Everton v Brighton preview: Pressure on Sam Allardyce ahead of crucial clash
Last Updated: 10/03/18 7:53am
Under-pressure boss Sam Allardyce is determined to end Everton's bad run of form ahead of a crucial Premier League fixture against Brighton on Saturday.
Allardyce suffered a sixth successive away defeat at Burnley on Saturday, with Everton dropping down into 11th in the table.
However, Everton have lost just one of their nine home league games since Ronald Koeman's departure (W6 D2), and that was against Manchester United in January.
Ahead of the Brighton match, Allardyce insists he wants to stay on at the Merseyside club.
He told reporters: "Of course. I am having talks with him (Moshiri) but those talks are confidential.
"I came out of retirement because there was a long-term plan at Everton, a long-term aspect of going forward which I was excited to be a part of and understanding the history of Everton football club.
"It is a difficult period at the moment, yes, but we have to turn that around and start on Saturday."
Brighton are unbeaten in five Premier League games (W3 D2) and have won back-to-back games in the competition for the first time.
Everton defender Ashley Williams is suspended as he starts a three-match ban for his red card at Burnley last weekend.
Captain Phil Jagielka returns to the squad after missing the game at Turf Moor and is likely to step into the void left by Williams.
Fellow centre-back Ramiro Funes Mori could make an appearance in a matchday squad for the first time in 11 months after knee surgery.
Brighton manager Chris Hughton has no new selection problems.
Defender Ezequiel Schelotto was forced off following a heavy in challenge in last weekend's win over Arsenal but he will be available to face Sam Allardyce's Toffees.
Midfielder Steve Sidwell, who has not played all season following back and ankle injuries, remains Albion's only absentee.
Everton have lost only one of their nine previous league meetings with Brighton (W4 D4), with that loss coming away in February 1982 (1-3).
The last two league meetings between these sides at Goodison Park have ended level, but this will be the first such meeting since October 1982 (2-2).
The Toffees have won their last six Premier League home games against newly promoted sides. It's their fifth such run of six wins, but they've never previously managed seven in a row in the competition.
After picking up 10 points from a possible 12 in Allardyce's first four games in charge (W3 D1 L0), the Toffees have earned just nine from the last 33 available (W2 D3 L6).
Brighton are unbeaten in five Premier League games (W3 D2) and have won back-to-back games in the competition for the first time, though both of those have been at home.
After a run of six away league games without a goal, Brighton have opened the scoring in their last two on the road. However, they've ended up drawing both games 1-1.
Brighton will be the 41st different opponent Allardyce has faced in the Premier League, the fourth most in the competition (Arsene Wenger 46, Alex Ferguson 44, Harry Redknapp 43). The only side he's failed to beat in England's top-flight is Derby (P4 W0 D1 L3).
The pressure's on Everton to win this. Sam's getting a bit of stick off the fans, and Brighton had a good result against Arsenal. Everton aren't free-flowing, they'll make it tight and I reckon Brighton will go for a draw too so there won't be many goals.
I'm pleased for Brighton and Hughton, who's a top manager in my opinion. When Brighton come to big six-pointers, you can't afford to lose but I think it's a free swing for Brighton.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-0 (5/1 with SkyBet)