Everton vs Brighton & Hove Albion Preview: Toffees and Seagulls meet in clash for top ten finish

Sam Allardyce's Everton side welcome an in-form Brighton & Hove Albion side to Goodison Park in a clash that could strengthen either side's claim for a top ten finish this season.

Everton vs Brighton & Hove Albion Preview: Toffees and Seagulls meet in clash for top ten finish
It was a 1-1 draw the last time the two sides met at the AMEX earlier in the season.(Source:Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

Brighton & Hove Albion travel to Goodison Park to face Everton in a Premier League clash that could offer Chris Hughton's men a chance be comfortably in the top 10 of the league standings.

After an unbeaten February, Hughton was awarded the Barclays Manager of the Month prize. Now, the Brighton boss will hope that his side can continue a positive run in form in March and until the end of the season.

After a shock 2-1 victory over Arsenal in their previous game, the Seagulls will be full of confidence to face the Toffees.

As for Everton, they will be hoping to avoid a third loss on the bounce. After two straight away defeats, Sam Allardyce will pray that his side can find comfort and the back of the net at home.

Seagulls flying higher than ever 

Coming into the game, both sides are equal on points and are only separated by goal difference. Everton are 11th on the table, whereas Brighton are 10th. However, both teams come into the match in very different forms.

Brighton have enjoyed an unbeaten period of games since the end of January and have produced some surprise results to rescue themselves from the clutches of a relegation battle.

As for Everton, Allardyce's players just have not been at the races since the turn of the year. With just two wins in the league since the start of 2018, Big Sam will be wondering just where does he start fixing his team and prevent a disastrous ending to the season.

Everton have cause for joy with return of key defensive figures

With the likes of Glenn Murray and Pascal Groß in excellent form, Allardyce will welcome the return of some key figures in defense. Ramiro Funes Mori and Leighton Baines could make their first starts since March 2017. 

However, the Everton boss is still without Ashley Williams who misses out through suspension and Eliaquim Mangala, the Frenchman has a knee injury. James McCarthy remains the other long-term absentee.

As for Brighton, Hughton has no fresh injury concerns and will command a full-strength squad with the exception of club veteran Steve Sidwell, who is still recovering on the sidelines.