Burnley

Everton’s £27m-rated jewel must justify price-tag with match-winning performance today

The Everton fans are far from confident in the Transfer Tavern ahead of their side’s difficult looking trip to face Burnley at Turf Moor this afternoon. 

Sam Allardyce takes his side to Lancashire this afternoon for a fixture which sees two sides vying for 7th place go head to head in the Premier League. Whether or not 7th place will ensure qualification for the Europa League remains to be seen, but at this stage all Burnley and Everton can do is aim for 7th spot and hope for the best.

A win for Everton today would take the Toffees level on points with their opponents on 37 for the season, but Burnley have consistently proven how difficult it can be to walk away from Turf Moor with all three points. The resident Toffees are under no illusions about the task they face this afternoon, as The Clarets have only lost to a side outside the top-six on one occasion at home this season.

With that to consider, there’s no doubt that Everton will have to be at their creative best to break down Sean Dyche’s well-oiled defensive machine today. Even the champions-elect Manchester City were restricted to a 1-1 draw at Burnley at the beginning of February, so one of Everton’s main challenges will undoubtedly be finding a way to prise open a resolute defence today.

Allardyce’s side were desperately lacking both a creative spark and a cutting edge in the final-third last time out against Watford, despite the fact Gylfi Sigurdsson, Theo Walcott, Wayne Rooney and Oumar Niasse were all in the starting eleven. Sigurdsson struggled to find pockets of space in which to hurt the opposition last weekend, and that must change today if he wants to begin justifying his extortionate price-tag.

Everton broke their transfer record to bring Sigurdsson to Goodison Park last summer in a deal worth approximately £45 million. Since his arrival on Merseyside, the Icelandic international has scored 6 goals and provided 5 assists from 31 appearances – a fairly modest record considering the size of his price-tag. Sigurdsson will certainly struggle to add to that record in what is likely to be a cagey affair today, but if he really wants to begin justifying his price tag then he must find a way to carve open Burnley’s defence and produce a match-winning performance.

Thoughts? 

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