Everton v Brighton & Hove Albion

After two consecutive losses on the road, the Blues are back in home territory to face a red hot Brighton & Hove Albion.

Last weekend’s Premier League exploits saw Everton drop two places down the table to 11th with Saturday afternoon’s opponents’ superior goal difference seeing them rise to 10th.

Chris Hughton’s side have won their last three games, in fine fashion too.

They downed Coventry 3-1 in the FA Cup before widening the gap between themselves and the drop zone with a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Swansea.

It was their latest win 2-1 over Arsenal at the Amex Stadium which caught the eye with the score line flattering the Gunners.

Sky were waxing lyrical about how poor Arsenal were but all credit to those in blue and white.

Brighton were excellent on the day and made Arsenal look like they were the team experiencing their first term in the Premier League, not the other way around.

In many ways Brighton’s fearless win last weekend should be a lesson to Everton, who were terrified in both games against Arsenal this season, shipping 10 goals to them in the process.

The fixture will be Brighton’s first visit to Goodison since October 1982, a 2-2 draw. It will also see the return of a familiar face in Shane Duffy, who was at the club from 2008 until 2014.

One to watch 

Glenn Murray will pose the Toffees backline a massive threat.

The 34-year-old has netted 13 league goals for the south coast outfit, including the second in last weekend’s win.

Murray is a menace in the air, is as clinical with his feet and will most certainly hope he can add to his already impressive tally against a defence that has conceded 49 league goals this season.

Team news 

The hosts can finally welcome back defensive trio Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka and Ramiro Funes Mori after lengthy absences in what could prove to be a massive boost.

Besides the two long-term injuries of James McCarthy and Eliaquim Mangala it is the best shape Everton have been squad wise for the majority of the season.

With the exception of Steve Sidwell, Brighton are expected to go into this one with a full squad at their disposal.

Man in the middle 

Roger East will be the man in charge of the whistle, in his 22 games this campaign East has shown 76 yellow cards and two reds.

Up the Toffees.

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