Preview: Burnley v Everton – predictions, team news, rosters
Sports Mole provides an overview of Sunday’s Premier League clash between Burnley and Everton, including predictions, squad news and possible lineups.
Two parties desperate for a three-point Christmas present meet on Boxing Day when Burnley welcome Everton at Turf Moor as the Premier League season reaches its midpoint.
The hosts remain in the relegation zone, despite several draws recently, but have games in hand against those before them, while the disappointing and injury-ridden season for visitors currently places them 14th in the table.
Burnley’s last two games – against Watford and Aston Villa – have both been called off due to COVID-19 outbreaks among their opponents’ teams, so there may be some rust to get rid of as they resume action for the first time since December 12.
Before their forced break, the Clarets had drawn four of their last five games. While avoiding defeat in a relegation battle is important, a lack of wins can be just as damaging and they’ve only managed one in their last 11 games.
Their only loss in the last five games was also, crucially, against other Newcastle United fighters, allowing Toon’s army to secure their first victory of the season and temporarily move up to a level tie with Burnley and Norwich City. .
A 0-0 draw with top-flight West Ham United in their only game since moving Sean DycheThe men’s are one point ahead of the last two, but they need to make the most of their games in hand – whenever they can actually happen – if they are to take a break for safety.
Turns out they are almost done with another game in hand, or rather would have if Everton and Rafael BenÃtez made their way …
The Spaniard confirmed to reporters on Thursday that club officials failed in their request to postpone the Boxing Day match.
A COVID-19 outbreak in the Toffees’ camp has left five players isolated and, combined with the six others who are currently injured, that left them with just nine fit outfielders according to Benitez, who expressed disbelief that the game has been moving forward.
Everton’s last game with Leicester City was called off due to an outbreak within the Foxes’ squad which prevented them from building on a strong result against Chelsea three days earlier.
Coming into the game after a seven-game losing streak in their previous nine games meant expectations against any of the breakaway’s top three teams were low, but a stubborn defensive performance and a Jarrad branthwaite the 74th-minute equalizer saw Benitez’s side gain a well-deserved point.
It was a first away point since the start of October and only their sixth this season in nine games. Away form for his squad isn’t the only issue for the ex-Liverpool boss to tackle, but it’s probably one of the most urgent if he is to bring Everton back to a position close to European places that their impressive start promised and that their fans demand.
Burnley’s form in the Premier League:
Everton’s form in the Premier League:
Burnley’s summer signing and top scorer Maxwel cone has resumed training this week and aims to get back into the starting XI on Sunday, but is not 100% sure he will.
Connor roberts continues to miss a nasty infection, while Ashley barnes is making steady progress upon returning from a muscle injury, but it will likely take at least another week.
Dale stephens is even closer to a comeback, but midfielder four should stay the same Dwight McNeil, Josh brownhill, Ashley westwood and Johann gudmundsson.
The hurt element of the Everton crisis consists of Richarlison (veal), Tom davies (knee), Andros Townsend (foot), Lucas Digne (sickness), Yerry Mina (veal) and Dominique Calvert-Lewin (thigh).
Calvert-Lewin has revealed he is aiming to make his long-awaited return against Burnley, however, having been out since early September, and Digne may also be set to return.
The five players who will be missing due to COVID-19 remain a mystery at this time.
Possible starting line-up from Burnley:
Pope; Lowton, Mee, Tarkowski, Taylor; Gudmundsson, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil; Wood, Cornet
Possible starting composition of Everton:
Pickford; Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Branthwaite, Godfrey; Gordon, DoucourÃ©, Allan, Digne; Calvert-Lewin
We say: Burnley 1-1 Everton
It’s a tough game to call – before even factoring in the important unknown of Everton’s potentially missing players – given the hosts ‘inability to claim three points and the Toffees’ lackluster form on the road. We support the two to cancel each other out and produce a toss.
Our expert tipster partners on Sporita.com predict more than 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their proven football tips.Over 1.5: loop