Everton vs Burnley Preview: Blues facing difficult Clarets clash

A preview of Everton’s Sunday afternoon clash with Burnley.

Everton vs Burnley Preview: Blues facing difficult Clarets clash
Everton dejected after a 2-2 draw with Apollon Limassol in the Europa League. Photo: Jay Barratt/Getty Images

Everton host Burnley on Sunday afternoon, hoping to put their dismal 2-2 draw with Apollon Limassol in the Europa League behind them.

Prior to Thursday nights draw, the Blues had picked up consecutive wins over Sunderland, in the League Cup and AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League but reverted to type during the week.

It doesn’t get any easier for Ronald Koeman’s squad in the league as Sean Dyche’s Clarets side will be looking for a win away from Turf Moor and to take a scalp at the expense of the Blues.

The last time the two teams met at Goodison Park, Koeman’s side ran out 3-1 winners after a late own goal from Ben Mee and a Romelu Lukaku goal. The departed spun now Everton defender Michael Keane to wrap up all three points for the Blues.

However, Keane is struggling to be fit for Sunday and will face a number of late fitness tests prior to kick-off, as will captain Phil Jagielka.

In Focus: Time to panic?

With another Premier League game in sight, the talk surrounding Everton is again about bouncing back.

After breaking the club’s transfer record numerous times over the summer and spending like never before, Koeman’s team just haven’t clicked as had been expected.

Consecutive wins over Sunderland and AFC Bournemouth came and went as the momentum was allowed to slip away during Thursday’s disappointing draw with Limassol. Goodison Park is yet again restless and the manager is under fire.

18 months ago, Koeman strolled into Finch Farm and was exactly the man that the ‘new’ Everton required. A realist, who tells it like it is and doesn’t beat around the bush, a welcome breath of fresh air but since last April, it’s all gone quite stale.

Despite the signs of recovery that last season produced, key players left without being truly replaced, other key players have been left out in the wild and square pegs are being used to try and fill round holes.

Whilst the tricky start to the Premier League fixture list allowed breathing room, the oxygen has been quickly sucked out of the room.

Farhad Moshiri may be allowing Koeman the time to try and turn the ship around, the Goodison Park natives aren’t likely to provide the same patience.

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A look at: Burnley

Burnley currently sit ninth in the table and have produced a good start to the new Premier League campaign. On the opening day, Sean Dyche’s side ran out shock winner away at Chelsea and followed it up with a late draw against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley to round out September.

Dyche’s side also managed to get a draw away to Liverpool and beat Crystal Palace at Turf Moor but struggled to break down Huddersfield Town last time out.

The English boss’ side are a tough customer and no easy three points, as they’ve proven early in this season.

Key striker Andre Gray may have departed for Watford but signing Chris Wood from Leeds United has helped the Clarets swiftly replace their former key man.

With confidence growing, Dyche may opt to try and beat Everton from the first whistle instead of waiting to pick the Blues off on the counter-attack.

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Probable line-ups

Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Holgate, Williams, Baines, Gueye, Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Rooney, Niasse and Calvert-Lewin.

Burnley: Pope, Ward, Mee, Tarkowski, Lowton, Cork, Defour, Hendrick, Arfield, Brady and Wood.

Match Day stats

1. Everton have suffered just one home defeat to the Clarets since 1963.

2. Burnley have only kept one clean sheet in the last 32 meetings between the clubs.

3. The Blues have won 11 of their last 13 Premier League home fixtures.