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Carlo Ancelotti took charge of Everton for the first time on Boxing Day last year when we were their opponents at Goodison Park and today he brings a team to Turf Moor for the first time since he was Chelsea manager.

Everton had made a much better start to the season this time round although they have slipped up recently but they have designs on a finish that will at least get them into European competition next season.

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He said ahead of the game: “It will be important to have a positive result against Burnley because we want to stay in touch at the top of the table. We are starting a very important period, we have a lot of games around Christmas. It is true there is a lot of competition at the top but we want to be there. It is important to have consistency in our results. In this period, we want to stay in touch and prepare well for the second part of the season.

“Burnley have a strong identity and strong organisation. It will be a tough game, they are better now compared to the start of the season. We know what kind of game to expect. We haven’t found balance yet; we are really good offensively but had problems defensively. We have tried to solve this problem and every game is a test to see how we are. Against Burnley, I hope we can be better in this aspect.”

Sean Dyche spoke about their recent run of losses and said: “They have an incredibly experienced manager and a top manager and a very good group of players. What it does do is show the strength of the Premier League because you’ve never got it sussed in the Premier League. You have a great run of results, and most of them they deserved and played very well, and then suddenly you have a tough run of results.

“It’s a strange animal the Premier League. It just sneaks up on you and all of a sudden you’re thinking ‘hang on, we’ve won one in five when we were cruising. I think that’s the reality of the Premier League and, in a strange way, it’s pleasing to see that even the bigger clubs with big resources and top managers find it tough at times and can have bad spells. That can happen to anyone.”

We couldn’t follow up on the home win against Crystal Palace with a positive result at Manchester City but Dyche, who will be in charge of his 200th Premier League game today, added: “We’ve got to focus on ourselves and get ourselves out of our tough spell. We hope to correct it and make it that our tough spell’s done for the season. It’s not always that easy but that’s certainly what we’re looking to do.

“We have to improve on the mentality from last week in the first half and take on the mentality from the Palace game. I thought that was a very good performance and we’ve got to put more of those performances in to make sure we look after ourselves.”

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