Brighton – Everton: 15th October 2017
In the eighth round of the Premier League, the newly-promoted Brighton meets on Everton’s own field in an important duel from relegation. Brighton is in 14th place in the standings, with 5-9 goalscorer, while Koeman’s team is on 16th place with a 4-12 goal. The match takes place on Sunday at 15:30 and the failure would blow up the atmosphere on “Goodison Park”
Everton has gone 11 victories without defeat, and the defensive was a problematic section this season (even though they signed Keane and Williams). Brighton has lost 3 of the last 4 stages and will play cautiously. Everton did not make the transition to life after Lukaku, and Rooney and Calvert-Lewin are not enough to attack to fill the Belgian’s absence. It was bought for a huge sum of Icelandic Gylfi Sigurdsson from Swansea, but the overall impression is that the “new Everton” is still looking, in a 3-5-2 system that does not fit well with Koeman’s players.
The Dutchman remains consistent and maintains the system, also offering chances to young players and those who did not have much access to the first team last season. For example, striker Niasse, who was lent to Hull for the previous season, is now in attack and one of the white-blue scorers. Brighton, in turn, knows what weapons to fight to block Everton’s players and that’s why we are counting on a tight, organized game. A bet on the draw at the break is realistic, and the share for the final X is also appealing.
Brighton succumbed 0-2 to Arsenal last season, but had only two defeats in the previous four duels, so the first league was fast-tracked by Houghton’s students. “The Seagulls” have some quality players and surely Everton, who is fighting for relegation now, will not have an easy game. Let’s note that in the last 7 official matches, Everton only won with Bournemouth (hard after 0-1) and with the divisive second Sunderland in the League Cup. With such a form it’s hard to believe that guests are favorite.
THE PROBABLE TEAMS
Brighton: Ryan – Bruno, Dunk, Duffy, Suttner – Knockaert, Stephens, Propper, March – Gross – Brown
Everton Pickford – Martin, M. Keane, Williams – Baines – Schneiderlin, Gueye – Calvert, Lewin, Rooney, Sigurdsson – Niasse