Goodison Tactics: Burnley full-back flaws there to be exposed by Richarlison and Everton
Burnley may be a tough nut to crack for most but they have defensive deficiencies that are there for Everton to exploit on Saturday.
Goals are likely to be at a premium at Goodison Park with both sides not known for their extravagant styles of play.
In fact, only Sheffield United have scored less Premier League goals than Burnley’s total of 20 this season while the Blues are the lowest scorers in the top eight, lower than their overall standing of sixth.
Burnley also possess a pretty miserly defence – despite being 15th, only three sides in the bottom half of the league have conceded less than Burnley , but we have spotted a weakness that Everton can use to their advantage.
While Burnley have a formidable centre-back partnership of Ben Mee and James Tarkowski their full-backs are not up to their level, particularly Erik Pieters and Matt Lowton.
Pieters is usually the left-back deputy but he was pressed into against Arsenal last Saturday after Charlie Taylor picked up an injury which is likely to see him miss the trip to Merseyside [LancsLive], and Pieters endured a tough 20 minutes when Nicolas Pepe stepped onto the pitch.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
He was involved in a controversial moment when the officials seemingly missed a blatant handball as Pepe looked to get past him and things weren’t much easier on the other side of the pitch.
Lowton was at fault for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s opener – as you can see below, he offers the Gabon international ‘down the line’ to force him onto his left foot.
This was a wise decision but executed poorly.
He doesn’t get tight enough which allows the Arsenal attacker to cut in and with Lowton horribly flat-footed, he is in immediate danger.
This transpires into an absolute disaster for the 31-year-old and Burnley as he spins 180 degrees and turns his back to Aubameyang as he slots home past Nick Pope.
We saw in our previous encounter with the Clarets at Turf Moor just how much joy can be found down their right-hand side.
The image below shows our equaliser in the 1-1 draw played out on December 5 with Allan on the ball and striving forwards.
Lowton is in no-mans-land as he is stuck between pressing the midfield dynamo and keeping his position as the other three defensive cohorts are doing.
He has no effect on proceedings as the ball is played through to Richarlison who has a one-on-one with Tarkowski and he has the simple task of crossing the ball into the vast space in the Burnley six-yard box for Dominic Calvert-Lewin to tap home.
We expect more of the same on Saturday – isolate Lowton with Richarlison and expect chaos to ensue.
41% of our attacks come down the left compared to 33% on the right [WhoScored] so we are well versed in utilising Richarlison and Lucas Digne to good effect.
The objective is clear – target Burnley’s full-backs and we will reap the rewards.
In other Everton news, see our exclusive interview with Kevin Campbell for his one-to-watch v Burnley.