Saturday 3rd November 2018
Everton face Chris Hughton’s in form Brighton side this weekend looking to put last weeks narrow defeat to Manchester United out of their minds. Even though the Toffees failed to leave Old Trafford with a result, the performance was one in which Marco Silva’s men can take a lot of positives from. Everton will now be looking to get back to winning ways and begin to once again, climb the table. Saturdays visitors, Brighton, arrive on Merseyside on a great run of form, winning their last three, all impressively without conceding a goal. The Seagulls will be hopeful of extending this recent run and their current admirable solidity.
Although last week did end in defeat, there were plenty of positives to take away. The Blues began brightly, and the first 15 minutes they were certainly the better side. The pace on the attack caused Manchester United early problems, despite really creating any clear cut chances. The afternoon was ultimately very close and Everton enjoyed their fair share of periods where they could have taken something from the game, aswell as being on the end of an extremely harsh penalty decision, which saw the Blues fall one behind. Overall, Silva’s men were for the most part, positive and fearless at a ground where that’s normally far from the norm for Everton. Gylfi Sigurdsson was once again fantastic and at the heart of pretty much everything the Toffees did. Jordan Pickford was sensational between the sticks. New boys Lucas Digne and Andre Gomes were exceptional and certainly displayed their quality. Perhaps though, the biggest positive was the centre backs. Although the side conceded two, Micheal Keane and Kurt Zouma’s partnership looks to be blossoming game on game. The pair are now beginning to look much more comfortable next to each other, growing in confidence as the weeks go by. With Yerry Mina still to come in too, the competition is beginning to look very healthy.
Without wanting to highlight negatives too much, perhaps the biggest downside for Everton last week was the wobble that followed in the ten minutes after going one behind. Although the Blues held on and stayed in the game, the lack of reaction could have quite easily, on another day, cost them dearly and is certainly something you cant afford to do against sides of that quality.
Everton are now able to enjoy the comforts of a full squad with only one injury currently on the table. James McCarthy remains out but the Irishman is expected to be in line for a return in the near future after recovering from his horrific double leg break, suffered back in January of this year.
Brighton have been hugely impressive in recent weeks and find themselves on a three match winning streak, gaining their first away win of the season in the process, seeing off lowly Newcastle, 1 0. Chris Hughtons men are certainly proving to be hard to beat. Aswell as the recent run, the defensive solidity and organisation of the Seagulls has also seen them keep three clean sheets, after overcoming an in form Wolves side at the Amex last week in a close contest.
Last time out for Brighton, they could perhaps count themselves lucky to walk away with maximum points. In a close game at the Amex, the visitors, Wolves enjoyed the lions share of the ball and created chances that on another day would have secured the victory, however Brightons capability to absorb the pressure and remain solid is something that is becoming all too familiar. After a goalless first half, the second quickly sprung into life when fan favourite front man, Glenn Murray pounced on a scuffed effort from Seagulls full back Bruno to put the hosts one to the good, and Murray his 100th goal in the Blue and white. Amazingly this was their only shot on target. The visitors continued to pile pressure on but to no avail. Goalkeeper Mat Ryan was superb between the sticks and ultimately gained his side three huge points.
Brighton do hold a few injury issues heading into Saturdays contest. Davy Propper is definitely out as the midfielder continues his recovery of the ankle knock picked up against West Ham. Also missing the game will be Pascal Gross after the German suffered a set back on his return to fitness and is expected to be out until mid November.
Heading into Saturdays clash, its imperative Everton bounce back to winning ways. With the forward pace they now possess aswell as their injury list now becoming none existent, its time for the Blues to push on and begin to once again climb the table. The Seagulls will arrive at Goodison in confident fashion, however after the abundance of chances conceded in their victory over Wolves last weekend, Chris Hughton will be massively hoping his side remain tighter this time around.
Will Marcos men be singing the Blues or will the Seagulls once again edge their way to victory?
Everton: Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Zouma, Digne; Gueye, Gomes; Walcott, Sigurdsson, Bernard; Richarlison.
Brighton: Ryan; Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Jahanbakhsh, Stephens, Kayal, Izquierdo; March; Murray.
Everton 3-1 Brighton