April 16, 2015

It's crunch time for Burnley.

Sean Dyche's relegation-threatened Clarets (5-11-16) have six games remaining to avoid the drop and are just two points from safety heading into the run-in.

Four points from the last four games have given Burnley fans hope their club may pull off an unexpected survival given their status as comfortably the lowest spenders in the division. And Dyche remains confident his players will be able to pull the necessary results out of the bag, without having to worry too much about results elsewhere in the bottom six.

"I don't view what the others do; It's not relevant to me," Dyche said. "The results are, of course. If they go your way. But what they are trying to do is nothing to do with me. It's what we do that's important.

"I am absolutely confident, wholeheartedly confident."

It's been a tough ride for Burnley in 2015, with just one win coming from their last 11 - albeit against defending champions Manchester City. Dyche's side travel to Everton on Saturday also weighed down by the fact they are in terrible scoring form, with George Boyd's strike in the 1-0 win over City the club's only goal in their last six league games.

And breaking down Everton's defence won't come easy for the goal-shy Clarets. Roberto Martinez's Toffees (9-11-12) have kept back-to-back clean sheets at Goodison Park as part of a run of 10 points in four games that has lifted the club out of the relegation scrap.

Young England centre-back John Stones has featured prominently in the recent upswing, replacing Sylvain Distin as the partner for Phil Jagielka at the heart of the Everton defence, and Martinez believes the 20-year-old has proven himself as one of the most promising talents around.

"The way John performs on the pitch is so stylish and elegant, which shows you a glance of the potential he has," the Everton boss said. "At the age of 20, you are not going to find a better centre-back in European football.

"Obviously, John is someone we have made a very strong investment in at a very young age. Now we feel he is right in the middle of what he can achieve. I'm sure there will be many clubs watching John. For Everton, he's a vital player going forward, and for the future. That's something we pride ourselves on - giving youngsters an opportunity. That's something we will do for someone like John at Everton."

Everton remain without experienced defender Tony Hibbert due to a knee injury, but Martinez could be able to call upon Romelu Lukaku, Aiden McGeady and Leon Osman after injury.

Burnley have concerns over the fitness of Steven Reid and Ross Wallace, while Dean Marney and Kevin Long are out until next season with knee ligament injuries.

Martinez's side ran out 3-1 winners when these teams met at Turf Moor in October. Danny Ings scored the only goal for Burnley, while a Samuel Eto'o brace and a Lukaku effort earned the points for Everton.

Saturday's game will be only the second time that Burnley have visited Goodison Park in the Premier League. Everton won the previous meeting 2-0 in 2009.

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