Premier League

Burnley-Everton Preview

Carlo Ancelotti is a big fan of Sean Dyche's set-in-stone system, as Everton prepare to take on Burnley.

Ancelotti's first game in charge of Everton was a 1-0 win over Burnley on Boxing Day 2019, with the points then shared at Turf Moor earlier this season.

Everton have come far from that fixture almost 15 months ago, though head into Saturday's clash at Goodison Park without key players Abdoulaye Doucoure and James Rodriguez.

Yet Burnley's 4-4-2, a system Ancelotti has had plenty of success with, drew particular praise from Everton's boss.

"I can say that I like a lot the style of play of Burnley. Why? Because they clear 4-4-2. I was born in 4-4-2," he said. "They are not inventing a new football, but play a really good 4-4-2.

"Football was invented a long time ago, and I think that managers who think to reinvent football are wrong."

Ancelotti explained James is being handed an extended rest to recover from a calf injury, though the Italian conceded Everton have to start creating more chances in the playmaker's absence.

"I don't think to change the style of our play but we have to play forward more, press high," he added. "I think in the next game we can play more forward, keep our defensive line higher and in this sense we can have more opportunities. The quality in the final third has to be better."

Dyche, meanwhile, had nothing but good things to say about Ancelotti.

"I don't think anyone has questioned Everton on their talent or putting a team together but it looks to me that they are becoming more effective," he said. "They have a class act in their manager. I have only met him a couple of times and he has spoken openly and wisely."

Everton – Alex Iwobi

Iwobi posted a message to his Instagram account in midweek, expressing his desire to play in his "preferred position". Ancelotti responded amicably in his news conference, asking his player to inform him of where he wants to play. Against no side has Iwobi been involved in more Premier League goals than he has against Burnley.

Burnley – Chris Wood

Burnley forward Wood has scored two goals in three Premier League substitute appearances against Everton, but has failed to find the net in any of his five starts against the Toffees in the competition.

• Dominic Calvert-Lewin's 13 Premier League goals this season have been worth 14 points to Everton, more valuable than any other player in the competition so far this term. Indeed, it's also the most points won by an Everton player in a single campaign in the competition.

• Ancelotti has lost his two Premier League home games against English managers (vs Steve Bruce's Newcastle United and Scott Parker's Fulham). The Italian had only lost two of his first 17 such games in the competition (W12 D3).

• No team has failed to score in more different Premier League away games than Burnley this season (eight), with only Sheffield United (six) netting fewer goals on the road than the Clarets (eight).

• Everton have lost four of their last six home league games (W1 D1), as many as they had in their previous 22 at Goodison Park. They did win their last such match however, 1-0 against Southampton.

• Six of Burnley's 20 Premier League goals this season have come in the opening 15 minutes of games, with no side netting a higher ratio in this time (30 per cent). However, the Clarets have also conceded a league high 10 times in the opening 15 minutes this season.

Updated March 12, 2021

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