Everton v Brighton
Saturday, Mar 10 – 15:00
Everton lost 2-1 to Burnley last weekend, despite going ahead early in the first-half. The Toffees have now won just two of their last 12 competitive matches, leading to further questions over whether Sam Allardyce is the right man to take them forward in the future. Allardyce was critical of his side following the Burnley match, claiming Everton missed too many chances, and ‘gifted’ the Clarets with two easy goals. Everton head into tomorrow’s match 11th in the Premier League table, seven points adrift of the relegation zone.
Brighton managed to beat Arsenal 2-1 in their last league match, with Glenn Murray scoring the decisive goal for the Seagulls. Murray has now netted 11 times in the league this season, scoring three of those goals in his last two matches. Manager Chris Hughton described the result as ‘massive’ for Brighton – who have struggled against many of the bigger clubs this season. Hughton’s side are now 10th on the leaderboard, taking 34 points from their 29 matches this season.
What the stats tell us:
- Everton have only lost one of their last nine matches against Brighton in league competitions (W4 D4) – the defeat coming in February 1982.
- Each of the last two matches between these clubs at Goodison Park have ended in a draw – this will be their first league fixture since 1982.
- Everton have won each of their last six matches at home against newly-promoted clubs – they’ve never recorded seven in a row in the Premier League.
- Sam Allardyce picked up 10 of a possible 12 points during his first four matches in charge of Everton – the Toffees have now taken nine from a possible 33 (W2 D3 L6).
- However, Everton have only lost one of their nine matches at Goodison Park since Ronald Koeman was fired (W6 D2).
- Brighton are currently unbeaten in five matches in the Premier League (W2 D3) – and have claimed consecutive victories for the first time.
- The Seagulls have opened the scoring in each of their last two away matches – prior to this they went six away games without a goal.
- Brighton are set to become the 41st opponent that Sam Allardyce has come up against in the Premier League – only three managers have faced more opponents (Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Harry Redknapp).
- Glenn Murray has found the back of the net five times in his last five matches in the Premier League – only Mohamed Salah and Sergio Aguero have scored more in 2018.
- Pascal Gross has provided eight assists in the Premier League this season – only four players have recorded more, and three of them play for Man City.
Everton have been poor over the last few weeks, and while they will almost certainly be safe come the end of the season, the fans and players will view this campaign as something of a write off. The big problem for the Toffees is a lack of cohesion in the starting XI – they’re relying too much on individual talent going forward, and their defenders are often caught out of position. They could really struggle to keep a clean sheet tomorrow, particularly with Glenn Murray in such fine form. We’re backing the Seagulls’ striker to find the back of the net again in this one.