Everton-Burnley Preview

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: Ashley Barnes of Burnley and Wayne Rooney of Everton during the Premier League match between Everton and Burnley at Goodison Park on October 1, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

It's remarkable in some ways that Burnley find themselves in seventh place in the Premier League as the calendar flips to March.

Sean Dyche's squad sit on 37 points, but are mired in an 0-6-5 skid as they face Everton on Saturday at Turf Moor.

The Clarets (9-10-9) haven't claimed three points since a 1-0 victory against Stoke City at home on Dec. 12. Dyche's club did earn a point in a 1-1 draw against Southampton last weekend at Turf Moor as Ashley Barnes opened the scoring on 68 minutes, but the Burnley defense couldn't hang on to the lead as Manolo Gabbiadini struck for a last-gasp equalizer.

On the injury front for Burnley, Chris Wood and James Tarkowski are both in contention to return, while Nick Pope will continue his run as first-choice goalkeeper after replacing an injured Tom Heaton in September.

Dyche has been thrilled with Pope's performances.

"As much as I believe in every player here, at times it's surprised me, only in the sense that to come in relatively from nowhere - from the outside view, not within the club - and deliver the performances he has for him, and for us, has been very pleasing," Dyche said. "He's got a level head and he's enjoying what he's doing and that's the key for me, to continue enjoying the challenge."

Ninth-place Everton (9-7-12), meanwhile, are 2-0-2 in their last four league matches following a 1-0 defeat against Watford at Vicarage Road last week. Troy Deeney's 79th-minute tally was enough to give the Hornets all three points, while Everton kept only 44 percent of possession and managed only two shots on target.

The key to Everton's attack for the remainder of the season could be Theo Walcott, who made the move to Goodison in January after 12 years with Arsenal. He's netted two goals in an Everton shirt and should continue to be a factor, according to former Everton midfielder Leon Osman.

"Theo has had a great start to his Everton career and he brings an awful lot to the team," Osman said. "He provides a huge threat in behind the opposition and that suddenly gives them something different to think about.

"If he is going to be running behind they have to drop off, which gives Wayne Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Tom Davies a bit more room to play in. Those pockets are difficult to get in but those three players are finding more space now."

No player has scored more goals as a substitute this season than Everton's Oumar Niasse (four, level with Anthony Martial and Olivier Giroud).

There have been no draws in the last seven Premier League meetings between these sides. Everton have won four of those matches and Burnley the other three.