Brighton vs Everton preview: Lewis Dunk returns from suspension
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Last Updated: 29/12/18 8:39am
Brighton will be boosted by the return of defender Lewis Dunk following a one-match ban when Everton visit the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Albion have gone four Premier League matches without a victory, with manager Chris Hughton unable to select his preferred centre-back partnership of England international Dunk and Shane Duffy during that period because of suspensions.
"The most important thing is they are all available. We are going through a series of games now in a short period of time," said Hughton.
"It's about having everybody available. We have options at centre-half which is important for us."
Meanwhile, Everton boss Marco Silva is likely to start with Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the Toffees' attack on the south coast.
The game at Burnley on Boxing Day, in which Everton bounced back emphatically from Sunday's dismal 6-2 home loss to Tottenham with a 5-1 win, saw Calvert-Lewin make a third successive start.
The 21-year-old centre-forward has scored five times in all competitions this season, most recently in the 3-1 loss at Manchester City on December 15.
Silva said of the England U21 player on Thursday: "I am happy with him, but I want more because he has the quality to give more to us as a team and to improve more and more and more.
"He has some specific skills I like in a striker and he knows what I expect from him and the work we are doing with him.
"If he has started the last three matches, it is because he deserves it and I believe in him."
Brighton will be without goalkeeper Mat Ryan on Saturday after the Australian joined his country's squad ahead of the Asian Cup, which runs from January 5 to February 1, with David Button and Jason Steele competing to replace him.
Dunk returns from his one-match ban, but Alireza Jahanbakhsh, who is on international duty with Iran following a hamstring problem, remains unavailable, along with fellow winger Jose Izquierdo (knee).
As for the visitors, Richarlison may be restored to their starting line-up after coming off the bench to net his ninth Premier League goal of the season in the Burnley contest.
Fellow forward Ademola Lookman, missing for the last two matches with an ankle injury, could also be back involved.
And regarding midfielder James McCarthy, who has not featured since suffering a horrific double-fracture of his lower right leg against West Brom on January 20, Silva said: "He is training with the team. He is ready if I take the decision for him to play."
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- Brighton have won just one of their last 11 league matches against Everton (D4 L6), winning 3-1 in the top-flight in February 1982
- Everton have lost just one of their five previous top-flight away games against Brighton (W2 D2)
- Everton are without a win in each of their last seven Premier League away games against south coast teams (D3 L4) since a 3-0 victory against Southampton in August 2015
- Since a 0-2 defeat against Leicester in March, Brighton have scored at least once in their last 12 Premier League home games (W5 D5 L2)
- Brighton are without a clean sheet in their last nine Premier League games - no side is on a longer current run without one in the competition
- Everton are looking to win consecutive Premier League away games for the first time since September 2016
- Everton scored five goals in their last Premier League away game, more than they'd scored in their previous six combined on the road (4)
- Everton haven't won their final league match of a calendar year since 2013 (2-1 vs Southampton), losing three and drawing once since then.
This is a difficult game for Brighton after Everton bounced back against Burnley like they did. Everton's confidence will be sky high now and they can just go out and play. After getting beat 6-2 at home, it does not matter who you are playing next, to go out and win like they did is some going. I cannot remember too many teams do that to Burnley. Brighton will struggle to contain Everton in attack.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-3 (16/1 with Sky Bet)