After hitting their first slump in the past ten days under Carlo Ancelotti, Everton look to hit back as they welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to Goodison Park.
Should Arsenal lose at Lunchtime, whoever wins here could move up to tenth in the Premier League table.
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Everton have no fresh injury concerns to report as Alex Iwobi closes in on a return from a hamstring injury, although he won’t feature this weekend.
Jean Phillipe-Gbamin (tendon) could also return next weekend but Andre Gomes (ankle) remains sidelined for the foreseeable future.
Brighton could have Aaron Mooy and Glenn Murray available if they can overcome knocks.
Solly March (groin) could also return but Jose Izquierdo (knee) and Dan Burn (shoulder) won’t be back until February.
Leon Balogun remains out indefinitely with a thigh injury.
Everton saw a five league game unbeaten run ended on New Year’s Day at Manchester City, although they have lost just one of their last five home games (W2, D2, L1).
Brighton are unbeaten in five of their last seven league games (W2, D3, L2), whilst scoring in each of their last six away trips (W1, D1, L4).
- Everton have drawn just one of five previous Premier League meetings against Brighton (W2, D1, L2).
- Brighton haven’t won in seven previous trips to Goodison Park in all competitions (D2, L5).
- This is the first meeting between these teams to take place in January.
- Everton are yet to have a player sent off in this Premier League fixture.
- No Brighton player has hit the woodwork more than once this season.
After two contrasting halves in the Merseyside FA Cup derby last week, Carlo Ancelotti has a tough task to get this Everton team performing consistently over 90 minutes, because they were great in the first-half then just went lethargic in the second-half against a youthful Liverpool team.
Brighton therefore is the worst team that they can face at this moment in time because if the Seagulls get on top with their passing game, I genuinely can’t see Everton doing much other than a draw at best.
I therefore have a feeling that Brighton might just well pick up their first ever away win at Goodison Park, simply because they’re the stronger team as matches wear on whereas Everton need to find some consistency.
Prediction: Everton 1-2 Brighton
Result: Everton 1-0 Brighton