PL PREVIEW: Everton v Burnley
Clarets look to sign off on a high at Goodison Park
The Clarets head to Goodison Park to play their final game for three weeks.
After a hectic run of 14 matches in two months since early January, Burnley are headed for an extended international break.
With their scheduled fixture against Leicester City moved to earlier this month because of the Foxes’ FA Cup commitments – and earning the Clarets another handy point from a 1-1 draw – Sean Dyche’s men don’t play again until the Easter weekend following Saturday’s tea-time trip to Everton.
The Clarets will therefore be looking to take further momentum with them into the international break and maintain an advantage over the bottom three placings.
Burnley are still well placed four points clear of the relegation places on the back of a solid run of results.
And while sixth placed Everton will make it tough for the Clarets to add to their 30 point tally, boss Sean Dyche isn’t setting immediate targets or working out the possible permutations in the battle to stay up near the bottom of the table.
“It will take whatever it takes,” he said.
“We have a belief in what we do internally and we try to be balanced about external views.
“I’m looking at us and what we’re doing.”
The Clarets are likely to be without Ashley Barnes (thigh) and Jack Cork and Charlie Taylor, who both have hamstring injuries.
Robbie Brady – who scored in a 1-1 draw against Everton in December – faces a fitness check on his Achilles tendon issue.
Everton will be missing playmaker James Rodriguez (calf), midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure, who has suffered a fracture in a foot, and utility man Fabian Delph.
Gylfi Sigurdsson may miss out on a meeting with Iceland international team-mate Johann Berg Gudmundsson due to an ankle injury.
But defenders Yerry Mina and Seamus Coleman are back in training and could return for the Toffees.
The Clarets have lost only one of their last seven league games.
Only Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham have beaten Burnley in their last 11 league fixtures since winning at Liverpool in January.
However, Sean Dyche’s men have won only one of their last nine league fixtures – a 3-0 success at Crystal Palace last month.
Everton have won three and lost three of their last six Premier League games to sit sixth in the table – four points outside the top four.
A 2-0 defeat at top four rivals Chelsea last weekend brought to an end a run of three successive victories.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side beat Southampton 1-0 in their last home game but before that had gone five league games in a row without winning at Goodison Park – losing four of them.
They did beat Tottenham in the FA Cup during that run and entertain Manchester City in the quarter-finals next weekend.
Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti on Burnley: “I like their style of play... a clear 4-4-2.
“I was born in 4-4-2, with [former AC Milan and Italy manager] Arrigo Sacchi, as a player, then his assistant.
“I respect their style of play and like it a lot. They are not inventing new football, but they are playing really good 4-4-2.
“Football was invented a long time ago, the managers who think they can invent football are wrong.”
Clarets’ goalkeeper Nick Pope is set to make his 100th Premier League start, having started his top-flight career as a substitute against Crystal Palace in September 2017.
Burnley defender James Tarkowski is line to make his 150th Premier League appearance.
Midfielder Ashley Westwood is set to play in his 250th Premier League game. He has played in 125 top-flight games for Burnley and 124 for Aston Villa.
Burnley striker Matej Vydra could play in his 300th game in English football. His first came for Watford against Wycombe Wanderers in the Capital One Cup in August 2012.
The Clarets are looking to complete wins at Anfield and Goodison Park in the same season for the first time following their victory at Liverpool in January.
Burnley have won five of their 13 Premier League matches against Everton, a total bettered only by their six victories against Bournemouth and Crystal Palace.
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Sat, Feb 5, 2022