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Monday, 28 December 2009

Everton v Burnley: Clarets seek an end to their away day blues

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Everton may have lost a number of first team regulars in 2009 through injury but there’s no sign of them losing their fighting spirit. The Toffees never know when they are beaten and showed their battling abilities again on Boxing Day by coming from behind at the Stadium of Light to draw their fourth game in a row. But David Moyes will expect his troops to beat poor travellers Burnley this afternoon.

Burnley stunned Everton at the start of the season by following up their sensational 1-0 home win over the champions Manchester United with an identical scoreline against the boys in blue from Merseyside. The Clarets have continued their impressive home form but on their travels they have found life tough. Owen Coyle’s men have picked up just one point on the road and will be looking to end 2009 on a high. They haven’t won home or away since beating Hull City at Halloween.

Goodison Park is an intimidating place to play, but the Toffees have only managed two victories at home this season (v Wigan and Blackburn) with the last one coming in September. However, only Arsenal and Liverpool have left Goodison with maximum points, but Burnley have a decent record at Everton. They are unbeaten in their past six meetings with the Toffees last win coming in 1973. Could this be the day they end their away day blues?

Just one point separates Everton and Burnley in the table, with the Clarets currently the higher placed team, and they are only one and two points respectively off the drop zone. Everton should have enough to dig themselves out but the general consensus is that Burnley must start picking up points away if they are to continue their Premier League adventure. Unfortunately for the Clarets, the majority of the Panel believes this will be a sticky game for them.

Everton v Burnley; Kick Off 3pm 28 Dec 2009

Prediction Panel

Our panel contains both Squarefootball writers and readers, the writers are marked: (sqf).

Dave Blackburn : 2 - 0
Chris Cox : 2 - 0
Graham Enwright : 1 - 2
Sue Gardener : 0 - 0
Chris Goodwin : 1 - 1
Paul Grech (sqf) : TBC
Colin Illingworth (sqf) : 2 - 1
Hugh Larkin (sqf) : TBC
Peter Lee : 2 - 0
Don McMahon : 2 - 0
Antony Melvin (sqf) : 1 - 0
Paul O'Meara (sqf) : TBC
Dave Nash : 1 - 0
Stephen Orford (sqf) : TBC
Tony Ratton : 2 - 1
Peter Rendle : 2 - 0
Dan Taylor : 1 - 0
Andy Wakeman : 2 - 0
Isaac Williams : 1 - 0
Mark Williams : 2 - 0

Panel Verdict

It looks like a home win for Everton.

Home: 13; Draw: 2; Away: 1; TBC: 4.

* Do we have it right, or do you know better? Please don't bother with derisory comments on the predictions after the match - unless you also pulled us up before it!

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Colin Illingworth



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