Everton face a 'very, very tough game' at Burnley says Sam Allardyce

Everton face a 'very, very tough game' at Burnley says Sam Allardyce

Pre-match comments from the Blues boss ahead of his side's trip to Turf Moor on Saturday lunchtime.

Connor Bennett

Sam Allardyce says Sean Dyche has done a ‘fabulous’ job with Burnley this season and his side face a ‘very, very tough game’ against the Clarets.

Everton travel to Turf Moor on Saturday lunchtime, looking for their first win away from Goodison Park since December.

When asked about the job Dyche has done this season, Allardyce said: “Fabulous. I think they were top four at one stage and looking like it almost may sustain a little bit longer.

“I think they’re very well organised and difficult to beat, I think that is certainly the case, particularly on their own patch. I think that they have perhaps not scored that many but they certainly don’t concede many.”

The Blues boss continued: “As ever, it’ll be very, very tough game and from our point of view, they’ve struggled to win games recently so there’s an opportunity for us to go and play better than we did at Watford.

“I think that’s an absolute necessity.”

Baines and Coleman return

The Blues will be boosted by the returns of Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines back to the travelling party for Saturday’s fixture but remain without Ramiro Funes Mori.

Everton have had to chop and change at the full-back positions all season long and the returns of their two star men will be a big boost in the run to the end of the campaign.

“Both Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines are back in the squad,” said Allardyce. Phil Jagielka has started training yesterday as well so there are a few players back that are important to us.”

“(Ramiro) Funes Mori is not back in the squad yet. He is training but has Jagielka, Michael Keane, Mason Holgate and Ashley Williams ahead of him in central defence,” he added.  “You can see why he needs a bit more training and perhaps another Under-23 game.

"Then we can see where we go from there.”

The Argentine defender has been named in Jorge Sampaoli’s squad for friendlies against Italy and Spain later this month and Allardyce said that he will be allowed to partake in those games.

"The game will do him good if he plays,” the Everton boss stated.

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Weather wreaking havoc

Like many others, the Blues have fallen victim to the winter weather that has swept across the country this week.

"We are unlikely to get on the pitch today because of the wind,” the 63-year-old said.

"You are barely able to keep the ball on the floor and keep it still. We have a small indoor area which we can use,” he continued.

“We have the analysts who give the right info to the players so they'll still visually see what Burnley do and what their strengths and weaknesses are for tomorrow.

“They (the players) have to take that information into the game and go and play their best.”