Massive six-pointer at Goodison Park


Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin should get to start against Burnley. — AP

THE scrap at the bottom of the Premier League table is almost as intense as it is at the top.

Just 11 points separate the bottom five clubs, all of whom could find themselves in the Championship Division next season.

Indeed, Brentford, who are in 15th place on 28 points, are by no means guaranteed Premiership football next season, or even Crystal Palace, who are one slot ahead of the Bees and two points in front, for that matter.

But one has to believe that if Sheffield were to be relegated, the other two teams to accompany them would probably come from Burnley (19th place/31 played/19 points), Luton Town (18/31/22), Nottingham Forest (17/31/25) and Everton (16/30/26).

Against this background, the fixture at Goodison Park today, where Everton await Burnley, will carry with it a few storylines.

Not least of these will be Burnley attempting to close the seven-point gap on their opponents. But they will have to do it without Vincent Kompany in the dugout.

The Belgian head coach was sent off during last weekend’s match with Chelsea. He was shown the red card for protesting a penalty that saw Lorenz Assignon also receive his marching orders.

Kompany has subsequently been charged with misconduct by the Football Association, and will join Assignon in the stands today.

The Clarets are unbeaten in the league in their last four games. They drew three and won the other.

Against Everton, who will be banking on home advantage, Burnley will be out to garner at least a draw, if not a win.

The Toffees will have a similar mindset, although they drew their last outing and lost the three before that.

Everton, who like Forest have had points deducted this season for breaching the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules, will be hoping Dominic Calvert-Lewin finds the net again.

Expected to start today, the 27-year-old England-born striker saw his last-ditch penalty secure a valuable point for Sean Dyche’s side against Newcastle United in midweek after coming off the bench.

Ivory Coast striker Datro Fofana will probably be the player Burnley will look to for goals. The 21-year-old, on loan from Chelsea since January, has shown some good form in and around the penalty box.

And should he make his mark in this six-pointer, it could have huge bearings on how things turn in the relegation zone.

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