Oct 242014

Match: Burnley v Everton FC

Date: Sunday, October 26 (1.30pm)

Manager: Sean Dyche. After a playing career spent in the lower divisions of English football, the gravel-voiced 43-year-old has earned the right to work at the top level as a manager. Dyche, a no-nonsense centre-back best remembered for a long spell with Chesterfield where he helped them to the semi finals of the FA Cup, guided Burnley to promotion from the Championship as runners-up in his first full season at Turf Moor.

Dyche’s only previous managerial post was with Watford. He was dismissed – harshly – in 2012 following a change of ownership at the Vicarage Road club.

The Hornets’ loss was the Clarets’ gain. 

Form: The Clarets are still waiting for their first Premier League win, eight matches into the campaign. All they have to show for their efforts so far are four draws, against Manchester United, Crystal Palace, Sunderland and Leicester.

Their last outing was a 3-1 home defeat to West Ham. 

How they’ll set up: Much of Burnley’s success last season was built around a rock-solid defensive unit, with goalkeeper Tom Heaton – Chester-born and a boyhood Liverpool fan – playing behind a settled back four featuring Kieran Trippier, Michael Duff, Jason Shackell, Ben Mee. Last season they conceded 35 goals in 44 games – an average of 0.8 per game – but have found making the step up to Premier League football more of a challenge.

David Jones and Scott Arfield provide the central midfield base, with George Boyd and Michael Kightly adding the artistry from the flanks. Danny Ings – last season’s Championship player of the year – is the link man to the attack, which should be led by either former Blue Lukas Jutkiewicz or Marvin Sordell, once a loan star with Tranmere Rovers.

Dean Marney, Steven Reid and Michael Keane are pushing for recalls. 

Sum them up in 140 characters: Struggling to score, struggling to defend. Already up against it in the fight to stay in the Prem. 

Player to watch: Kieran Trippier. The young right-back has been one of the standout players of the Clarets’ return to the Premier League. Trippier was a steadying influence on a defence which kept three consecutive clean sheets, against Manchester United, Crystal Palace and Sunderland. And while Burnley have had their wobbles defensive since then, the 24-year-old has continued to impress, averaging 1.9 tackles per game, 1.6 interceptions per game and 1.3 key passes per game. His deliveries into the box are a real threat.

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 Posted by at 2:59 pm

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