Saturday, November 17, 2018

Prediction: Everton vs Brighton

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: Bet365

Two sides enjoying a bright run of form of late, Marco Silva’s Everton side will welcome Brighton to Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon.

Everton

Starting with Marco Silva’s side, although the Blues might be coming off the back of a 2-1 loss away at Old Trafford last time out, Everton appear to be showing signs of settling to life under the former Watford manager. With the likes of Barcelona duo Andre Gomes and Yerry Mina making their debuts following injury issues, the Toffees have won their other three Premier League outings. It has also been their form at Goodison that has shown the most improvements following on from their 3-1 loss at home to West Ham back in September. Beating Palace and Fulham in their last two outings on Merseyside, another win on Saturday would be their third home win without conceding in return for the first time since March 2017. One man to watch in the final third will be playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson. Scoring from the spot against United last weekend, the Iceland captain now has five goals in his last six Premier League appearances. Silva’s side should also be boosted by their recent record against the Seagulls. Everton have never lost at home to Brighton in six matches in all competitions, winning four and drawing two.

Team News

Everton boss Marco Silva is boosted by having a virtually fully-fit squad to choose from.

Midfielder James McCarthy is stepping up his return from a broken leg and played for the club’s under-23 side this week.

Brighton

As for the Seagulls, quickly becoming an established Premier League side, it has been another bright start for Brighton. Sat 11th in the table and with the ambition to secure a top-half finish for the first time, Chris Hughton’s side are now enjoying a three-match winning run. Picking up a trio of 1-0 wins over West Ham, Newcastle and Wolves, Brighton have won three consecutive top-flight matches for the first time since a run of four in May 1981. While a win on Saturday would see the visitors leapfrog Everton in the table, they have shown struggles on the road since their return to Premier League football. The Seagulls have lost 15 of their 24 Premier League away fixtures and also lost the last meeting at Goodison by a score of 2-0. While Everton have their own in-form man in Gylfi Sigurdsson, Brighton striker Glenn Murray has also enjoyed a very impressive start. Scoring his 100th Brighton goal against Wolves last time out was his sixth in eight Premier League starts.

Team News

Brighton remain without the key duo of Pascal Gross and Davy Propper because of ankle injuries.

Gross has not played for two months while Propper has been absent since the win over West Ham on 5 October.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Everton have never lost at home to Brighton in six matches in all competitions, winning four and drawing two.
  • Brighton have beaten the Toffees just once since 1924, a 3-1 home triumph in the top flight in 1982.
  • The Toffees could win three home games without conceding for the first time since March 2017.
  • Gylfi Sigurdsson’s five goals in six Premier League games is more than he managed in his previous 31 outings for Everton.
  • The Seagulls have lost 15 of their 24 Premier League away fixtures (W3, D6, L15).

Conclusion

Although both teams are enjoying a bright start to the new season, Saturday’s match has the potential to produce a low scoring outcome. While Brighton have struggled on the road, they constantly prove to be a tough side to break down and their three consecutive clean sheets cannot be overlooked. We are backing under 2.5 goals at Goodison on Saturday.

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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