Burnley vs Everton Preview: Hosts keen to respond against Toffees

After over three weeks away from the comforts of home, Burnley return to Turf Moor keen to rectify that heartbreaking defeat against Arsenal earlier this month, when Everton come to town on Saturday.

Many fans will take to their seats with memories of Laurent Koscielny’s dramatic late winner still raw, but a win against the Toffees would be the perfect tonic to abate those scars and breathe new life into the Clarets.

An international break – in which five Burnley players were a feature for their respective countries – was followed by a 3-1 defeat at Southampton, inflicted chiefly by former Clarets striker Charlie Austin, who notched a brace.

Previous encounters

Everton have the upper hand in the 107 games played between the two sides, winning 47 to Burnley’s 32. Their previous visit to East Lancashire saw the Toffees run out comfortable 3-1 winners - on that occasion, Samuel Eto’o was the architect of Burnley’s sorrow with two expert finishes, and Romelu Lukaku also chipped in, while Danny Ings scored for the Clarets.

The last time Burnley emerged victorious from this fixture was seven years ago, in what was the first Premier League meeting between the two sides. Wade Elliott’s accurately clipped finish earned Burnley their second consecutive home win of the 2009/10 Premier League campaign, before former Everton striker Louis Saha blazed a free-kick wide at the other end as the Clarets held on for victory.

Wade Elliott's strike was the difference in August 2009 (Photo: Getty Images)

Since then, however, Everton have had the better of this fixture, with a run of three wins – including that 3-1 win two years ago – leaving them one short of matching their four-match winning run between 1968 and 1970. As an aside, Burnley have found the net in their last 18 home league games against Everton – a run only bettered by their streaks against Fulham (24) and Aston Villa (35).

Season statistics

After recording a season-high 11 saves in one match against Southampton last weekend, Burnley captain Tom Heaton now tops the overall standings for saves made in the Premier League this season, with 39. Indeed, those 11 saves in one game were the highest this season not just in England, but across Spain, Italy, Germany and France.

Ahead of him, the centre-half partnership of Michael Keane and Ben Mee adds a fine veneer to Heaton’s hard work. The pair are in the top five players for most clearances (Mee 73 and Keane 71) this season, while Keane tops the most headed clearances list with 52, and Mee on 40.

Burnley’s solidness bodes well for this weekend, with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku the second highest scorer in the division and Yannick Bolasie likewise for assists. In fact, the pair have struck up a strong understanding of each’s other’s game; all of Bolasie’s assists have been for the Belgian striker.

Team news

Lukaku’s compatriot, Burnley’s Steven Defour, has been ruled out with a hamstring injury, sustained in the loss at St Mary’s last weekend.

Striker Andre Gray will serve the fourth and final game of his suspension, while fellow frontman Ashley Barnes is not yet ready for first-team football, despite playing 45 minutes against Sheffield Wednesday for club's U23 squad in midweek.

Everton remain without Leighton Baines, Muhamed Besic and Darron Gibson, while Koeman has suggested Ross Barkley may return to the squad after being left out for the 1-1 draw with Manchester City last weekend.