Everton will look to make a quick recovery from their Merseyside derby nightmare when they host Brighton at Goodison Park on Saturday.
The Toffees crashed out of the FA Cup with a 1-0 defeat to what was effectively a Liverpool youth team last time out — arguably the club’s most humiliating result in recent history.
Pressure is now firmly on Carlo Ancelotti’s squad to turn things around quickly and to do so, they must overcome a Brighton side which snatched an unlikely 3-2 victory from the Toffees back in October, with a little help from VAR.
Can Everton get back on track or will the Seagulls heap further misery on the newly-appointed Ancelotti? Read on for our preview, predictions, team news and possible XIs.
When is Everton vs Brighton and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Goodison Park
Date: Saturday, 11 January 2020
Kick-off: 3:00 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): N/A
Last five meetings: Everton vs Brighton
26 Oct 2019: Brighton 3-2 Everton (Premier League)
29 Dec 2018: Brighton 1-0 Everton (Premier League)
03 Nov 2018: Everton 3-1 Brighton (Premier League)
10 Mar 2018: Everton 2-0 Brighton (Premier League)
15 Oct 2017: Brighton 1-1 Everton (Premier League)
Aggregate Score: Everton (LLWWD) 8-6 Brighton (WWLLD)
Ones to watch
Everton: Fabian Delph
Everton’s midfielders were run ragged against Liverpool’s youngsters on Sunday and even the introduction of Fabian Delph wasn’t enough to stem the tide.
However, the former Man City man does have the ability to wrestle back possession and control the tempo of games when he’s on top form — Everton will need that here.
Furthermore, the England international will have a serious point to prove should he come off the bench after getting involved in a social media spat with disgruntled Evertonians.
Key stat: Delph has completed more passes per 90 minutes (47.95) than any other Everton player in the Premier League this season.
Brighton: Dale Stephens
If Everton have a real weakness in midfield, Dale Stephens is likely to be the first Brighton player to sniff it out.
The 30-year-old has been ruthlessly effective in breaking up opposition attacks for the Seagulls so far this season and will look to exert his defensive influence.
Tom Davies partners Gylfi Sigurdsson in midfield with Fabian Delph on the bench, flanked by Theo Walcott and Bernard. Meanwhile, Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison continue their strike partnership and Mason Holgate stays in defence ahead of Yerry Mina.
Confirmed XI: Pickford; Sidibe, Keane, Holgate, Digne; Walcott, Davies, Sigurdsson, Bernard; Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.
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Dan Burn is sidelined with a dislocated shoulder, so Bernardo fills in as a wing-back with Graham Potter option for a three-man central defence consisting of Aaron Webster, Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy. Alireza Jahanbakhsh starts after earning Brighton a point against Chelsea on New Year’s Day.
Confirmed XI: Ryan; Webster, Duffy, Dunk; Montoya, Propper, Stephens, Bernardo; Jahanbakhsh, Trossard; Maupay.
Everton will still be reeling from their Merseyside derby embarrassment against what was effectively a Liverpool youth team, and their fans are not impressed — even going as far to confront director of football Marcel Brands at Finch Farm.
A win at home to Brighton is a must but the Toffees are experts at choking when it really matters, while they’ve lost their last two meetings with the Seagulls.