A lot can happen in two seasons. Burnley have bounced between two divisions without changing a manager, made a record signing and are now back in the Premier League. Everton have been bought, sacked a manager, brought in a new one and are likely to be playing at a new ground in a few seasons time. It was this time two seasons ago when these two met at Turf Moor, Samuel Eto’o the main attraction, scoring twice in the game to cruise Everton into a 3-1 victory. With Lukaku on hot form, a decent result against one of the strongest teams in the league last weekend and Koeman’s pressing philosophy impressing supporters, this game could be a good one for The Toffees. Burnley are no walk over however, all their points have come from home games this season. What do we expect from Saturday’s hosts? Can Everton pick up their first 3 points in 3 matches? Here is my scout report and preview on Burnley vs Everton…
The Gaffer: Sean Dyche (Win Ratio: 41.3%)
Dyche’s playing career was all at lower level, playing at clubs such as Bristol City, Millwall and Northampton. Playing at these clubs adopted Dyche’s defensive ideology, similar to Allardyce and Pulis. Sean’s managerial career started at Watford in the championship. He guided the hornets to 11th in the league, their best finish in a few seasons. Despite this he was given the sack, due to new owners coming in. In 2012, he would be appointed manager of Burnley. Since then he has won them promotion (13-14), got relegated (14-15) and won them the Championship (15-16). With bouncing around like a yo-yo for four seasons under Dyche, he’d be hoping to settle Burnley down in the Premier League. It’s a tough ask, but Dyche’s Burnley have impressed at home and will be looking to continue that good form not only on Saturday but for the rest of the campaign.
Burnley analysis: Formation and Style
It comes as no surprise that Dyche loves to play a 442. It is arguably the most effective formation in terms of defending, used by Leicester and West Brom most often – them two probably the most impressive defensive teams without having any star quality. In a 442, Burnley have conceded just 5 times in the league and this formation is probably the one Burnley will start with. As well as a 442, they have also played a 451 but in this formation they have lost 3 times.
The hosts are good on the wings, 46% of their chances have been created from the wings. The two holding midfielders operate similar to Everton’s, Dean Marney and Steven Defour – who isn’t available on Saturday – winning the ball in the middle and recycling onto the wings.
As well as using width, the long ball is Burnley’s best friend. Their average pass length is 21 metres; only Watford’s is longer. This tactic is very effective, especially with Sam Vokes upfront for them. Vokes has won the most aerial duels in the league so far this season, winning 55 and averaging 7.1 aerial duel victories per match.
Defensively, it’s no surprise that Burnley often have as many men behind the ball as possible. For pressing teams this could be quite difficult, the hosts dropping the entire team back at times. This was seen against Liverpool back in August. Gray and Vokes would chase the long ball forward and anything behind whilst the rest of the squad would drop back. Wingers are also known to drop back into the defensive line, making it six at the back with the two holding midfielders sitting in front of the defence.
The Toffees have won the last 3 matches against Burnley, but going away to The Clarets has proven to be difficult throughout Everton’s history. Everton have lost 23 times away at Turf Moor, winning there on 16 occasions. In more recent times, we’ve been rather impressive with our Dutch boss. Koeman has recorded Everton’s best ever start in the Premier League and last weekends’ result away to Man City was a good one considering the quality of Guardiola’s team and Stek’s double penalty saves. Despite this, no win in 3 games has lost our early momentum, giving points away when we really should be keeping them.
All of Burnley’s points have come from home games, winning twice and drawing once in four games. Everton have the same record away from home, beating West Brom and Sunderland and drawing against Manchester City – accumulating seven points.
Romelu Lukaku has been a vital player in recent times for Everton. After not being involved in any goals in August, Lukaku has been involved in 7 goals since, including a hat-trick away to Sunderland. Without the Belgian striker, Everton would be 12th in the table, 6 points behind where we currently are. Rom is a vital player, not just by how much he scores but how well the team performs. We tend to play a lot more defensive without him in the team.
In defence, Everton have been one of the most impressive teams. The summer signing of Ashley Williams has proved to be a great one, organizing the team a whole lot better and bringing the best out of Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka. Their hasn’t been a game this season in the league in which Everton have conceded more than 1 goal and against a Burnley side with the least amount of shots taken in the league (31) it could mean another clean sheet. However, we still look vulnerable stopping crosses and conceding headers. Four of Everton’s six goals conceded this season have all been headers, a stat Burnley should be looking to take advantage of.
Burnley will be missing record signing Steven Defour in midfield due to a hamstring injury, a big part of the team. Striker Ashley Barnes is also out with the same problem.
Koeman said in his press conference that Leighton Baines is still out. Aaron Lennon and Muhamed Besic are both on the sidelines.
Burnley predicted line-up (442): Heaton; Lowton; Keane; Mee; Ward; Marney; Hendrick; Boyd; Arfield; Vokes; Gray.
Everton predicted line-up (4231): Stekelenburg; Coleman; Williams; Jagielka; Oviedo; Gueye; Barry; Barkley; Bolasie; Mirallas; Lukaku,
Three points are a must for the Blues at the weekend if we want to be up their with the Premier League’s ‘big boys’. Burnley are a tough team, Dyche is a good manager and at home they look good. After last week, we are a bit more positive despite no win in 3 matches. Lukaku is on form. Everton look good in defence. I’m predicting an Everton win.
Prediction: Burnley 0-2 Everton
Up the Toffees.
Stats via whoscored and squawka.