Burnley v Everton: Toffees to continue strong run against strugglers

Andrew Atherley has checked the Betfair odds and says the visitors are worth backing to pick up their best form again in Saturday's lunchtime kick-off...

Burnley v Everton
Saturday 5 December, 12:30
Live on BT Sport

Worst goal difference

Burnley are coming off last weekend's 5-0 drubbing at Manchester City, their heaviest defeat of a season that has plunged them into a relegation battle from the off.

Not only was their defence blown apart at the Etihad but their attack failed to register on the scoresheet for the sixth time in nine Premier League games.

That result left Sean Dyche's side 19th with just five points and also with the worst goal difference (-13).

Nick Pope is expected back in goal after missing the City match following a head injury and midfielder Josh Brownhill is also likely to return from a minor back injury.

Robbie Brady and Dale Stephens are also back in contention having trained this week, while Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Phil Bardsley and Jack Cork are making some progress on their road to recovery.

Defensive issues

Everton's exciting start has unravelled quickly and last week's 1-0 home defeat against Leeds was their fourth loss in their last five Premier League matches.

Having started with 13 points out of a possible 15 from their first five games, Carlo Ancelotti's Toffees have taken just three from the second set of five matches and have dropped back to a mid-table position.

Ancelotti has issues on both flanks of his defence with left-back Lucas Digne out for two to three months with an ankle injury and right-back Seamus Coleman having been sidelined with a hamstring strain. Midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin is also some way off a return.

Everton face tough battle

Burnley's sole win of the campaign came in their last home match, 1-0 against Crystal Palace, and their best chance is to make this a tight match with the aim of nicking a decisive goal again.

That victory over Palace was their 14th to nil from a total of 16 wins since the start of last season and their record when conceding is poor - W2 D7 L20 since the start of last season.

Aside from their opening 1-0 win at Tottenham, Everton's other four league victories have been against teams currently in the bottom six - 5-2 at home to West Brom, 2-1 away to Crystal Palace, 4-2 at home to Brighton and 3-2 away to Fulham.

That casts a sharp light on the quality of their overall form but Burnley are another side in the bottom six and Everton's record in that category points clearly to an away win.

If Everton score as freely as they have against the other strugglers, it is difficult to see how Burnley can match them.

In the five matches where Ancelotti's team have scored twice, only Liverpool (2-2 at Goodison Park) have been able to stop them winning, although Newcastle (2-1) and Manchester United (3-1) have conceded against Everton and beaten them.

Burnley can still muster a stubborn defence, having conceded nil or one in five of their nine league games, and Dyche will have noted how teams have been able to stop Everton after their fast start.

The Burnley boss will also hope that Dwight McNeil's attacking play down the left might come into play against the right side of Everton's defence, which has been exposed as a weakness due to James Rodriguez's regular failure to track back and in Coleman's recent absence at right-back.

While the Clarets do not look to have enough to cause an upset at win odds of 4.3, they could put up a better fight than most of the other teams in the bottom six.

With that in mind, an away win with goals galore is swerved in favour of Everton off -1 on the Asian handicap at 2.94, which comes off if they win by two goals or more with stakes returned if they win by a single goal.

Opposing forces on goals front

On one side is Everton's attack, which has driven seven of their 10 games (70%) to over 2.5 goals, the joint-highest in the Premier League.

On the other is Burnley's defensive set-up, which is still their strong point and has resulted in five of their nine games (56%) having under 2.5 goals. Three of those low-scoring games have been in their four home matches.

Manchester City, Chelsea and Leicester have all scored big against Burnley, however, and Everton have the potential to do the same on their best form.

For punters who fancy goals here, which is likely to mean a good performance from Everton, the best bet might be to combine an away win with over 2.5 goals at 3.35.

It is also worth noting that Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been on the scoresheet in all six matches where Everton have taken points this season and five of those went over 2.5 goals.

Combining Calvert-Lewin to score and over 2.5 match goals is around 5/2 on the Same Game Multi with Betfair Sportsbook.

Opta Stat

Burnley are looking to win consecutive Premier League home games for the first time since October 2019, the second win of which came against Everton. However, when conceding at least one goal at home, Burnley have managed to win just one of their last 18 Premier League games (D3 L14), beating Leicester 2-1 in January.

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