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Burnley vs Everton: Match Preview | Toffees look to make it four in a row at Turf Moor

Sean Dyche makes first return to former club

Everton v Burnley - Carabao Cup Fourth Round Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images

Everton will look to make it four Premier League wins in a row and put further distance between themselves at the relegation zone with victory at Burnley.

There has been a feel-good factor around Everton this week not felt for several years thanks to those three thrilling wins in the space of eight days, with a sense of unity between players, club and fans thanks to that already infamous 10-point deduction.

That harsh punishment is not the sole reason behind the upturn in form of course, the stats have backed up Sean Dyche’s assessment that performances have improved but not always delivered results - until now.

But there is no doubt that the burning sense of injustice has brought everyone associated at the club together.

Everton FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

The task now is maintaining that level of performance through a gruelling winter schedule, with injuries and suspensions already starting to bite.

The Toffees are still only four points clear of the drop zone and cannot assume they will get any points back on appeal, so there is still no margin for error.

This will be Dyche’s first return to Turf Moor since he was sacked in April 2022 after a successful nine-year spell in charge that included two promotions and qualification for Europe.

There is also the small matter of a Carabao Cup quarter-final against Fulham to look forward to on Tuesday.

Strap yourselves in.

The opposition

Burnley FC v Sheffield United - Premier League Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

After bouncing back from the Championship at the first attempt Burnley made an awful start to the season, but there are signs they are now finding their feet.

The Clarets have taken as many points in their last three games (four) than they did in the previous 13, including a thumping 5-0 win over Sheffield United, their first league win at home this season.

Vincent Kompany’s possession-based style is easy on the eye but turning that possession in chances and goals has been the issue.

That was particularly the case when the sides met in the Carabao Cup in November, with Burnley looking neat and tidy on the ball but with little offensive threat.

They do, however, have a decent record against Everton at Turf Moor. They have won the last three encounters there and five of their eight Premier League meetings, their best top-flight record against any opponent at Turf Moor.

Previous meeting

Everton 3-0 Burnley, 1 November 2023

Everton v Burnley - Carabao Cup Fourth Round Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

You only have to go back a month for the last meeting between the sides, with James Tarkowski, Amadou Onana and Ashley Young scoring in a comfortable Carabao Cup fourth round tie.

Team news

Everton Training Session Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

Everton are going to be forced into changes with Jarrad Branthwaite and Idrissa Gueye suspended. Amadou Onana is likely to slot in for Gueye, but who comes in for Branthwaite is less certain.

Dyche would likely prefer Michael Keane but he has been struggling with an ankle knock, so Ben Godfrey could come in for his first start of the season.

Ashley Young and Seamus Coleman are both sidelined, handing Nathan Patterson a chance to impress at right back.

What they said

Everton Manager Press Conference Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

Everton manager Sean Dyche: “I think we’ve reconnected in a very authentic way [with the fans] and I’m very, very pleased with that. The fans are playing their part and, of course, the players are playing their part.

“I mentioned when I got here, the marvels of the past, the bringing of a modern future, but one of the marvels was the connection. The belief in the shirt, the belief in the fans, the belief in the club and I think that’s on show.

“Adding the quality and adding the performance levels of individuals, adding the fact we are getting the details right more often now, then that’s a really good mixture.”

Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley FC - Premier League Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Burnley boss Vincent Kompany: “They’ve been a solid team in the division this year. The fact they are picking up points, it’s no different to when we were playing West Ham or Wolves, they’re are good teams in this league.

“We just have to make sure we’re at our best otherwise you can’t do it against these teams.

“From what I’ve seen of them, I’d be making a big mistake to treat this game any differently to what we’ve been doing in recent times.

“We’ve been in games and we have to try everything we can to make sure we get a result on the day.”

Final word

This should be a match between a mid-table side and relegation struggler, but that points deduction has turned this into a bit of a six-pointer. Everton could really do with not offering the sides below them any encouragement. Even with Burnley’s poor home record a draw would not be the worst result.