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Premier League Preview: Burnley vs. Everton

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  • Burnley won 1-0 away on Oct. 1
  • Clubs separated by three points
  • Everton leads all-time 48W-29D-34L

The race for seventh in the Premier League pits a surprising top half contender with a club that planned to be much higher on the table (Watch live at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The latter is Everton, and Sam Allardyce‘s men look like his other stops at teams with aspirations: Disappointing. The Toffees have won just two of their last 10 kicks.

[ MORE: MLS Roundtable | Predictions ]

That’s stopped them from catching Burnley, who has not been able to maintain its early season pace. As high as fifth following a Dec. 16 draw, the Clarets have not won since (though Sean Dyche‘s men have posted six draws in 11 matches).

What they’re saying

Sean Dyche on Burnley pride“The journey here is about winning, but what often gets overlooked is the amount of good work done by my staff and the players themselves. Nick (Pope) is a case in example. A very short time ago he was playing at Charlton and they were relegated from the Championship. Now, we read he is being considered for England and a possibility for a World Cup. The work that (Goalkeeping Coach) Billy Mercer has put in, also with Tom Heaton, and all my staff here with players like Michael Keane, Kieran Trippier, Danny Ings, Charlie Austin, Andre Gray and, to bring it up to date with Tarky, Ben Mee and Corky.”

Sam Allardyce on returning defenders Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman““There is no doubt they contribute offensively and defensively. Not just with their passing ability or final-third attacking ability but, certainly from Seamus’ point of view, the added one on top of that is his goals – not just his assists. And Leighton is good on the assists side and penalties. Where we have been a bit light up front is in the number of goals people have scored – anybody who can pick up goals in the rest of our team adds to the tally and can contribute to the results we are looking for, particularly away from home.”

Prediction

The Clarets are due for a win, and would claim a surprising sweep of Everton with a win at home. Might they do it? Sure, but we’ll peg each side for a goal and a point. 1-1.

Neil Taylor banned two games for Coleman tackle

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ZURICH (AP) Wales defender Neil Taylor has been banned for two World Cup qualifying games for a red-card tackle that broke the leg of an Ireland opponent.

The Welsh soccer federation said Wednesday that the FIFA disciplinary panel imposed the ban. Taylor, who plays for Swansea, will miss matches at Serbia on June 11 and against Austria on Sept. 2.

FIFA rules require a ban of at least one match for serious foul play.

Ireland captain Seamus Coleman‘s right leg was broken by Taylor’s challenge during the teams’ 0-0 draw in Dublin on March 24. The Everton defender’s leg was visibly damaged before he was carried off on a stretcher.

Ireland is second in Group D, level with Serbia. Third-place Wales trails by four points with five games left.

Everton loses Coleman to leg break on Ireland duty

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A horror tackle from Wales’ Neil Taylor snapped Seamus Coleman‘s leg in gruesome fashion on Friday.

Taylor was given a red card, and Coleman was stretched off the pitch in the 0-0 draw.

[ MORE: UEFA World Cup qualifying wrap ]

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill confirmed what was apparent from the match replay: the Everton man has a broken ankle.

“It’s a bad break. He’s a fantastic player and character. It’s a major blow for the lad, his club and us.

“Apparently it wasn’t the best challenge in the world – I haven’t seen it. He’s gone to hospital. I saw his reaction immediately and it didn’t look good. He was holding is leg up and it didn’t look good.

This is not only awful for the player, but causes stress as Everton mounts its assault on the Top Six. The right back has also manned right mid for Ronald Koeman this season, and has four goals and four assists in 26 Premier League matches.

Mason Holgate, Muhamed Besic, and Phil Jagielka have played some right back for Everton, while Ramiro Funes Mori has deputized at left back.

Crystal Palace 0-1 Everton: Big Sam finds the drop zone

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  • Coleman breaks through
  • Palace joins Bottom Three
  • Davies with assist

Crystal Palace began Sam Allardyce‘s tenure above the drop zone, and now finds itself inside it.

Everton struck later to seize three points with a 1-0 win at Selhurst Park on Sunday, as Seamus Coleman scored the decisive marker.

The win puts Everton on 36 points, six back of fifth-place Man City. Palace is 18th, two points behind Swansea City.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The shots kept coming for Everton, who scored on four of four attempts against Man City.

It took 16 for them to break through against Palace, with Tom Davies‘ pass finding Coleman for a blast past Wayne Hennessey. 1-0.

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WATCH: Everton holds off manic Arsenal with goal mouth clearances

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Everton’s hot run to start the season had significantly cooled. Turns out it took a red-hot opponent to reinvigorate the Toffees.

And it went down to the wire, too.

[ RECAP: Everton 2-1 Arsenal ]

Everton defender Ashley Williams saw an early shot deflect off his leg and into the goal before Seamus Coleman equalized, setting the stage for Williams to head home a winner that ended Arsenal’s unbeaten Premier League run at 14 games.

“It’s nice to get my first goal for Everton. I was disappointed with their goal, so it’s nice to make up for it in the end. … I should’ve done better on that. I was disappointed, and was desperate to get one at the other end.

“This was about trying to put things right”

Williams’ 86th minute goal wasn’t quite enough, as Coleman and Leighton Baines made thrilling stoppage time blocks to seal the win (See above).

As for the goal, check it here:

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