Everton v Burnley

The nightmare beginning to the new campaign seemed to be well and truly over for Everton… before Thursday, that is.

Home comforts have proved to be the key for the Blues in recent weeks.

And after two domestic wins and an unsatisfactory European draw, Burnley are the visitors to L4 – Everton’s fourth straight game at The Grand Old Lady.

The victories may have only come against Championship relegation threatened Sunderland, and a Bournemouth side who were then one of only two clubs below Everton in the league, the less said about a more than disappointing draw against a team ranked third best in Cyprus, Apollon Limassol, the better.

After four straight losses without even scoring before the last three games, confidence must be back on the up within the squad.
Even with Thursday’s shambles, there are flickering signs of the Blues regaining their nous in front of goal.

It’s keeping them out at the other end that seems to be the problem.

Burnley currently sit comfortably in ninth with two wins, three draws and a loss to their name.
They have already visited and avoided defeat at Stamford Bridge, Wembley and Anfield this term.

Boss Sean Dyche will be a happy man.

The Clarets achieved their aim of staying in the division last time around, now they will want to push on.

Continuing their run of good results away at the big grounds will be the main objective of Sunday’s visitors.

Burnley’s danger men –

Chris Wood has been a revelation since his move from Championship outfit Leeds in the summer.
The captain of the New Zealand national team looks a totally different player since his last spell in the Premier League for Leicester in 2014.

But of course, he has experience putting the ball in the back of Everton’s net having fired his only PL goal for the Foxes in a 2-2 draw at the KP Stadium in the 2014/15 season curtain raiser.

Wide-man Robbie Brady has one of the most dangerous crosses of a ball in the division, and with Wood standing at 6ft3, and strike partner Sam Vokes at 6ft2, there are two towering figures ready for a pinpoint cross from the Irishman. He’ll most certainly be keeping Everton’s struggling defenders on their toes.

But onto the Boys in the Royal Blue Jerseys…

Ronald Koeman will again be without Phil Jagielka and there will be no reunion for former Burnley man Michael Keane. Both injured.

But Oumar Niasse, who seemed a massive miss in Europe (who would’ve thought that would be the case less than a month ago?), is eligible for selection and will be hoping to pick up where he left off last Saturday against the Cherries…

So, Sunday is a massive chance to move further up the league table for Koeman’s troops – and to build a bit of momentum, before a tough run of clashes begin after the international break with a trip to Brighton… but lots could happen before then. Fingers crossed the blues make it three wins for their last four outings.

Up the Toffees.

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