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Olympiakos v Burnley: Matej Vydra could make debut in Europa League qualifier

Matej Vydra has only made two appearances for Burnley’s Under-23 side since joining from Derby this month

Striker Matej Vydra could make his Burnley debut in their Europa League qualifying play-off first leg against Olympiakos in Athens on Thursday.

The 26-year-old Czech has been short of match fitness since joining the Clarets from Derby County earlier this month.

Winger Robbie Brady, midfielder Steven Defour and goalkeepers Nick Pope and Anders Lindegaard remain unavailable.

Burnley have beaten Aberdeen and Istanbul Basaksehir to reach this stage while Olympiakos defeated Luzern.

Goalkeeper Tom Heaton was registered alongside Vydra after missing the previous two rounds with a calf injury.

Clarets manager Sean Dyche says the Greek side’s pitch is “not great” but he is “not too worried about it”.

Olympiakos were granted special dispensation by Uefa over the playing surface, and the visitors trained at Panionios’ Nea Smyrni Stadium instead of the hosts’ Karaiskakis Stadium on Wednesday.

“It’s not ideal, but to be fair I’m sure this club don’t want it like that,” said Dyche.

“It’s a challenge, but this whole competition will be a challenge.”

The second leg will take place at Turf Moor on Thursday, 30 August.

Match facts

  • Burnley will be the eighth different English team to face Olympiakos in European competition, but the first outside of the Champions League since 2005, when Newcastle lost both legs against them in the last 16 of the Uefa Cup.
  • Burnley are unbeaten in their four European games under Dyche (W2 D2), keeping a clean sheet in both legs of the previous round against Istanbul Basaksehir.
  • English sides have won two of their past 10 away games in Greece in European competition (D4 L4), however those have come in the most recent two.
  • Olympiakos have lost just one of their 10 games in Uefa Cup/Europa League qualifying, winning nine of those, including both games in 2018-19 (4-0 and 3-1 v FC Luzern).
  • On home soil, Olympiakos have a 100% records in Uefa Cup/Europa League qualifying, winning their five games by an aggregate score of 15-3.
  • Jack Cork is Burnley’s top scorer in the current Europa League qualifying campaign (two), including netting the winning goal in the previous round against Istanbul Basaksehir (1-0).