Burnley went into the runaway Premier League champions’ lair and emerged with a 1-1 draw against Liverpool on Saturday, becoming the first English visitors to leave Anfield unscathed since January 2019. However, for one of the Clarets’ players, another fiendish task awaits just after going toe-to-toe with the Merseysiders.
As Sean Dyche’s first-choice left-back, Charlie Taylor is the man who will likely have the job of trying to keep a certain Adama Traore quiet when Wolves visit Turf Moor tomorrow evening. It wasn’t something he had to worry about in the reverse fixture last August as he was an unused substitute that day.
The 26-year-old Burnley defender has enjoyed a decent season, maintaining a regular first team place and averaging 2.6 clearances, two successful aerial duels, 1.7 successful tackles and 1.3 interceptions per game (as per WhoScored).
He could feel rather pleased with his performance against Liverpool at the weekend, in which he made four clearances and one interception, along with winning one tackle and two headers (as per WhoScored). He managed that despite having to deal with Mohamed Salah, one of the leading scorers in the Premier League this term and a Golden Boot winner in the last two years.
Having done a good job on the Egyptian, though, Taylor will again have a daunting task on his hands against Wolves and Traore, who is likely to start having only appeared as a substitute in their 3-0 win over Everton on Sunday.
Who will come out on top in this duel?
The Spanish right winger has six goals and 12 assists to his name this season, yet it is his pace which is perhaps his greatest asset. As noted by Birmingham Live, his sprint speed of just under 23 miles per hour is the fastest of any Premier League player.
Also, his match average of five successful dribbles is the highest in the division this term, while he is among the league’s most fouled players, winning 2.1 free kicks per game (via WhoScored).
Traore’s goal threat may have diminished in recent months – he last scored in the Premier League in December – but the statistics above highlight how tough an opponent he can be. Tomorrow, it will almost certainly be Taylor’s turn to pit his wits against the Wolves speedster and see whether he can put the shackles on a player who, according to Football Insider, has been valued at £70m by his club.
Burnley fans, how worried are you by the threat of Traore? Can Taylor keep a handle on him? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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