never looked remotely on the cards, Wolves have languished in the bottom half of the table for the majority of the season having particularly struggled to cope with Raul Jimenez's long-term head injury, which was sustained in a collision with David Luiz against Arsenal in late November.

However, after enduring a winless run of five matches, the Black Country outfit have bounced back by winning successive matches 1-0 against Fulham and Sheffield United.

Perhaps most positively, Adama Traore has rediscovered his blistering form of last season in recent weeks, scoring an excellent injury-time winner against Fulham before displaying his trademark burst of pace down the right flank, cutting the ball back for Willian Jose to score his first goal for the club since moving from Real Sociedad on loan in January.

Nuno is unlikely to be getting carried away about winning-to-nil against two of the three sides occupying the relegation places, especially given that Fulham and Sheff Utd have scored the fewest goals in the division so far this season.

However, the 47-year-old will also be aware that Burnley are third-bottom in that regard, so having reverted to his favoured back-five system, there is every chance that Nuno's side can keep a third successive clean sheet along the way to gaining a third consecutive victory on Sunday.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche pictured on March 6, 2021© Reuters

Burnley, meanwhile, have slipped down to 17th in the table after suffering three successive defeats.

Uncharacteristically for Sean Dyche's side, it is the defensive end of the pitch which has been the issue in recent weeks, having scored at least once in each of their last six matches, but simultaneously failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last seven games.

The Clarets came close to securing an invaluable point against Manchester United at Old Trafford last weekend, though, with James Tarkowski's header cancelling out Mason Greenwood's opener after the break.

However, as the Red Devils' pressure mounted, Greenwood's 84th-minute deflected effort left Bailey Peacock-Farrell - deputising for the injured Nick Pope between the sticks for Burnley - no chance, with Edinson Cavani finishing off a fine team move in injury time to wrap up a 3-1 win for his side.

Dyche will be demanding a stronger defensive performance from his side on Sunday against a Wolves outfit who are struggling for creativity but equally do not give much away at the other end.

Indeed, this fixture represents Burnley's game in hand on 18th-placed Fulham, who are six points behind the Clarets, so it is a perfect opportunity to all but seal survival for a fifth successive campaign.

Wolverhampton Wanderers Premier League form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Burnley Premier League form:
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L


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Team News

Pedro Neto celebrates scoring for Wolverhampton Wanderers against Chelsea in the Premier League on December 15, 2020© Reuters

Wolves will be without Pedro Neto, who suffered significant damage to his knee cap in the win against Fulham and has subsequently undergone successful surgery.

The Portugal winger joins his compatriot Jonny, who also recently underwent surgery after an ACL injury, on the sidelines until next season.

Ruben Neves is also unavailable once more having tested positive for COVID-19, while Fernando Marcal and Jimenez will almost certainly not be included in the squad due to groin and head injuries respectively.

As such, Nuno is unlikely to make any changes to the XI which dispatched Sheff Utd.

Burnley, meanwhile, hope to have Pope fit to return in goal, with the England shot stopper set to win the race to overcome his recent shoulder injury.

Kevin Long remains a doubt with a calf injury, though, while Ashley Barnes and Robbie Brady have been ruled out for at least another week with muscle issues.

After switching to a 4-5-1 system against Man Utd, Dyche could restore Matej Vydra in attack alongside Chris Wood and revert to his favoured 4-4-2 formation, with Jack Cork potentially making way.

Indeed, the Czech Republic forward could consider himself unfortunate to have been benched after scoring three goals in his previous five starts.

Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Saiss, Coady, Boly; Semedo, Dendoncker, Moutinho, Ait-Nouri; Traore, Jose, Podence

Burnley possible starting lineup:
Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Gudmundsson, Brownhill, Westwood, McNeil; Wood, Vydra


SM words green background

We say: Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Burnley

It is tough to envisage many goals in this game, with both sides generally focused on retaining their defensive shape first and foremost.

Burnley are unbeaten in their last four matches against Wolves, though, so we can envisage them gaining a positive result to end their losing streak and put more distance between themselves and the relegation zone.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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How you voted: Wolves vs Burnley

Wolverhampton Wanderers
57.7%
Draw
28.5%
Burnley
13.8%
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Europa League
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City34255471244780
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd331910464352967
3Leicester CityLeicester34196961392263
4Chelsea341710753312261
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham341771055441158
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs341681060382256
7Liverpool33159955391654
8Everton33157114542352
9Arsenal34147134637949
10Aston Villa331461348381048
11Leeds UnitedLeeds34145155052-247
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34119143346-1342
13Crystal Palace33108153456-2238
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton34813133539-437
15Southampton33107164159-1837
16Burnley3499163147-1636
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3499163656-2036
18Fulham34512172545-2027
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom34511183165-3426
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3452271860-4217

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