Burnley head to Merseyside today aiming to spoil Carlo Ancelotti’s welcome party.
The Clarets are in fine spirits ahead of the festive clash at Everton, following successive clean sheets that have carried them into the top 10 for Christmas.
Sean Dyche’s resolute side denied Newcastle and Bournemouth a shot on target in those successive games; the first and second time they have achieved that feat in over 200 Premier League games,
That made it an impressive seven shut-outs this season; a total only equalled by high-flying Leicester City.
And the Burnley chief knows the important of keeping it clean at Everton, where Italian Ancelotti takes charge of his first game for the Toffeemen.
“It’s certainly helpful to get clean sheets. That’s seven this season and it’s not easy to keep clean sheets in the Premier League,” said Dyche.
“After the last game it was mentioned again about there being no shots on target against us in the last two games, which is even more tricky.
“It’s going to be tricky to carry that on, but clean sheets are an important factor in football and if you can get that right, then you have an increased chanced of being successful.”
Ancelotti, who has won domestic titles in England, France, Spain and Germany in a glittering managerial career, arrives looking to banish the blues at Goodison Park.
And Dyche feels the Italian adds another layer of quality to a league already packed with some of the world’s top talent.
He said: “The big-name managers add to the profile of the league. I’ve noticed the change in my time and there’s now a lot more emphasis on the managers than there was before.
“The level of quality certainly rises when people like him come into it.
“Even with his fantastic background, a few days is not a long time to change things overall. However, you usually get a response from the players
“But without a shadow of a doubt, it’s a different challenge.
"I don’t know what his remit is and it's an interesting one, but Carlo must have gone in thinking he can make it a very successful place.”