Saturday 10th March 2018, 3pm kick off
Everton are hoping home comfort can help them on the way to three points on Saturday as they welcome Brighton to Goodison Park.
The Toffees suffered away losses to Watford and Burnley in their most recent games of a dismal run that stretches back to the end of 2017, but Sam Allardyce’s men have found more luck at home on the road recently.
Albion, who have won five and drawn two of their last seven games, are ahead of Everton in the league on goal difference and could further establish themselves in the top half with a win.
The two sides are in contrasting form heading into the encounter, but the blues will be hoping to capitalise on home advantage
Everton’s recent form is a worry, but at home they have proven a little stronger :
▪ Everton have lost just once in their last nine matches at home in the Premier League (W6, D2).
Sam Allardyce appeared to have unlocked the potential of this team
▪ After picking up 10 points from a possible 12 in his first four games in charge, however things surely went back to normal with the Toffees having only earned just nine points from the last 33 available winning just 2 games in 11 matches the pressure is mounting on the soon to be ex Everton manager.
▪ The Toffees have suffered 19 defeats in all competitions in 2017-18, their most in a single season since 21 losses in 2005-06.
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY AHEAD OF THE GAME
Everton manager Sam Allardyce: “We have put a lot of pressure on ourselves because of the last two away results and we have to cope with that pressure and deliver for the fans.
“We are all aware of the disappointment away from home but we have to look at our home results and at the moment that is where our bread and butter lies.
“That is where we have been good, we’ve won the last two home games and only conceded two goals, which were penalties.”
Brighton manager Chris Hughton: “This is the best form we’ve been in this season – but the next game is always the toughest. We’re in a position where the changes between a few games can make a big difference.
“What we’ve done here is tried to build something. We have players who have been here a while and we’ve recruited well too. We’ve brought in good types who have added to us. We haven’t changed what we do on the pitch dramatically either.”
Brighton & Hove Albion current form
▪ Brighton’s recent victory over Arsenal stretched their unbeaten run in all competitions to seven games (W5, D2).
Everton are boosted by the return of defenders Phil Jagielka and Ramiro Funes Mori from injury
It looks like Captain Jagielka Will however get the nod over the Argentine in the starting 11.
Ashley Williams is suspended (thank god 😂) after his sending off at Burnley last weekend and Eliaquim Mangala is out for the season with a knee problem.
Brighton have no fresh injury concerns for their visit to Goodison Park.
SUSPECTED LINE UPS:
Partnering Keane and Mori together for the very first time could be a risk but what have Everton got to lose in that respect because other than in brief spells this season, no two players have commanded their places at the back.
However I think as mentioned above Jagielka will partner Keane in central defence.
It is time to bring Baines back into the fold as well and this could be the difference and bring back much needed balance in the Everton team
Giving a team selection of (4-2-3-1):
Coleman, Keane, Jagielka, Baines;
Walcott, Sigurdsson, Bolasie;
Tosun has an impressive enough scoring record in his nine seasons in professional football with 114 goals in 276 games.
Tosun will likely lead the line against Brighton at Goodison Park at the weekend after his debut goal in the last game at turf moor, he and all evertonians will hoping be continues with more.
To be honest, home form has not been the issue under Sam Allardyce, so a less drastic rethink is needed.
But it still remains a game the Blues need to win – in an attempt to gather some momentum between to end the season well and to put to rest any lingering doubts over being dragged further down into a relegation battle.
PAST THREE MEETINGS:
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Everton 1, Premier League, October 2017
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Everton 2, League Division One, April 1983
Everton 2 Brighton & Hove Albion 2, League Division One, October 1982
RECENT FORM GUIDE:
Brighton & Hove Albion: DWDWWW