Date: 22nd August 2009 at 9:12am
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The euphoria of beating Manchester United in our first home game in the Premier League this week has hardly had time to die down and now we have to repeat that performance with Everton the vistors to Turf Moor this Sunday.

The Merseyside club finished 5th in the top flight last season and will seekeing to avenge that openning shocker they had at Goodison Park, going down 6-1 against Arsenal.

There is no doubt the Toffees have been rattled by the disturbing influence of the Julian Lescott affair, but it now looks like that issue has been resolved with Everton today agreeing to his transfer to Manchester City.

Everton will also be buoyed by their impressive performance in midweek against Sigma Olomouc in the Europa League play-off first-leg match. A game they easily won 4-0.

But what about the Clarets? The World has now seen what we can achieve and now all the expectations are that we should repeat the performance against Everton but realistically we need to quickly jump off Cloud Nine and get the mindset right for another very tough challenge against one of the Top 5 sides in the Premier League.

Predicted Team Sheet

We might be a Premier League club now, but I don’t think Owen Coyle will be into player rotation just yet. After the highs of Wednesday night and with no news of any further injuries, I suspect Coyle will be tempted to select the same eighteen that did so well against Manchester United.

Caldwell(groin) and Duff(ankle) are still struggling with injuries and look set once more to miss out on their first match in the Premier League for the Clarets.

If Coyle does change the team, I suspect it could be on the bench with David Edgar missing out against United despite being available after a one-match suspension. Jay Rodriguez is another player who has found himself out of the eighteen after a regular place on the bench last season and new signings Richard Eckersley and Brian Easton must be wondering what they have to do to be considered for selection.

Despite the options and permutations, Coyle tends to stick with winning sides and winning against United doesn’t come any better.

My predicted eighteen though is exactly the same as the one named against United as follows:

Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Bikey, Jordan, Alexander, Elliott, McCann, Blake, Paterson, Fletcher

Subs: Penny, Kalvenes, Gudjonsson, Eagles, McDonald, Guerrero, Thompson.

Burnley Team News:

Clarets captain, Steven Caldwell is still out with a groin injury and Michael Duff still struggling with an ankle problem.

Player to watch: Steven Fletcher

It really is time for our new striker to get his first goal in the Premier League and kick-start his season. A goal will give him a great confidence boost ahead of two tricky away games at Chelsea and Liverpool coming up next.

Everton Team News:

The Julian Lescott saga seems to be over at last with news today that Moyes has finally capitulated and given up the fight to keep the England defender. Everton have agreed to sell him to Manchester City for £22million.

Yakubu is out with an Achilles injury and he will be joined by Anichebe, Arteta and Jagielka who are sidelined with knee problems.

Jack Rodwell could retain his place in the side after a brace of goals in Everton’s midweek 4-0 victory against Sigma Olomouc in the Europa League play-off first-leg match.

Louis Saha looks likely to keep his place ahead of Jo, after his return to the side in midweek scoring two goals against the Czech side.

Player to watch: Tim Cahill

Well we could all watch Fellaini and laugh at his hairdo but the player who could cause us the most problems is Everton midfielder Tim Cahill.

Back to the Future

We continue to look back to the 1975-76 season,; the last time we were in the top flight and today review our performance in the game at Turf Moor against Everton.

The Clarets of course finished second from bottom that season being relegated and never to return for another 33 years. Everton by contrast finished mid-table in 11th spot and we played them early in the season at Turf Moor.

The Toffees came to Turf Moor on the night of Tuesday 19th August 1975 in our second home match of the season. Their manager at the time was Billy Bingham now of course at Burnley on the youth side. Everton’s team that season contained some well-known names including former Claret, Martin Dobson who has been sold the previous season breaking the hearts of many a Clarets fan. Striker, Bob Latchford, Welsh International keeper, Dai Davies and defender Mike Bernard are some of the other players, old fogies like me might recall!

Burnley`s manager at the time was Jimmy Adamson and although he didn`t know it in his final season for the Clarets. He would be replaced by Joe Brown in January 1976. That night the Clarets lined up as follows:

Stevenson, Docherty, Newton, Noble, Waldron, Thomson, Flynn, Hankin, Summerbee, Collins, James Sub: Brennan

20069 fans turned up for the match. The final score was 1-1, Hankin scored after 55 minutes only for Everton to equalise five minutes later.

In a rare win that season though, the Clarets travelled to Goodison Park later in the season and came away with a 3-2 victory but we will leave the story of that one for another day!

Remarkably we have not played Everton in a competitive game since that season and we have not met in any of the domestic cup competitions.

Ref Watch:

Staffordshire referee, Phil Dowd

Match Prediction:

The match against Everton is the second of a sequence of four consecutive matches in which we play a Top 5 club based on the final positions in last season’s table. Until we beat United in midweek this was the only match in which I could see the Clarets getting any points with both Chelsea and Liverpool away to follow.

The Clarets will be on a high after beating the Premier League Champions but can they raise their game again or is there a danger this match could be the mother of all anti-climaxes?

A draw looks the most likely but I will be brave and say we will win 1-0.

Next Match

A nice little easy game at Stamford Bridge next Saturday (29th August)brings up our third consecutive match against a team from the Top 5 last season. The Chelsea game is an early kick-off of 12:45pm due to live coverage by the ESPN cameras.