Everton’s impressive home form prevented them from slipping up against Leicester at the weekend, a result that ended Craig Shakespeare’s perfect start at the helm for the Foxes. Romelu Lukaku was the hero for the Toffees once again, scoring either side of half time to keep Everton in the game. Burnley, Everton’s opponents this weekend, could only come away from the Riverside with a point, their second straight goalless draw at a bottom-two side. Such toothlessness away from home does not bode well for a trip to a team now level on points with Arsenal.
Everton’s recent form has been excellent. Against non-top-six opposition, they’ve won nine of 11 unbeaten matches, keeping seven clean sheets, and at home they’ve now won seven straight in the league, equalling a club record, scoring 26 times and keeping five clean sheets in that time. Burnley look set to stay in the division, but they’ve been appalling on the road, drawing four and losing 12 of their away games this season – they and Rotherham are the only two teams in English league football without an away win this term. They’ve scored in seven of their last nine on the road (six of which were losses), but they’ll struggle to beat a side that has conceded just 12 at home all season.
Despite Everton’s home clean sheet record, their habit of conceding against weaker teams (such as Leicester last week, as well as Bournemouth and Swansea earlier in the season) prevents us from backing them to win to nil. Instead, we think they’ll cover the -1 Handicap, as they have done in each of their last seven home games.
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