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Thursday, February 29, 2024

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Premier League: Burnley vs Everton; “I think it’s an emergency, without two important players”

Another massive game to bounce back for Everton and Carlo Ancelotti’s men as  on Saturday lunchtime they come up against Burnley. 

In many ways just like the Fulham match, this is a must win for Everton.

Going into the most hectic time of the season with much tougher games on paper Everton need to take three points from one of the teams battling it out at the bottom of the table, anything other than three points and you will start to see Everton slowly disappear into the mid table mayhem.

Of course the table is as tight as ever but no supporters want to see their beloved Blues fall away from the top seven already.

A three at the back formation has been deployed lately by Ancelotti and it doesn’t seem to be having the desired effect,  so many will be wondering whether the Italian will stick or twist.

In his press conference he gave the impression he will stick saying: “I think it’s an emergency, without two important players like Coleman and Digne. It is only for this reason.

“We have the quality in the squad to play with three centre backs because we have a lot of good centre-backs.”

A defensive system against possibly the most defensive team in the league meaning  it may not be a goal fest.

Unless of course Everton push  back Sean Dyche’s men which they did in the first half against Fulham but in the second half ended up camped up on their own  six yard box.

So the attacking impact of the front three will be needed just like it was against Leeds but they didn’t turn up.

James, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin need to return to their irresistible form from the start of the campaign.

It’ll give Sean Dyche and his famous two bags of four something to think about as it could be a game to take by the scruff of the neck especially if he is to go with an attacking lineup like against Manchester City.

He started Chris Wood, Ashley Barnes, Jay Rodriguez and Dwight McNeil at the Etihad with no one as shocked as the Burnley fans who probably thought they were dreaming.

It didn’t help though as The Clarets yearly smashing from Pep Guardiola occurred with the end result being 5-0.

But it could certainly help against Everton who look weak down the flanks without their first choice full back duo

Niels Nkounkou was expected to start in one of those positions but wasn’t even involved in the squad.

Ancelotti said: “Nkounkou was not in the squad because I had 11 players, I put Iwobi on the left. 

“He’s still young, he needs more experience, he needs to work more. He will have time in the next game because we have a lot of games.”

So a strong hint that the youngster will get the game to impress on Saturday.

A surprise mention in the press conference was out of favour Cenk Tosun who is still at the club even if some have totally forgotten about him.

The Italian was full of praise for the striker saying: “Cenk is doing really well, his recovery was not simple but good.

“His condition is improving, the fact that we have a lot of games in December I think he’s going to find space to play. I think he is really good and efficient in the box and I like his quality.”

A surprise mention may even turn into a surprise inclusion if not for the game against Burnley possibly one of the fixtures over Christmas, the resurgence of Cenk is most likely a Christmas present Evertonians weren’t expecting.

A must win it is then on Saturday because simply if Everton don’t, no offence to Burnley,  they won’t be taken seriously considering there was talks of a top four spot a few weeks ago.

Written by Elliot Thompson

READ MORE: Liverpool FC and Everton FC 2020-21 Premier League fixture list

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