The Breakdown | Burnley vs Wolves

Wolves are aiming for their first win in three in all competitions when they head north to take on a Burnley side looking to close the gap on the sides above the relegation drop zone.

#1 Inside both camps

Much has been made about Wolves’ injury woes to the team’s strike force in recent months, with four of the five senior forwards having spent the last few weeks on the treatment table together, but Gary O’Neil’s men have been handed a boost ahead of this evening’s fixture, with Matheus Cunha set to feature in a matchday squad for the first time in two months after getting injured just minutes into the home loss to Brentford, having scored his first Premier League hat-trick the previous week at Chelsea. Although fellow forwards Hee Chan Hwang, Jean-Ricner Bellegarde and Pedro Neto are still out, it’s touch and go as to whether defender Craig Dawson will be back in the line-up.

Burnley will welcome back forward David Fofana after being ineligible to face his parent club in the 2-2 draw at Chelsea on Saturday, but they will be missing defender Lorenz Assignon after his sending off against the Blues. But he wasn’t the only Burnley man to see red at the weekend, with manager Vincent Kompany also being sent from the touchline after the contentious penalty incident. On the injury front, Kompany will be without Nathan Redmond (thigh), Aaron Ramsey (knee) and Luca Koleosho (knee) after the latter suffered injury in the reverse fixture at Molineux, while the match is likely to be too soon for Jordan Beyer and Ameen Al-Dakhil to return.

#2 Coming into it

The Old Gold are aiming for their first win in three in all competitions on Tuesday night, after falling out of the FA Cup at the quarter-final stage to Coventry City before Saturday evening’s 2-0 defeat at Villa Park. However, O’Neil’s side had won three of their previous four before their recent pair of losses, including claiming three points at Molineux against Fulham in the top flight three games ago, so the team will be determined to get back to winning ways at Turf Moor.

Wolves’ last three | L 0-2 Aston Villa (A) – L 2-3 Coventry City (H) – W 2-1 Fulham (H)

Burnley are in the best form of their season at the moment, having gone three Premier League games without loss as they look to make their way out of the relegation zone, with two of their undefeated games coming on the road in the capital, as they followed up a 2-2 draw at West Ham United with the same result at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. A home win over 10-man Brentford came between those matches.

Burnley’s last three | D 2-2 Chelsea (A) – W 2-1 Brentford (H) – D 2-2 West Ham United (A)

#3 Since last time

Wolves 1 Burnley 0 | 5th December 2023

Hee Chan Hwang found his ninth goal of the season to fire Wolves to a scrappy victory over Burnley back in December. In a game lacking in big chances, but no shortage of effort, Wolves punished Burnley for a fifth half error, as Pablo Sarabia and Matheus Cunha combined to set up Hwang, who did the rest, knocking home the only goal of the night. That moment of quality wasn’t repeated after the break, but didn’t have to be, as Wolves saw out the win by keeping their first clean sheet since August, with Dan Bentley producing a fine double save before Hwang scored the decisive goal before the break.

Wolves’ XI | Bentley, Semedo, Kilman, Dawson, Toti, H. Bueno, M. Lemina, Gomes, Sarabia, Hwang, Cunha.

From the Wolves side which started against the Clarets last time out, match-winner, Hwang will be unavailable for Tuesday’s match, with the forward still sidelined with a hamstring injury, while Cunha and Dawson could return. Jose Sa is expected to be back in goal having missed out in December. Burnley will be without Koleosho after the knee injury he suffered just after the half hour mark at Molineux, but two additions who weren’t Claret players in December could feature – Fofana and Maxime Esteve.

Burnley’s XI | Trafford, Vitinho, O’Shea, Ekdal, Taylor, Larsen, Berge, Brownhill, Koleosho, Rodriguez, Amdouni.

#4 In the media

After Wolves’ defeat to Aston Villa on Saturday evening, BBC Sport’s Callum Matthews acknowledged the impact of O’Neil missing three key members of his attack, in what is still an encouraging season from the Old Gold.

“Wolves and Gary O'Neil are hampered. There is simply no getting away from that at the moment. The absence of Pedro Neto, Hwang Hee-chan and Matheus Cunha leaves a lack of quality and creativity in the final third and leaves their squad depth extremely exposed at this level. O'Neil's side started strongly at Villa Park and if Rayan Ait-Nouri had converted his early chance the result may well have been different. The opener halted the momentum that Wolves had built up and a comeback never looked likely. Still, this has been an encouraging campaign for Wolves and a run of three defeats in four doesn't change that.”

Matt Scrafton of Burnley Express believes Burnley’s showing against Chelsea with 10 men on Saturday proves the Clarets are still fighting and in with a chance of avoiding the drop this season.

“In avoiding defeat in three consecutive league games for the first time this season, Burnley have just proven they’re still very much alive in the fight against relegation. There’s still a pulse. After witnessing this incredible display of guts, determination, resilience and most importantly quality, that might even be underplaying it. The gap to safety, as large as 11 points only a few weeks ago, now sits at just four. When you’re chasing and the games are quickly running out, victories are the order of the day. But who knows, this hard-earned and thoroughly deserved point could well prove crucial come the end of the season.”