A resurgent Everton welcome Burnley to Goodison Park in the Premier League this Friday night as they look to maintain their strong form of late.
The Toffees were held to a goalless draw by Crystal Palace on Saturday but have won four of their last six fixtures, a run of results that has lifted them to within four points of Wolverhampton Wanderers in the final Europa League qualification place. However, there are just two league games remaining for them to overturn that deficit.
If they are to oust Wolves, they must first defeat a buoyant Burnley outfit who were narrowly edged out by Manchester City over the weekend. Serguo Aguero's deflected effort drifted a mere 29mm over the line to sink Sean Dyche's men, though their survival is assured after collecting several impressive wins over the past month.
Check out 90min's preview of the encounter below.
Where to Watch
|When is Kick Off?||Friday 3 May|
|What Time is Kick Off?||20:00 (BST)|
|Where is it Played?||Goodison Park|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Sky Sports Main Event|
Marco Silva is deprived of just one player for the clash with the Clarets, with colossal centre-back Yerry Mina sidelined through a hamstring injury. The Colombian resumed training this week, but Friday's match comes too soon in his recovery.
The visitors are without a handful of first-team squad members, though Phil Bardsley could return following a spell out due to a leg laceration.
On-loan striker Peter Crouch is a major doubt as he battles appendicitis, whilst midfielders Steven Defour and Aaron Lennon are both out with a calf strain and knee cartilage damage, respectively.
|Everton||Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Zouma, Digne; Gueye, Schneiderlin; Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Bernard; Calvert-Lewin.|
|Burnley||Heaton; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Wood, Barnes.|
Head to Head Record
This is a fixture steeped in history, with the two clubs having played over a century of games dating back to a 2-2 draw in 1888. Things have ended level on a further 28 occasions since then, though not since 1975.
Burnley have won 35 times, whilst the Merseysiders have claimed 49 victories, the latest coming on Boxing Day. Mina landed the early punch on that freezing December afternoon, leaping highest to nod in Bernard's floated cross.
Lucas Digne guided a free-kick beyond the sprawling Joe Hart soon after, before Gylfi Sigurdsson swept his penalty into the corner to hand the Toffees a three goal lead with less than a quarter of the match gone.
Ben Gibson bundled home a goal with half-time looming, but that was a good as it got for him and his teammates. Digne drilled a fierce long-range shot across Hart to add a fourth, before Richarlison completed the rout when he poked a cute finish into the near post in stoppage-time.
The Lancashire outfit locked horns with Premier League heavyweights in their previous two games, holding Chelsea in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge on Monday night before falling to Aguero's fortuitous score.
They had won three consecutive matches in the build up to the meeting with the Blues, comfortably seeing off Wolves, Cardiff City and Bournemouth as they dragged themselves out of the relegation dogfight.
Everton humbled Manchester United in their last home fixture, totally outclassing the Red Devils in a stellar performance. Theo Walcott, Digne, Sigurdsson and Richarlison all netted in an impressive 4-0 triumph, the result making up for the loss at Fulham the week prior.
Frenchman Digne - who is on loan from Barcelona - has been splendid at full-back all season, with his recent showings, in particular, thrilling Toffees supporters.
Here's how the sides fared in their last five games:
|Crystal Palace 0-0 Everton (27/4)||Burnley 0-1 Manchester City (28/4)|
|Everton 4-0 Manchester United (21/4)||Chelsea 2-2 Burnley (22/4)|
|Fulham 2-0 Everton (13/4)||Burnley 2-0 Cardiff City (13/4)|
|Everton 1-0 Arsenal (07/4)||Bournemouth 1-3 Burnley (06/4)|
|West Ham United 0-2 Everton (30/3)||Burnley 2-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers (30/3)|
Dyche's men have successfully staved off relegation courtesy of some crucial wins since the turn of the year. They sit in sixth position in the form table, though their opponents are two places better off.
Those standings suggest both teams will be in a jubilant mood and expecting to take points from Friday's match-up. Home advantage sways things in Everton's favour, though it will likely be a tight contest.
Prediction: Everton 2-1 Burnley
Source : 90min