03-Mar-2018 11:46:20 | The Guardian
Big Sam speaks! “The performance at Watford, while not the best, looked like it was going to end up as a result. From an attacking point of view we got into the final third on 36 occasions and in the penalty area even more so. But we only had seven shots at goal and two on target, so we’re trying to be a bit more creative on the front line. And defensively we were sound apart from the goal we let in. So we have to try to balance the two. Let’s try and be creative and score more. It’s going to be tough against Burnley because they’re very good on their own patch. Michael Keane wants to show how good he is on his return, hopefully he will be solid and sound as he was for Burnley.”
Burnley make one change from their recent draw at Turf Moor with Southampton. James Tarkowski replaces Kevin Long in the defence.
Everton make three changes to the XI named for the defeat at Watford. Cenk Tosun and Dominic Calvert-Lewin come in to lead the line, while Seamus Coleman returns at right back. Wayne Rooney and Oumar Niasse drop to the bench, while Jonjoe Kenny misses out altogether.
Burnley: Pope, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Ward, Gudmundsson, Cork, Westwood, Lennon, Hendrick, Barnes.Subs: Nkoudou, Marney, Vokes, Wood, Lindegaard, Bardsley, Long.
Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Williams, Keane, Martina, Davies, Gueye, Walcott, Calvert-Lewin, Sigurdsson, Tosun.Subs: Schneiderlin, Baines, Bolasie, Rooney, Niasse, Holgate, Robles.
It’s March. A fairly basic observation, it’s true, though one worth making. That’s because Burnley haven’t won a game in the Premier League since early December. That’s an 11-match streak. Everton meanwhile have only tasted victory once on the road in England’s top division since the start of February 2017. That’s one win in 22 away matches. This lunchtime’s fare is something of a hard sell.
Then again, this is a showdown between seventh and ninth. In the chase to be crowned Best of the Rest outside the Big Six ... yeah, I know ... both these famous old clubs are in with a shout, despite it all. The Clarets are somehow clinging onto seventh spot, while the Toffees remain in the top half even though they’ve lost five of their last eight.