The rise of Wolverhampton Wanderers has been nothing short of astonishing. They not only won the EFL Championship but did so with an astonishing 99 points. And since they’ve moved up to the Premier League, they’ve looked very impressive indeed. That being said though, the start of the Wolves’ season has not been without its difficulties. They kicked things off with a disappointing draw to Everton.
It’s also been one which has already had highlights, including their tense 1-1 draw with record-breaking defending champions Manchester City. Still, with only a single win under their belt and a humbling 2-0 loss to Leicester along the way, they are far from unbeatable.
Few think Burnley are the ones to beat them. Their first game of the season, a draw with Southampton, was sadly also the highlight, with the team having lost every single Premier League game since then. Their fall from last year’s very respectable league showing may end up rivalling the rise of the Wolves if they keep going like this.
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Burnley Prediction: Wolverhampton Wanderer 1-0 Burnley
Things change quickly in football, and Burnley are in danger of going into freefall. A match against a hungry, dangerous team like the Wolves will be tough. They could make a shock comeback, but based on recent performances, we doubt it. So, if our pick is Wolverhampton Wanderers for the win, then the question remains by what margin?
We actually don’t see Wolves running away with this, as we think Burnley have enough left in them to put up a fight. On the other hand, they will find it hard to make it through Wolverhampton’s defences. With that in mind, our prediction is a 1-0 win for the Wolves.
Our recommended tip: Wolves win to nil
Wolverhampton are clearly the bookmakers’ favourite to win this match, as they come into this contest with a 54% win probability compared to Burnley’s 19%. Ladbrokes are giving the home side match results of 8/11, which is a pretty safe wager to make. Those who want to go slightly higher risk though can predict that the Wolves’ defence will simply prove to be too much for a struggling Burnley and that the home team will manage to keep a clean sheet, as Ladbrokes have more competitive 31/20 odds on the side winning to nil.
Their previous matches show just how dramatic the change in trajectory has been. The Wolves are clear favourites here but in their last two meetings, they ended up at a stalemate, drawing 1-1 in 2016 and 0-0 in 2015. The last win actually went to today’s underdogs Burnley, in a 2-1 2013 thrash, and they got the win again in a 2-0 effort back in 2012.
Believe it or not, you actually have to go all the way back to 2010 to find a Wolves win. We suppose that means that Burnley has a slight advantage, but we don’t think it will matter much in 2018.
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Players to watch: Rúben Neves & James Tarkowski
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Rúben Neves
It appeared to be his time to shine when he scored the first goal of the season against Everton, and although he hasn’t hit the back of the net since, Neves’ sophisticated style on the pitch is a terrific asset to the Wolves’ overall play. He doesn’t make the headlines as often as he should, but keep an eye on Rúben Neves: his ability as a long-range goal scorer makes him one of Wolves’ secret weapons.
Fulham: James Tarkowski
Although it may be understandable considering how underutilised James Tarkowski has been in the past, few anticipated him becoming the top goalscorer for the team so far this season, even at these early stages. Whether or not this will keep up remains to be seen, but now he appears to have found a killer instinct. His contribution could be something very special indeed and hopefully will prove to be exactly what Burnley need to get out of this slump.