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Everton hoping to get back to winning ways against Burnley

Toffees seek first win in a month at Turf Moor

Leicester City v Burnley - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

After a couple of wobbly performances immediately prior to the international break Everton rediscovered their steely backbone during last week's commendable 1-1 draw at Man City.

The heroics of Maarten Stekelenburg were, of course, key to Everton taking a point at the Etihad Stadium. But to pin it all one one player would be neglecting a fine defensive and tactical performance by a side that's quickly taking on board their new manager's message.

Ronald Koeman has already proven to be a shrewd tactician, analysing the opposition and setting his team up accordingly.

He got his tactics spot on last weekend, setting the side up to frustrate and condense space before utilising the pace of Yannick Bolasie and power of Romelu Lukaku to hit on the counter.

After becoming such a soft touch under Roberto Martinez it was pleasing to see the side show such resiliance and again raises hopes of a successful season ahead.

Next up is a trip to Burnley and a game that couldn't be more different to last weekend.

Gone are the plush futuristic surroundings of the Etihad to be replaced by the rustic, old-world charm of Turf Moor.

A vastly different approach will be needed too with Everton certain to enjoy more of the ball but required to break down a well organised Clarets defence.

Despite the optimism generated by last Saturday's performance it is now more than a month since Everton last picked up three points.

If Everton are to challenge for the European places this is a game they really should be winning.


Burnley are in danger of becoming English football's latest yo-yo club. Relegated from the Premier League in 2015 the Clarets bounced back by winning the Championship last time out. And although they have made an encouraging start to life back in the top flight, their meagre budget in comparison to the majority of their rivals suggests they face a real battle to avoid an immediate return to the second tier.

It's not all doom and gloom of course. Their manager, Sean Dyche, is one of the brightest young coaches in the game and has done tremendously well to fashion a competitive outfit without spending vast sums of cash.

It isn't exactly subtle mind. As discussed in Mike's excellent tactical preview Burnley tend to deploy two banks of four and look to get it forward quickly to their frontmen.

I don't have a problem with that, they are playing to their strengths and seeking to mitigate a huge gulf in finances between themselves and the majority of the league.

Their summer signings were mainly reliable lower league players such as Jeff Hendrick from Derby and Johan Berg Gudmundsson from Charlton.

The star arrival was Belgian Steven Defour for £8m from Anderlecht. Much of their creativity will be channeled through him, making his absence through injury on Saturday a huge boost.

Any successful survival bid will be built on their home form where they look a much tougher proposition than on their travels.

All seven of their points have been earned at Turf Moor this season including that memorable 2-0 win over Liverpool in August (had to get that in).

Their only two defeats at home have been late on against Swansea and Arsenal and they have only conceded six goals at home in their last 18 league games, suggesting Saturday may well be a lot tougher than most people are expecting.

Team news

Everton will again be without Leighton Baines after the defender suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury. Bryan Oviedo will likely deputise.

Aaron Lennon is also fit and available after recovering from a knock. Muhamed Besic and Tyias Browning and Matthew Pennington are long-term absentees.

As mentioned Burnley will be without key midfielder Steven Defour due to hamstring injury. Andre Gray is also unavailable as he serves the final game of his four-match suspension.

Final word

Expectations couldn't be more different heading to Burnley than travelling to Man City last week. Evertonians will be expecting a vastly different approach and a positive result against a side tipped to struggle against the drop.

Their recent home form is more than enough evidence to suggest this will be a much tougher game than many are expecting. But that doesn't take away from the fact anything other than a win will be seen as a disappointment.

Expected starting XI: Stekelenburg, Oviedo, Williams, Jagielka, Coleman, Barry, Gueye, Mirallas, Barkley, Bolasie, Lukaku.