Everton travel to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, looking to continue the momentum gained in their win over Burnley.
The Blues snapped their five-game winless streak with the dominant 5-1 win over the Clarets, with the game more-or-less being wrapped up inside the first 20 minutes. A Lucas Digne brace plus goals from Yerry Mina, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Richarlison saw Marco Silva’s side through a tricky away tie over the festive period.
Now, however, with the New Year just on the horizon - another tricky test appears.
Chris Hughton’s Seagulls are looking to get back on track and in win column after a four-game winless run. However, they have only lost twice in the league at the Amex. Last time out, they held high-flying Arsenal to a point and could, and should, have snatched all three points.
The two sides have already met this season. A brace from Richarlison plus a superb strike from Seamus Coleman saw the Blues pick up three points and put in one of their best performances of the campaign. Solly March did manage to get himself on the scoresheet at Goodison Park but the quality of Silva’s side shone through.
Whilst a re-do of that meeting is unlikely to transpire at the Amex, Silva’s men will take the belief of already picking a win up against Brighton into the game.
Last season's meeting
When the two sides met last season at the Amex, a late Wayne Rooney penalty was needed to spare Ronald Koeman’s blushes. The Blues huffed and puffed but couldn’t find their way past the stern resistance of Mat Ryan.
Anthony Knockaert opened the scoring with less than ten minutes to go but Hughton’s side could not hold on to pick up all three points.
Instead, they had to settle for a share of the spoils.
Team News and Predicted XI's
Marco Silva could name Richarlison back into the starting line-up after the Brazilian started the win over Burnley from the bench.
However, Ademola Lookman’s absence looks set to continue. The young winger has an ankle injury and although Silva has stated that he could be in contention, it’s likely he misses out.
Andre Gomes is fit after suffering a knock at Burnley and should start from the off. Idrissa Gueye, who like Richarlison watched from the sidelines for the majority of the game at Turf Moor, could also return to partner Gomes.
As for the hosts, captain Lewis Dunk returns after serving his suspension. Mat Ryan will miss the game after departing for international duty with Australia in the Asian Games.
David Button is in line to deputise whilst Ryan is away.
Brighton: Button, Montoya, Bernardo, Dunk, Duffy, Stephens, Propper, Gross, March, Locadia, Murray.
Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Digne, Mina, Keane, Gueye, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin