Burnley v Wolves: Dyche's solid Clarets to tough it out

Andrew Atherley says the hosts can edge a low-scoring match on Monday evening...

Burnley v Wolves
Monday 21 December, 17:30
Live on Sky Sports

Burnley back to basics

Burnley have been clawing their way out of the relegation zone in recent weeks with a run of only one defeat in their last six games.

That sole loss was a big one (5-0 at Manchester City) but otherwise Sean Dyche has re-established the basics of a solid, compact set-up.

Dyche's injury list is easing. Dale Stephens and Phil Bardsley could be in contention for starting places soon, while Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Jack Cork are a little further behind on the recovery path.

Winning boost for Wolves

Wolves got back to winning ways in midweek with a 2-1 comeback victory at home to Chelsea, sealed by Pedro Neto's 90th-minute winner.

That was a welcome three points for Nuno Espirito Santo as there has been a sense that his side are underachieving this season, with Leicester, Southampton, Everton and even West Ham having moved ahead of them in the race to be the team to shake up the top six or even the top four.

Leander Dendoncker and Willy Boly are doubtful after picking up injuries in the Chelsea match.

Joao Moutinho is available again following suspension but Raul Jimenez and Jonny remain sidelined.

Attacking action in short supply

Burnley managed only one point from their first six matches but have taken nine points from their second set of six games.

One key factor has been that Dyche's side have kept a clean sheet in four of the last six (for two wins and two draws), whereas their only shutout in the opening set of matches was the goalless draw at West Brom.

The other important element is that Burnley's early fixture list was tough (they lost to highflyers Leicester, Southampton, Tottenham and Chelsea in the first six) but has eased in recent weeks.

Wolves arguably were held back by a glut of draws last season (a joint league high of 14) but they would probably have liked a few more draws this season as they have had a more up-and-down record (six wins and five defeats from their 13 games).

Nuno's side are clearly a bit easier to beat this season, as they are already more than halfway to last season's total of nine defeats.

Four of those defeats have been against teams above them, however, and they are still pretty solid against the lesser teams, having beaten Sheffield United, Fulham, Leeds and Crystal Palace to nil.

The issue when it comes to backing Wolves at short odds is that they are a low-scoring side - just 13 goals in their first 13 games.

That leaves them reliant on a tight defence for their best results - W4 D0 L0 with a clean sheet and W2 D2 L5 without.

Burnley are even lower scoring but it would be simplistic to say Wolves have a clear enough advantage to edge what is likely to be a low-scoring game.

Look back to last season when both matches between these sides ended 1-1 (in both cases the home side rescued a point with a last-minute penalty).

If there is a winner, it could well be to nil and it is hard to say Wolves are as clear favourites to come out on top as odds of 2.3 indicate.

It could be worth taking Burnley to tough it out with a win to nil at 4/1 with Betfair Sportsbook.

Low goals figures

Burnley's defensive set-up is still their strong point and has resulted in eight of their 12 games (67%) having under 2.5 goals. Four out of five at home have had under 2.5 goals.

Wolves have similar goals figures with eight of their first 13 games (62%) having under 2.5 goals.

If you took out games against Manchester City, Leicester and Chelsea, the figures for both sides would lean even more towards under 2.5 goals at 1.54.

Under 1.5 goals at 2.72 is also worth considering. Burnley lead that category with 58% unders.

Opta Stat

Wolves have won just one of their last eight league meetings with Burnley (D4 L3), winning 1-0 at home in the Premier League in September 2018. Wolves are 6.8 for a 1-0 win.

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