Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Prediction: Everton vs Brighton

Verdict: Under 2,5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 3/5

Bookmaker: 888sport

Two teams in the middle of the standings in the Premier League will collide this Saturday, as Brighton will visit Everton at Goodison Park. With both sides 11 points adrift Arsenal in the race for a UEFA Europa League berth, it seems their main focus should be to avoid a potential relegation to the Championship. They only sit seven points above the red zone, so they must beware and get a good result in this game.

Everton

Everton might sit in 11th place and are quite far away from the relegation zone – considering all the teams between them and the 18th place – but there is no question this season has been quite a disappointment for The Toffees. Despite the fact they got a massive transfer-funds boost in the offseason, they haven’t been able to live up to the expectations. One of the reaons for their struggle has been the fact that Everton couldn’t replace Romelu Lukaku, but that is not the only reason. Some of the signings didn’t pan out, and right now it seems their biggest objective it is to avoid a potential relegation to the Championship. They haven’t have good results of late, though, as they have lost three of their past four games. They sit 11 points behind Arsenal in the race for the final UEFA Europa League berth. Will they have enough time to turn things around? That seems quite unlikely.

Team News

Everton have several confirmed absentees for this match.

Eliaquim Mangala (knee), James McCarthy (broken leg), Maarten Stekelenburg (groin) and Ashley Williams (suspension) are all out.

Brighton

Brighton have performed better than expected this season. They got promoted this past season, and have settled themselves quite nicely and are in 10th place in the Premier League standings. In fact, they have the same point tally than Everton so they are basically in the same position: quite far from the European spots, and rather comfortably away from the relegation zone. The main difference here is the expectation for both teams, as Brighton’s lone goal is to avoid relegation and they are in good track to achieve that accomplishment. Their recent form certainly helps them, as they are riding a five-game undefeated streak with three wins and two draws. To make things even better, they are just one of four undefeated teams in the past five games alongside Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham. Could they maintain that run towards the end of the season?

Team News

Brighton are quite healthy ahead of this game.

The lone absentee is Scott Sidwell, who remains out with an ankle injury. Jiri Skalak is doubtful due to a similar injury, but has not been ruled out yet.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Brighton’s striker Glenn Murray is on an impressive run of form, registering six goals in his last six games.
  • Everton have gone five consecutive matches without a draw.
  • Brighton are riding a five-game unbeaten run in the Premier League. They have three wins and two draws over that span.
  • Meanwhile, Everton have lost just one of their last five home games (W2, D2, L1). There has been an average of 2.2 goals per game on those five contests.
  • When these two sides met earlier this season, it ended with a 1-1. That was their first ever Premier League match between these two clubs.

Conclusion

Both sides are in the middle of the standings and this could end up being a tightly-contested battle. Expect them to score under 2,5 goals.

Verdict: Under 2,5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 3/5

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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