This Goodison Park fixture sees 12th placed and improving Everton facing off against the competitive but lowly Burnley. Everton haven’t lost in the Premier League since back to back defeats in early March and since then the Toffees have recorded impressive wins at home to Southampton and Newcastle as well as a win away to QPR and a decent draw away to Swansea City. Burnley on the other hand have had a really tough time of it recently with fixtures against the leagues biggest guns coming thick and fast. Despite this tough run, Sean Dyche’s side have competed well with a 1-0 home win over Manchester City proving to be the highlight. Even the form side in the division, Arsenal, could only defeat the 19th placed side 1-0 last weekend. This promises to be an interesting tie.
Everton have six injury worries heading into this clash with Romelu Lukaku’s tight hamstring perhaps the most daunting. Leon Osman (groin), Aiden McGeady (back), Tony Hibbert (knee) and Bryan Oviedo (hamstring) are all doubts for the game too with Darren Gibson thought to be the only guaranteed absentee with a metatarsal fracture.
Sean Dyche’s men have four injuries amongst their squad with both Steven Reid (calf) and Ross Wallace (knee) both doubts for the match. Unfortunately, duo Dean Marney and Kevin Long are both out for the season with ACL injuries.
- Everton have won more points in their last four Premier League games (10) than they did in their previous twelve (7).
- Burnley have failed to score in five of their last six matches. Scoring once against Manchester City in the other game.
- Everton have made only three errors leading to goals in their last twelve Premier League games after making eleven in the twenty before that.
- Burnley have outrun all 32 opponents that they’ve faced this season.
- Everton have conceded just two goals in their last five Premier League home games.
- Burnley have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last thirteen Premier League away games.
What a difference a loan move makes, right? Apparently a mere change of scenery can make the world of difference and suddenly Aaron Lennon looks useful again. The Spurs owned winger has shown everyone that there’s life in him yet with some energetic displays for Roberto Martinez’s Toffees.
Lennon looks to have rediscovered some of the zip he had in his youth days and a return of two goals in his last three outings makes him one of Evertons form players. So far in Lennon’s short season, the former Leeds United winger has created five chances in nine appearances which is solid. Lennon’s shot accuracy is also impressive with the former England man notching a figure of 80%. Lennon’s hardworking nature, prominent since his move to Everton, has also seen him helping his defenders whenever possible with 12 clearances and 8 interceptions completed.
George Boyd was recently named amongst the hardest working players in the division and it’s no surprise that he plays for the hardest working side in the Premier League. His industry never goes unnoticed and he scored one of the goals of the season when Burnley defeated Man City at Turf Moor just a few weeks ago. Confidence should be high and his work ethic will be vital at Goodison Park.
The 29 year old winger has enjoyed a decent season in front of goal with five goals accrued from 29 appearances. In terms of dribbling, Boyd completes 44.83% of his attempted take-ons which is probably about his skill level – lower than the elite types such as Alexis Sanchez but almost one success in two attempts. Boyd could do with upgrading his creativity with only 32 chances created so far this season, although playing in a limited side like Burnley won’t help this figure.
Despite his limitations, Boyd remains an integral part of this Burnley side and if they’re to avoid relegation he will be needed.
My prediction for this match is an Everton win with the score to finish 2-1. Burnley don’t travel well and the Toffees have finally solved their wayward home form with some decent results. This should be an Everton win.