Everton are back in action for the first time in a little over two weeks, with the visit of Burnley to Goodison Park under the lights. The Blues are looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the season, while the Clarets are looking for their first win of the season.
In the fixture last season Burnley were deserved 2-1 winners, with goals from Chris Wood and summer transfer target Dwight McNeil. Burnley were one of nine teams to walk away from Goodison Park with all three points last season, as Everton’s home form faltered under former manager Carlo Ancelotti.
As mentioned Rafa Benitez’s Everton are looking to extend their unbeaten run, and it seems Evertonians now have a little optimism after how the season has started. Fast, forward attacking football has resulted in 45 shots and seven goals across the first three games.
Team news wise, Everton will be without midfielder Fabian Delph, who is ruled out of action with a shoulder injury until next month. Columbian James Rodriguez, subject of much speculation throughout the transfer window, is a doubt due to match fitness.
However, Rafa Benitez has said that he expects Seamus Coleman to return to the team after his injury on international duty. It could also be the first opportunity for Everton fans to see new striker Salomon Rondon in action following his deadline day move from Dalian Professional.
Burnley on the other hand have a near fully fit squad, with only record signing Maxwell Cornet, signed from Lyon for £15 million a doubt with a hamstring injury.
Burnley will pose a different problem to what Everton have faced so far, with Sean Dyche setting them up as a well-drilled unit. And it will be Everton summer target Dwight McNeil who will most likely cause problems again.
Last season he scored a terrific goal in front of an empty Gwladys Street, and he will be the one to watch for Burnley. With his lethal left-foot, he will need to be dealt with well by Everton to stop his creative spark.
Demarai Gray’s start to life in an Everton shirt has been nothing short of impressive, with two goals in the opening three games. But it is his running with the ball at pace which Evertonians have loved.
It has been a long time since Everton have had a player with Gray’s qualities, which is why he has been Everton’s stand out player this season. This form will continue tomorrow, and he will be the key to unlocking this Burnley side
As stated, Burnley will provide a tough test, but with a full Goodison Park, under the lights, Everton should come out comfortable winners.