April 19, 2024

Paul Merson has predicted that Everton will extend their winning run in the Premier League to four matches when they face Burnley on Saturday 16 December.

The Sky Sports pundit believes that Sean Dyche’s side will move even further away from the relegation zone when they travel to Turf Moor, suggesting that the Toffees momentum will be the deciding factor, predicting Everton will win 2-1.

Vincent Kompany’s Burnley side have also found themselves in the relegation battle but come into Saturday’s clash off the back of an impressive 1-1 draw with Brighton. However, Merson still believes it will be Dyche’s side who claim all three points.

Everton

Writing for Sportskeeda (14 December) he said: “A few weeks ago, Burnley would’ve looked at this game and fancied their chances, but Everton are flying at the moment. Sean Dyche has got his team playing the way he wants and they are on a bit of a run, so I expect them to win this one.

“If Everton win at Turf Moor, they are out of the relegation battle despite the ten-point deduction, which is absolutely incredible. They are in a bit of a false position in the league – if it wasn’t for the sanction, they’d be ninth or tenth in the standings.

“That said, the margins are very fine, as they could once again be dragged into a relegation dogfight if they lose this one. The Toffees are riding high on confidence and should win this one.”

Out of the battle

Merson’s verdict that the Toffees will already be out of the relegation battle if they manage to beat Kompany’s side on Saturday might be slightly hyperbolic, but a win at Turf Moor would be a huge step towards Premier League safety for the Toffees.

The gap between Dyche’s side and the drop zone currently sits at four points and Burnley only lie five points behind the Toffees. Should Merson’s prediction come true, that gap would be extended to eight and that would require a big points swing to change.

Everton

Everton have shown that they are more than capable of contending with the best teams in the league over 90 minutes, so they will be coming into Saturday’s showdown believing that they are more than capable of beating a side that has only won two of their opening 16 matches.

Only one of those wins has come at Turf Moor as well, with Kompany’s side possessing the worst home record in the Premier League this season. Everton have been excellent on their travels so Dyche will fancy his chances of returning to Burnley victorious.

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