By Nick Ware

12th Mar, 2021 | 8:00pm

Goodison Stats: 56% - League-leading stat shows Everton can withhold Burnley aerial onslaught

Burnley’s long-ball tactics can cause problems for any club but Everton possess the physical capabilities to stand up to their threat.

The Blues welcome Sean Dyche’s side to Goodison Park on Saturday evening looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat to Chelsea where they failed to lay a glove in West London.

This fixture looks like being the perfect opportunity to right their wrongs at Stamford Bridge but the encounter will not pass without its unique difficulties that the Clarets can throw at teams.

There are not many teams like Burnley around, certainly not in the Premier League that has provided a safe haven for the mercurial talents of Sadio Mane, Raheem Sterling et al.

According to stats by Wyscout Burnley are involved in more aerial duels than any other Premier League side this season with 47.37 per 90. Their total of 1411 is 114 more than second-placed Sheffield United.

Therefore there is no surprise to see that they play the most long balls with 56.5 per 90 and a 56.2% completion rate shows these ‘passes’ are more successful than not.

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With Chris Wood as the Burnley battering ram, they have a clear focal point to aim for and that is before the likes of James Tarkowski and Ben Mee are thrown into the equation at set-pieces. Never has the term ‘throw it in the mixer’ been more appropriate to describe a club’s style of play than the Clarets’.

Dyche doesn’t play by the rules – just pop over to the red half of Merseyside and ask Jurgen Klopp for his take.

Burnley upset the odds to inflict a shock 1-0 defeat at Anfield on January 21 and Everton must be on their guard to avoid similar pain.

However, the Blues are better equipped than any other Premier League side, and certainly more so than Liverpool, in negating Burnley’s aerial threat.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side actually possess the Premier League’s highest aerial duel success rate with 56% with Manchester United trailing in second by a considerable distance with 52.5% [Wyscout].

We have five players in the top 30 in the division for this metric – more than any other clubs, with Lucas Digne [ninth – 70%], Michael Keane [10th – 69.17%] and Ben Godfrey [13th – 68.06%] our top performers.

Added to that is our 61.1% defensive duel completion which ranks fourth in the division and further highlights the difficulties teams face in breaking the Blues’ resistance.

Before Chelsea scored twice on Monday Jordan Pickford has kept three clean sheets, too.

With the likes of Keane and Godfrey we have the tools to shutout Burnely with ease and we’re backing them to do the business and set us on our winning way again.

In other Everton news, see our exclusive with Kevin Campbell on who he thinks will be the difference-maker v Burnley.