Everton’s season is falling way under expectations as their start to the season can only really be described as disappointing. That is exactly how you would sum up their exploits on Thursday when they threw away a win against Apollon Limassol in the Europa League as the 10 men Cypriots snatched a late point at Goodison Park.
After the glimmer of hope that Everton’s win over Bournemouth would have provided on Saturday it was back to the darkness in midweek as Ronald Koeman will now have to look to lift his Toffee’s side as they play host to a Burnley side who have certainly exceeded expectations at this early point of the season.
Sean Dyche’s men started the weekend in ninth place and have only lost one game so far, their solitary defeat coming at the hands of West Brom in the second weekend of the season when Hal Robson-Kanu’s second half strike was enough to give the Baggies all three points.
Burnley’s away form was much maligned last season but this time around they have already beaten Chelsea on their own turf while also earning points on the road against top six sides in the form of Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
And with the patchy form that Everton find themselves in, Sean Dyche will be identifying this encounter as another one in which he can earn some away points on the board. Burnley are unbeaten on the road as it is their away form which is currently better than their home one.
Last weekend they failed to break down a stubborn Huddersfield side as both sides had to make do with a share of the points at Turf Moor. In all honesty it was probably a point that suited David Wagner’s side the better but Sean Dyche cannot have too many complaints about the outcome of the encounter.
The same afternoon saw Everton pick up a first win of the season since their opening weekend win over Stoke. No one had even found the net since Wayne Rooney’s goal against Manchester City at The Etihad in week two and it was left to a former Everton outcast to become the hero.
Oumar Niasse was not even given a squad number at the start of last season before then being shipped out to Hull City on loan at the start of the year. He would finally be given a chance last Saturday and he would come off the bench to turn the game around after Bournemouth had gone in front.
The relief was palpable around Goodison Park but you get the feeling that the momentum would have been halted after another Europa League failure on Thursday. An abject performance against Atalanta was then added to by snatching a draw from the jaws of victory against Apollon Limassol.
Whether they are leggy from European exploits in midweek we will have to wait and see you could argue that there is no excuse for a team to be tired from playing twice a week at this point of the campaign but regardless of Thursday I think they will have enough to hand Burnley there first away defeat of the season. Home win for me.
Here is what social media thinks will happen
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) September 29, 2017