Brighton & Hove Albion will be looking to kick off 2022 in style when they travel to Merseyside to face a struggling Everton side.
A record-breaking start to the season has seen Albion claim 24 points from 18 games – three points better off at this stage of the campaign than in any of their previous Premier League seasons.
The Seagulls rounded off 2021 with a win at home to Brentford on Boxing Day before a creditable 1-1 draw at Chelsea on Wednesday.
'I'm happy with our team'
And boss Graham Potter believes his side head into the new year in good shape because of the quality of his squad, and remains content with the transfer window now open.
“I’m happy with our team and group,” the Seagulls boss told the media ahead of the trip to Goodison Park.
“It’s been building over the [recent transfer] windows. It’s about bringing the guys in and it’s also about working with the ones that are here as well, developing and helping them.
“We’ve got young players that I think will get better and better – the likes of Robert Sanchez, Tariq Lamptey, Jakub Moder, Alexis Mac Allister and Steven Alzate. There are players there that are really at the start of their careers and that’s exciting for us.
'Recruitment team have done a good job'
“Overall, I think the squad is a good mix, with some older players in there like Danny Welbeck, Adam Lallana, Pascal Gross, Jason Steele, Lewis Dunk. They are guys that know the level, know what’s required and can help the boys at the start of their careers. Our recruitment team have done a good job.”
Brighton have suffered just one defeat on the road so far this season – the joint lowest number of away losses alongside Manchester City and Chelsea – and have discovered a good habit of picking up away points.
And Albion will be looking to carry on that form on Sunday, where Rafa Benitez’s side are going through a difficult time where they have only won once in their last 11 games.
Trossard 'hopeful' of featuring
The Seagulls could have Leandro Trossard back for selection after he returned to training this week. The Belgian forward missed the draw at Stamford Bridge due to fatigue and the club not wanting to risk a major injury to the player.
“Leandro has trained today [Friday] so that’s good news,” Potter revealed at the press conference.
“It was more fatigue with him and he was taken off as a precaution with the quick turnaround in games. We are hopeful that he will be available.
“The Covid situation is fine, touch wood. At the moment we’re in a good place.”