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Preview: Everton vs. Brighton & Hove Albion - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Everton and Brighton & Hove Albion, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Everton will be looking to continue their 100% start to the new season when they welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Toffees have won all six of their competitive outings so far this term - including three from three in the league - whereas Brighton are looking to bounce back from two home defeats to Manchester United in the space of four days.


Match preview

Dominic Calvert-Lewin carries the match ball after scoring a hat-trick against West Ham United in the EFL Cup on September 30, 2020© Reuters

Only three clubs have a perfect record after three games of the season - plus Aston Villa with two wins from two - with Everton currently sharing that accolade alongside Leicester City and Merseyside rivals Liverpool.

Goal difference leaves them third behind those two, yet while Liverpool have lost in the Community Shield and Leicester have been knocked out of the EFL Cup, Everton's record so far remains unblemished across all competitions.

It is too early to get carried away, but Goodison has a sprinkling of stardust not seen at the club for a long time, and the statistics reflect that, with Wednesday night's 4-1 win over West Ham United making it six wins from six at the start of the season - the first time they have done that since 1938-39.

Another victory this weekend would seal Everton's best start to a campaign since 1894, and they will be firm favourites to maintain their perfect start having already beaten Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace in the league this season.

Admittedly, the latter result did come in highly contentious fashion courtesy of the much-reviled handball law, which Brighton had incidentally found themselves on the wrong end of earlier in the day too, albeit slightly less controversially.

Everton's Richarlison celebrates with Dominic Calvert-Lewin against Crystal Palace on September 26, 2020© Reuters

The win at Palace is the only time in Everton's last five games that they have failed to score three or more goals, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin leading the charge.

The striker scored his second hat-trick in the space of four games during the midweek win over West Ham to take him up to eight for the season already, and his prolific form has now been rewarded with a maiden England call-up.

Indeed, Calvert-Lewin comes into this contest incredibly looking to claim the match ball for the third home game in a row, having already become the first player to score successive trebles in home games under Carlo Ancelotti since Cristiano Ronaldo.

Brighton's Leandro Trossard equalled a rather less illustrious Ronaldo statistic last weekend when he became the first player to hit the woodwork three times in a Premier League match since the Portuguese star did the same in 2006.

The Seagulls as a team remarkably hit the frame of the goal five times throughout that instant Premier League classic against Manchester United - more than any other team has done in a game since records began.

Brighton & Hove Albion striker Neal Maupay celebrates scoring on September 26, 2020© Reuters

Quite how Brighton did not win that game having had 18 shots, or even draw it after equalising in the 95th minute and then still being level when the final whistle initially went, remains something of a mystery, but there was far less drama when the two sides quickly renewed acquaintances in the EFL Cup.

United ran out 3-0 winners at the Amex on Wednesday night to leave Brighton with three defeats from four home games across all competitions this season - compared to two wins and two clean sheets from two games on the road.

Indeed, Brighton have not lost an away game since January, winning four of their last five including back-to-back Premier League away wins for the first time since November 2017.

In the Premier League alone, their comfortable 3-0 victory over Newcastle United last month means that they have now won as many away games in their past four such outings as they had in their previous 27.

The fact that those points against Newcastle remain the only points Brighton have on the board is somewhat harsh after encouraging displays in defeat to Chelsea and Manchester United, but Graham Potter will know that his side need to start turning those performances into results and getting anything away to an in-form Everton will certainly help to shake off the disappointment of last weekend.

Everton Premier League form: WWW
Everton form (all competitions): WWWWWW

Brighton & Hove Albion Premier League form: LWL
Brighton & Hove Albion form (all competitions): LWWWLL


Team News

Everton midfielder Allan goes off injured against West Ham on September 30, 2020© Reuters

Ancelotti named plenty of his big hitters in the team that beat West Ham in the EFL Cup, but it was a decision which looks to have backfired to a certain extent.

Jonjoe Kenny limped off shortly before half time with an ankle injury, and of even greater concern will be the fact that Richarlison and Allan followed him in quick succession in the second half.

Ancelotti has confirmed that Richarlison will undergo a fitness test on the morning of the game, but both Allan and Kenny are unavailable.

The Toffees will also be without Andre Gomes for this match, although Ancelotti insisted that the Portuguese midfielder's injury is not serious.

They join Mason Holgate, Jarrad Branthwaite, Cenk Tosun and Jean-Philippe Gbamin in the treatment room.

Seamus Coleman, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Yerry Mina are among the names expected to come back into the side after being rested in midweek, while in-form Calvert-Lewin and James Rodriguez should retain their places.

Brighton also suffered an injury setback in the EFL Cup with Alireza Jahanbakhsh missing out, while Davy Propper remains sidelined for this one too.

Jose Izquierdo and Florin Andone are also unavailable for the visitors, but Yves Bissouma is ready to return after suspension.

Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Coleman, Mina, Keane, Digne; Doucoure, Delph, Davies; Rodriguez, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison

Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Ryan; White, Dunk, Webster; Lamptey, Lallana, Alzate, March; Trossard, Connolly, Maupay


SM words green background

We say: Everton 3-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton have never won an away match against Everton and, considering the Toffees have scored 12 goals in their three home games so far this season, that looks unlikely to change here.

The Seagulls pose a much greater attacking threat this season and, if they perform as they did against Man United last weekend - with a more clinical edge - then there is every chance that they could come away with something from this game.

However, Everton are flying at the moment and, even without the injured Allan, should have enough to maintain their perfect record and make their best start to a season in 126 years.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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Who will win Saturday's Premier League clash between Everton and Brighton?

Everton
Draw
Brighton
Everton
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Brighton
0.0%
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Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti pictured on July 9, 2020
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