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Next Up: Wolves v Clarets

PUBLISHED

10:26 25th April 2013

Huge encounter at Molineux

Wolves host Burnley at Molineux this Saturday, needing a positive result as they battle to retain their Championship status.

The home side go into the game in the league's bottom three, adrift of Peterborough - who host Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend - on goal difference, and four points behind Burnley, whose point against champions Cardiff last weekend took them a step closer to safety.

Despite losing the reverse fixture at Turf Moor earlier in the season, Wolves have a fine recent record against the Lancastrians.

Prior to the game up at Burnley in November, the last time the two sides met was in the Premier League in the 2009/2010 campaign, when Mick McCarthy's Wolves did the double over the doomed Clarets.

The meeting at Molineux was played in controversial circumstances, after McCarthy had elected to rest a number of first team regulars for the previous game - away against Manchester United - so they were fresh for the crunch game with Owen Coyle's Burnley.

The decision led to criticism from both supporters and the media, but the manager was vindicated as goals from Nenad Milijas and Kevin Doyle gave Wolves a crucial three points. 

Later on in that campaign, Wanderers completed the double over Burnley, when an own goal and a Matt Jarvis strike helped them to a 2-1 victory at Turf Moor.

Those wins ensured that Wolves finished the season eight points clear of 18th-placed Burnley, who went down with Hull City and Portsmouth.

The two sides had been promoted together from the Championship during the previous season - Wolves as champions and Burnley as play-off winners - and each won their home fixture during that campaign.

A Michael Kightly double earned Wolves a 2-0 victory at Molineux in the November, but an early Chris McCann goal ensured that McCarthy's promotion-chasing team left Turf Moor with nothing to show for their efforts on Valentine's Day.

Overall, the last 30 meetings between the sides have seen 22 Wolves wins, two draws and just six Burnley victories.

Wolves have also won nine of the last twelve games at Molineux - scoring 24 times over those twelve matches.

Saturday will also see the 25th anniversary one of the most famous games between the two clubs marked, as Wolves welcome back members of the side that defeated Burnley in the 1988 Sherpa Van Trophy final at Wembley.

Graham Turner's Wolves - who had already been crowned Fourth Division champions - took on Brian Miller's Burnley in front of over 80,000 fans at the national stadium, with goals from Andy Mutch and Robbie Dennison giving Wanderers a memorable win.

The current Burnley side boasts two former Molineux men - Jason Shackell and Sam Vokes.

Defender Shackell was signed by McCarthy from Norwich in 2008, but failed to cement a regular starting place as Wolves chased the Championship title. With the likes of Jody Craddock, Richard Stearman, Neill Collins and Christophe Berra ahead of him in the pecking order, he was loaned back to the Canaries in February 2009.

After a further loan spell at Doncaster Rovers, he was sold to Barnsley in 2010.

Welsh international Vokes was also signed by McCarthy ahead of the 2008/2009 promotion season, and will be remembered fondly for his contribution to Wolves' success that year.

He marked his debut with a late equaliser from the bench against Plymouth Argyle at Home Park, and went on to score a further seven goals, including a memorable late double away at Charlton and a first-minute opener against his former club Southampton as Wolves closed in on promotion.

Vokes made further substitute appearances in the top flight, but was loaned out to numerous clubs before signing for Burnley on a permanent deal last summer.


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