02/11/2023 76comments  |  Jump to last
Match Preview

Ashley Young is expected to keep his place in the side after returning from a one-game ban against Burnley in the Cup in midweek

Everton are back at Goodison Park on Saturday with another chance to register three successive victories in all competitions when Brighton come to town.

The Blues are hoping to build some more momentum following their success at West Ham last Sunday and their comfortable passage to the last eight of the Carabao Cup with the 3-0 win over Burnley in midweek.

Sean Dyche’s men were in the same position just over a month ago when, having won at Brentford and knocked Aston Villa out of the League Cup, they could have made it three straight wins for the first time since August 2021 by beating Luton. However, poor defending and an impotent attacking performance condemned them to a 2-1 defeat.

This weekend’s opponents pose an altogether more difficult challenge than the newly-promoted Hatters as well. Brighton come into match week 11 sitting in seventh place in the Premier League and with the memory of their 4-1 win at Goodison in January still very much seared into the collective Everton memory.

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That sodden evening under the lights was a harrowing one and it ended up being one of the final nails in Frank Lampard’s proverbial coffin as the Toffees’ boss. Under Sean Dyche, Everton have largely been a different proposition, as they demonstrated in the return game at the Amex Stadium in May with a thumping 5-1 win.

With both teams having dismantled the other on their respective patches last year and Everton looking more like a solidly mid-table outfit than relegation fodder, this has the makings of an intriguing contest.

Brighton are once again challenging for a place in the top 6 and have already registered some impressive results away from home, not least their 4-1 win at Wolves in August and their 3-1 triumph at Old Trafford in mid-September.

However, they were also smashed 6-1 by Aston Villa a fortnight later, a sign, perhaps that, just as was the case when Everton thrashed them, Roberto de Zerbi’s side can be prone to falling apart when really tested.

Brighton will be without Solly March (knee), Danny Welbeck (soft-tissue), Julio Espinola (knee) and Jakub Moder (knee), while Pervis Estupian (thigh) and Tariq Lamptey are major doubts and aren’t expected to be back for another week at least.

De Zerbi has an impressively drilled, possession-based team, though, and plenty of talent from which to draw not least hot young striker Evan Ferguson and Kaoru Mitoma, both of who scored on their last visit to Goodison.

With Dominic Calvert-Lewin fit and firing in front of the industrious and unpredictable Abdoulaye Doucouré, Dwight McNeil and Jack Harrison capable of producing goals out of nowhere, Amadou Onana and James Garner forging a decent partnership in midfield, and the defensive due of James Tarkowski and Jarrad Branthwaite providing ever more reliable cover in front of England’s No.1, Jordan Pickford, Everton have threats all of their own.

Providing there are no late injury concerns before the game, Dyche should have an unchanged squad from which to select his starting XI and might only make one change from the team that started against Burnley on Wednesday.

Ashley Young returned from a one-game ban to resume duties at right-back in place of Nathan Patterson and Dyche is likely to fall back on the veteran’s experience again this weekend. Doucouré, meanwhile, should come back into the team at the expense of Arnaut Danjuma who failed to catch the eye against the Clarets.

Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday, 4 November, 2023
Referee: Tim Robinson
VAR: Michael Oliver
Last Time: Everton 1 - 4 Brighton & Hove Albion

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Young, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Onana, Garner, Harrison, McNeil, Doucouré, Calvert-Lewin


Reader Comments (76)

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Minik Hansen
1 Posted 02/11/2023 at 23:49:47
The state the club is in, it’s still an underdog, therefore must give it all once again and work together on the pitch. If the atmosphere at Goodison Park is lit from the start, we’ll get somewhere in the match. COYB UTFT NSNO
Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 03/11/2023 at 00:21:44
The key is our continued improvement in midfield possession. Onana, Garner, Harrison and McNeil have done a fine job in recent games of forcing opponent turnovers in the middle of the park, and in keeping control when they win it.

And our defense is still at its most vulnerable when the opponent is able to attack off a midfield passing mistake. Garner made a couple on Wednesday but Burnley didn't have the ability to take advantage.

Eliminate those mistakes, and we win. I predict 2-1 and lots of celebrating.

Derek Thomas
3 Posted 03/11/2023 at 01:44:27
Mike @ 2; as a midfield I would class it as, at the moment, 'workman like' - but with potential for improvement.

None of the 4 are without a bit of skill - sometimes. None of the 4 are without effort and application - sometimes...glances over at Onana and Harrison.

They're a bit like a 100 or 400m relay team. Will they run off with the Gold? Nah.
But if, over the course of the race, they stay in their lanes and get the baton changes right they'll edge out more fancied teams and pick up a bronze, in Premier League terms 8th to 10th.

I don't see Brighton turning us over 1-4 like last time. I think the may have plateaued from last season, but they're not going to come and roll over either.

They will have done their homework. It remains to be seen if we have paid attention to Dyche's - aka, Principal Strickland's lessons about maximum effort and slackers - and hope that the dog didn't eat our homework.

Dave Carruthers
4 Posted 03/11/2023 at 05:11:36
I thought Young looked the weak link on Wed and he remains a booking waiting to happen, his clumsiness arguably being the key issue in the derby defeat - refereeing not withstanding. I’m sure Dyche values his experience but with the whole team playing with greater confidence is it not time to give Patterson a prolonged time to allow him to cement his place? Branthwaite is showing the benefit of putting faith in potential. Look at the ongoing improvement of Mykolenko.
I like Derek’s analogy with a relay team. I expect all four individuals to continue to improve. Onana and Garner are really combining well, Mcneill is part of a strong left side of team and I expect Harrison to get better as he gets fitter.
The squad depth remains highly susceptible to injury
Derek Knox
5 Posted 03/11/2023 at 06:12:28
Good pre-match report as always Lyndon, and I agree pretty much of the same may just yield a positive but hard fought result. I know League Table position is dependent on what others do but three points could and should see us in a much healthier and loftier position. Sean Dyche now seems to have a more or less settled, and almost automatic first choice team, if they stay fit and healthy.

It is still debatable whether a Patterson/Harrison v Young/Patterson is he best option on the right. I would surmise that he may opt for change if we don't seem to be as effective after half-time. Really looking forward to this one.

COYB 💙💙👍

Mark Murphy
6 Posted 03/11/2023 at 08:39:32
As a southern-based Blue (in fact I live close enough to Brighton to get free rail travel when we play them away), I don't get to many home games. In fact, I have neither the finances nor the understanding missus that some lucky souls on here have to be able to attend more games than I currently do.

Although I was dearly tempted, I won't be able to come to this game, which is probably good news as I was there last season when they hammered us (although I was also at the revenge). I was also at the Luton game the other week, so…

Even further back, I lived in Spain from 1982-1989 and 1993-1998, so I've never witnessed a successful Everton team in the flesh! I will accept bribes to stay away if I thought that would transform us into the mid-80s team!

Anyhows, I'm hoping Dyche will keep the same team that played the ideal game at West Ham (I was at that one) as I think that's our style now.

Brighton are a different prospect but I've faith now in our back 4, and with O'Nana (see?) and Garner in front of them, I think we've got the foundations for games like this.

I'd give Harrison another couple of games – I was shocked how poor Danjuma looked the other night – and McNeil is probably licking his lips for this one.

But what a difference a Dom makes! That turn for his goal last week was very similar to the turn he made for our first at Brighton away – here's to three on the trot! UTFT

Derek Knox
7 Posted 03/11/2023 at 09:25:43
Hi Mark @ 6,

Seen you on here loads of times and always assumed you were either Liverpool Area, or Ireland for some reason, probably the surname.

Not sure about the bribes to ensure you stay away, would rather as many of the TW Family attend and witness a win, whoever the opposition is. Next time you are up, give us all a shout, and we can meet pre-match for a jar and a chinwag!

Lee Courtliff
8 Posted 03/11/2023 at 09:36:42
This might suit us far more than the Luton game, with Brighton expected to dominate possession we can use our counter-attacking as though we are the home team.

As much as we're all relieved that Calvert-Lewin is back and I'm excited/shocked that Dyche has fielded a strong XI in Cup games, I'm half hoping we do rest Dom in some games as I'm scared of him breaking down again.

So much so, I wouldn't mind if Dyche started Beto tomorrow and brought Calvert-Lewin on around the 60-minute mark. I know this won't happen, and it probably shouldn't happen, but with the injuries he's had recently 3 games in 6 days might be just too much for him.

And I definitely think Patterson should be our first-choice right-back from now on, with Young only used as back-up.

Christopher Timmins
9 Posted 03/11/2023 at 09:38:50
A very difficult game against a team who are better than us with the ball; however, if we keep it tight at the back and take our chances, we can get something from the game.
Jerome Shields
10 Posted 03/11/2023 at 09:44:02
I am actually apprehensive of this fixture, coming after a midweek game and after two results. I hope that lessons have been learnt at Finch Farm from the Luton game. I was surprised that Dyche did not rest more players midweek, but hopefully the midfield will hold up and the right selections will be made in defence and midfield.

I would have preferred that Calvert-Lewin had been rested to be able to maintain the attacking line. If it is not maintained, it will allow the Seagulls to cause problems. This is not a strong area of Calvert Lewin's play at best.

Barry Rathbone
11 Posted 03/11/2023 at 10:20:21
Should be a real indicator of where we are.

A win confirms we're better than relegation scrappers but an iffy draw or loss at home shows otherwise.

Be nice to really nail this crew; they've done okay relatively speaking but along with Brentford they've cornered the market in smug torch-bearers for an imagined football revolution. Irritates me no end.

But, if they're still in the Premier League in 10 years time, I might reconsider.

Jimmy Carr
12 Posted 03/11/2023 at 10:29:11
I watched Dyche's press conference yesterday when he said 'I like my defenders to defend first and foremost'. This is the problem he has with Patterson, and whether we like it or not, he prefers Young as a defender at the moment.

So it will be interesting to see who plays at right back tomorrow, but I expect it will be Young. As Seamus is getting fit I'm beginning to wonder what the future might hold for the Scotsman, but if he's still working to improve defensively there is hope for him.

Tomorrow will provide a really good barometer of where we are now as a team. Will we have the know-how to take the game to Brighton as the home side, and break them down, and can we keep them out enough times to get the points? Hard one to predict.

Tony Everan
13 Posted 03/11/2023 at 10:43:26
The bookies are no mugs and have us about 9/4 to win this one, Brighton 6/5. It shows the game is pretty well balanced but a big test for us to come away with three points. With a near full squad and the ability to put a near best 11 out I still fancy us to keep it tight enough and take one or two of the inevitable chances we will create.

I like the balance in our side now, we look organised and strong throughout the team. Right back continues to be the biggest, or even only, concern and this is where they'll try to exploit. Risks either way but I prefer Patterson to Young.

Dwight McNeil is playing himself back into top form, so he could be the key man tomorrow.


Brian Harrison
14 Posted 03/11/2023 at 11:06:28
I was slightly surprised looking at the stats for the Burnley game that despite having only 1 shot on target the whole game, Burnley had 62% of possession and we had 38%.

I think our possession stats in most games shows us to be 2nd best in most games we have played this season. I think apart from the top 6 sides you may be able to win games with less possession than your opponents but give the top 6 teams that sort of possession and that probably highlights why our win ratio against the Top 6 is so poor.

Having sold quite a few of their best players I wonder how long can Brighton keep competing in the top half of the table. There is no doubt that they have an excellent scouting system, but given the huge networks that most clubs have now I do wonder how long they will be able to keep unearthing these gems.

I think Mitoma and Ferguson are their biggest threats, Harrison might have to spend a lot of time helping his fullback combat Mitoma's pace. I think if we can nullify him we have a chance. But Brighton didn't have a game in midweek, so we may have to introduce our subs earlier than Dyche normally does.

Danny O’Neill
15 Posted 03/11/2023 at 12:33:13
Every game is difficult, but we can win this.

I am promising myself to swing past Bramley-Moore Dock tomorrow before heading to County Road.

That's why I don't pay too much attention to stats Brian.

In the latter reign of Martinez, it was often the other way around. Over 60% possession and lose.

I'm a purist, but its also about being effective. And for Dyche and Everton right now, being effective with what we have.

Above Chelsea tomorrow.

Brian Williams
16 Posted 03/11/2023 at 12:36:22
2-1 home win, end of!
Danny O’Neill
17 Posted 03/11/2023 at 12:42:05
Get in Brian.

Brighton are a good team and in the away game last season, few gave us a chance.

35 seconds in and I nearly fell over my seat / standing place into the person in front of me.

Eric Haworth
18 Posted 03/11/2023 at 12:48:15
Brian #14,

One of the disadvantages of relying on stats of any description is that it never tells the whole story. The current obsession of playing out from the back gives a totally jaundiced view in statistical terms of on-field superiority.

Since Dyche's arrival, we've thankfully abandoned this obsession, due to having players of limited ability with the propensity for losing possession in dangerous areas. We now tend to mix it up a lot more and adopt a more direct game playing off a target man, together with the high press to recover the ball in the opponent's half, which has been much safer & more productive for us, given our limited resources.

Although statistically it equals less possession in percentage terms. But Wednesday night was a classic example of this, with Kompany's obsession with trying to play like Man City with players of lower-league ability, continually giving the ball away before they'd even reach the half-way line.

This has been their undoing all season, and why they've conceded so many goals, and reminiscent of our own situation under previous managers. The words silk purse and sow's ear come to mind?

Bill Fairfield
19 Posted 03/11/2023 at 12:58:46
Same team again tomorrow. Keep that positive momentum going. COYB.
Dave Rusk
20 Posted 03/11/2023 at 13:00:14
Mark @ 6.

My mates have already started a whip round to keep me from games as I must be a jinx.

Over the last 15 years I have been to almost every game home and away and seen maybe 30 away wins out of say 300 matches (can't be bothered to look up the stats).

Osteoarthritis this season has stopped me travelling away and we have already won 3 away before the end of October.
I was also out of the country for Palace 3-2 and Palace 3-0 in 2022. Oh yes, away on business for the Bayern Munich game.

Contributions to my travel plans gratefully received.

Peter Moore
21 Posted 03/11/2023 at 13:52:26
If the lads are bang at it from the off, the crowd will respond in kind to spark a great atmosphere and great game could result. May that be the case and it be a cracker.

COYB, massive 3 points. 100% effort and focus for the probably 100 minutes throughout! 👉🥳 💙 UTFT

Christy Ring
22 Posted 03/11/2023 at 13:58:48
Agree with Brian, Mitoma and Ferguson are a massive threat, so I reckon Dyche will play Young instead of Patterson – against West Ham, he was very vulnerable defensively.
Mark Murphy
23 Posted 03/11/2023 at 14:39:43
Cheers, Derek, I'll take you up on that.

Last time I was up, I went in the Harlech but I quite like a drop in the Denbigh Castle where they sell better Guinness and there's a photo of my Uncle Alex on the wall (to the right as you look at the bar).

I've just been told I'm being made redundant after 16 years and I'm probably going to take retirement. I should get a nice payoff so that will fund me a game or two.

I'm hoping to get up there either just before or just after Christmas but I'll stay away until we've accrued some more points!


Kevin Edward
24 Posted 03/11/2023 at 14:45:34
This one's a marker for me, to see if we have truly turned the corner.

Brighton are no mugs and will be primed to come away with the points again, although no doubt we are in better shape and have a ‘mini' run on the go.

I don't think it will be a 1-0 more likely a few goals each with the Toffees coming out on top.

3-2 to the Blues with the Goodison faithful roaring us home. UTFT.

Jay Harris
25 Posted 03/11/2023 at 14:45:57
Brighton are good but leak goals like a sieve.

The only worry for me is Mitoma and the pace he has.

I thought the Young - Patterson combination looked more secure than the Harrison - Young combination and I would lean towards that.

This is a game where we need McNeil and Harrison - Young to keep their flanks pinned back but, with the form of our centre-backs and central midfield, I am pretty confident we will continue our successful run of form.

Let's look for an early goal to give the crowd something to lift the noise level.

Brian Wilkinson
26 Posted 03/11/2023 at 14:53:33
No mugs, Brighton, but neither are Everton lately. I think we have enough both in the starting 11 and the bench to get a result. It will not be easy but I feel a shift in momentum will swing it our way.

We just need to be the 12th man and the team will do the rest.

3-1 Everton win, McNeil banging one in and doing his salute to the Park End stand.

Jack Convery
28 Posted 03/11/2023 at 15:03:48
I haven't a clue about this one, though them not playing worries me as a few of our lads looked tired at the end of Wednesday's game. Oh stuff it, 5 - 2 Everton, there I've written it.

Calvert-Lewin 2, Doucoure, Harrison and Branthwaite.

Nicolas Piñon
29 Posted 03/11/2023 at 16:04:24
A very tough one.

They rested on the week and like having the ball
and do it well. They're not as sharp as last season but are always a danger and we are not so stable so as to take advantage that they're not as solid as they were.

We'll have to run a lot, I think. Playing Ashley Young against Mitoma? Mmmm…


Derek Knox
30 Posted 03/11/2023 at 16:08:48
Mark @ 23,

I normally go to the Harlech myself before the game, one of the few pubs where you can get to the bar, even though they get chocker. The staff are very efficient and manage to process orders fairly quickly. The Royal Oak (rhymes with 'joke') just down the road is mayhem.

Give us all a shout next time you are up. Don't know whether commiserations or congratulations are merited for your impending redundancy, so I'll plump for the latter and take a pint off you! :-)

Danny O’Neill
31 Posted 03/11/2023 at 16:44:02
Minik, I'm not going into a match at Goodison as an underdog. Never.

Everton songs on YouTube tonight before heading out early tomorrow morning. I'm sure I will be travelling with a few Brighton supporters. I'll educate them on the way up.

We should go into this confident.

Jamie Crowley
32 Posted 03/11/2023 at 16:45:00
Mid-week games usually (in my mind always) equate to a reduction in quality come the weekend. This one will be tough.

Dave Carruthers @ 4,

Ashley Young should not play. He is a liability and I do not rate him in the least. I genuinely don't like him in Blue, and hope he never plays another league game again. The nail in the coffin for me was the derby.

He's an idiot on the pitch at times, and I don't see what he brings to the side. Veterans are supposed to play with their head, position themselves well due to aging legs, etc. He does literally none of that.

Play Patterson. The kid will develop and progress. There's a player there, I see it. I'd prefer to see Patterson get skinned rather than Young get burned. Patterson will learn, Young is a fool and well past his prime. Young was also a diving little cheat his entire career.

Sorry, I know there's always those people who say, "get behind the player, he's ours." I just can't with Ashley Young. He drives me bat-shit cray-cray!!!

Richard Lyons
33 Posted 03/11/2023 at 17:15:22
Just watched the highlights of the 5-1 thrashing we gave them last season... sheer delight. More of that tomorrow, please!
Alan McGuffog
34 Posted 03/11/2023 at 17:22:49
C'mon Jamie... get off that fence.

D'you like him or not?

Pete Gunby
35 Posted 03/11/2023 at 17:29:45
Agree with Jamie about Young. His pace has gone but his mind doesn’t know it.
Rob Hooton
36 Posted 03/11/2023 at 17:41:24
A couple of weeks ago whilst reading some rugby comments, someone beautifully described Owen Farrell as having a ‘resting bitch face', whilst discussing why so many haven't taken to him.

I'd put Young in the same category, he's hard to like (I'm more inclined towards the Jamie C view). I'd rather watch Patterson develop there, than watch Young get skinned – annoyingly he didn't get booked against Burnley which ruined my accumulator!!

This should be a decent test, it will be tricky but I'm confident we can win this. I don't really buy into the ‘tired players' stuff, especially at this time of the season – the more you play, the fitter and sharper you should be!

3-2 to Everton, though I'd take a scrappy 1-0 win right now.

Jay Harris
37 Posted 03/11/2023 at 17:45:07
C'mon, lads, give Young a break. We were saying the same about Seamus 2 years ago. He came on a free to provide cover while they develop Patterson and that's exactly what he is doing.

Patterson will get turned inside out by Mitoma – that's why I would double up on him as I feel he is the only threat Brighton have.

Bill Gienapp
38 Posted 03/11/2023 at 17:45:10
Ell Bretland pointed out on Twitter that we're unbeaten under Sean Dyche against "B" teams – we've beaten Brentford twice, beaten Bournemouth twice, beat Brighton last season and just beat Burnley in the Cup.

So let's keep it going this weekend!

Mark Murphy
39 Posted 03/11/2023 at 17:55:47
“C'mon, lads, give Young a break. We were saying the same about Seamus 2 years ago.”

No, he's shite… and no, we weren't!

Seamus is a God who plays for the shirt and Ashley is eking out a last big payday from anyone who'd have him. I'd play Patterson 100% anytime, any game.

Barry Hesketh
40 Posted 03/11/2023 at 18:20:23
Bill @ 38,

Unfortunately we haven't managed to beat the biggest 'B's of all, home or away, under Dyche or anybody else, since Carlo was here.

Frank Sheppard
41 Posted 03/11/2023 at 18:34:50
My mate's a big Brighton fan – they are worried about injuries piling up, and conceding goals. They are not confident about this away game.
Niall McIlhone
42 Posted 03/11/2023 at 19:28:33
That 1-4 defeat at Goodison last season knocked the stuffing out of us. They played us off the park, but then, our confidence was on the floor, and we had no threat up front.

A win for Everton tomorrow transforms our season imo. Should Man Utd pull off an unlikely away win or even just a draw, a victorious Toffees performances sees us go above Fulham, who have been much celebrated this season in the media.

I do hope something can be quietly brokered with Spurs in regard to the Dele Alli situation; given the work the manager and backroom team have done in giving us back our DCL, it just seems to me a risk worth taking to entrust in Dyche's and Thelwell's judgement on Alli.

Given that we don't have a pot to piss in, we would have on our hands a potentially potent player competing for the Number 10 role. If Alli can even get to 75 per cent of his old self, he would be an asset worth having.

Dale Self
43 Posted 03/11/2023 at 19:55:59
Thanks Frank 41, always good to get some behind the lines perspective. I was thinking they could get euro disease but they have a decent mix of veterans and young legs. The have occasionally looked flat with DeZerbi trying to find the right combinations. We will have our chances but need to convert early rather than chase them getting into form.

Dyche could have a defensive trick to play but our general play drops off with changes. Maybe stifle them early and work Beto on the counter with Calvert-Lewinlate if needed. I like the idea of Patterson in front of Young but not sure if I would do it away.

Possibly tuck Doucoure inside early to force them to the wings or some other innovation to throw Brighton off stride. There is enough commitment and athleticism to outsmart them for a decent early start. Whether we can find the lanes for possession could be the question but McNeil may have the answer.

Mick Davies
44 Posted 03/11/2023 at 20:08:12
Young should never be first choice again. Losing a derby through his stupidity/inability (take your pick) is unforgivable.

With Seamus almost fit again, we don't need a 38-year-old liability, and should stick with building a team for the future, with Patterson aided and supported by the greatest Evertonian in the squad.

Jason Li
45 Posted 03/11/2023 at 20:15:30
Douc to press the Brighton left centre-back, and left-back if Harrison can't get there, force them to play down their right. Mykolenko and McNeil are more dependable defensively with Branthwaite coming to get anybody who gets through.

Lewis Dunk isn't the quickest so looking forward to Beto in the second half having a go.

Robert Tressell
46 Posted 03/11/2023 at 20:30:03
It suits us to play a possession-based team – and they're not quite as good as last year without Sanchez, Mac Allister and Caceido.

Easier said than done but the key is scoring first. If we carry on where left off against Burnley, we should be okay.

Tony Everan
47 Posted 03/11/2023 at 21:05:45

Also Estupian and Solly March out injured will be a blow to them, both very decent first-choice players. We will still need to play to our maximum tomorrow to get the win.

Mal van Schaick
48 Posted 03/11/2023 at 21:29:07
I've got this down as a 2-2 draw.

Brighton will have more to them than Burnley, but we are in decent form. Hope for the win and, if we do, it will mark further progress under Dyche.

Danny O’Neill
49 Posted 03/11/2023 at 22:36:04
Early start and late finish tomorrow.

Come on, Blue Boys.

Everton forever.

Sam Hoare
50 Posted 03/11/2023 at 22:51:25
I doubt that right-back is our weak link currently and I wouldn't fancy either Young or Patterson against Mitoma though Dyche clearly prefers the more experienced option.

Should be a good contest of two contrasting styles.

3 matches in less than a week will be a test of fitness for the likes of Calvert-Lewin, Harrison etc and I wonder if we'll be a touch leggy.

McNeil has been good but not great since his return. Wonder if he's saving it up for another Brighton masterclass.

Derek Knox
51 Posted 03/11/2023 at 23:31:45
Sam @ 50, Miriam ? :-)
Paul Birmingham
52 Posted 03/11/2023 at 23:53:46
Tomorrow is a big test and a massive game but one Everton can win, and to win will be another massive marker for the ascent that's needed to get clear as much as possible from the pack at the bottom of the Premier League.

I hope Sean Dyche plays his best starting line-up. I'm no stat geek, but the amount of calm assured interventions and distributions with either foot that Branthwaite makes with no fuss in every game is impressive and is becoming a game-changer. If Jordan Pickford can find his long passes, and short passes with accuracy to Everton players tomorrow, I see Everton out-running Brighton.

Labone, Kenyon, Ratcliffe, Mike Lyons, Jagielka… this lad is going to be a future Everton Captain if the club can get assurance as to the future ownership.

But 40 years on, and what seems, 20 minutes ago, the 1983 season was the beginning of some thing very special for Everton. There's no comparison in the squads on a one-to-one basis but, then and now, some very good players in both Everton teams. That team became a magic team, this team can become a very good team.

But hearts and minds will win the day, and tomorrow, Everton, courtesy of Calvert-Lewin, Garner and McNeil, will seal the win.

There's blue skies forming on the horizon for Everton, regardless of what the media make up – and I believe Evertonians have their own immunity to the bile the media spew out most weeks about the club, in context, to the takeover of the club, and possible actions that the Premier League will impose on Everton FC.

That's what I hope for, a win double of Everton and Hearts this weekend, to beat Rangers on Sunday, hopefully without referee intervention... Sounds familiar, lol. That game last week cost me a few bob on a win double that was accepted as Everton won, which comes first.


Paul Birmingham
53 Posted 03/11/2023 at 23:57:22
Last season, Everton were pearl v Brighton away, and in 1983, Everton were pearl and Sheedy was on a different level. That finish late on.

Same tomorrow at Goodison. Those were the days.


Derek Thomas
54 Posted 04/11/2023 at 01:13:55
Let's hope Brighton have read the script, I've lost count of how many false dawns it is now.

We take it one game at a time and not go on a "if we win these next eminently winnable X number of games we'll be wherever by Christmas" thing.

Geoff Lambert
55 Posted 04/11/2023 at 02:24:36
If the results go our way tomorrow, we could be 11th by close of play. COYB...
Steve Brown
56 Posted 04/11/2023 at 02:57:57
The best thing to do with Patterson would be to send him out on loan to learn his roles without the pressure of the Premier League. It really helped Branthwaite's development.

But, we cannot afford to do that presently.

Dave Evans
57 Posted 04/11/2023 at 06:31:58
Young played well and popped up to score a striker's goal last time out.
It was Garner and Harrison who looked average and need to step up today.
Jim Lloyd
58 Posted 04/11/2023 at 07:14:50
Well said, Paul!

I think we're showing good signs of becoming a decent side; but I don't care where Brighton are at the minute, they're a good side and therefore dangerous.

I don't think we could send Patterson out on loan without leaving us short. How do we know if Seamus can do a job for a season of cup and league games? I don't know if Young and Coleman between them could cover that position for the season either. I think between the 3 of them, they can give Sean Dyche options. Patterson is learning, and having to learn in the fastest league in the world.

And I remember a certain Seamus Coleman, not being trusted by Moyes as full-back for a season or so. If we keep playing like we have been (and I think McNeil and Harrison were overawed and the other place because up to now, since they've come back from injury, the team looks miles better!) we'll give them a game and they'll know now that we have four or five dangerous attacking players... at least!

No guarantee of winning, but I think they'll be more wary this visit.

Kunal Desai
59 Posted 04/11/2023 at 08:08:31
I wonder if Brighton benefit here having not played in midweek and being fresher?

I think if we could get a point today it would be a decent week.

Terry Farrell
60 Posted 04/11/2023 at 08:27:05
Jay, it's not personal. Young is being targeted by the opposition with balls in behind him and he's a walking yellow card.

Patterson is stronger quicker and delivers a better ball in. He has to start.

Robert Tressell
61 Posted 04/11/2023 at 08:35:13
Complete guess, but Young might be getting games to protect Patterson's body. He's been very injury hit. A bit like how DCL has been handled.
Bobby Mallon
62 Posted 04/11/2023 at 08:52:47
Please don’t play young at the back v mitoma he will get fleeced
Duncan McDine
63 Posted 04/11/2023 at 09:30:24
Big test today if we are to beleive that we've turned a corner. A few years ago, it'd feel very odd to take Brighton so seriously, but they're now a solid top half team and play some excellent football. Things are feeling brighter at Everton though, so hopefully we can keep moving up the table.

Those of you travelling to the game today, I hope the recent weather doesn't cause too many problems for you. UTFT

Dave Lynch
64 Posted 04/11/2023 at 09:58:25
If Dyche goes with his long ball to DCL we'll get murdered, we gave Burnley too much space in the middle for my liking and tbf... it's a good job they are shitter than us.

BHA are a tidy outfit.

Will Mabon
65 Posted 04/11/2023 at 10:11:07
"BHA are a tidy outfit."

I bet that's what they said about us in May, Dave.

Rob Halligan
66 Posted 04/11/2023 at 10:23:22
Brighton think they are Man City when it comes to playing out from the back. Nobody can play out from the back like Man City. Must be a Spanish thing, going back to when Pep was the Barcelona manager, yet De Zerbi persists with it. What’s needed today is a really high pressing from our forwards, and Brighton will keep giving the ball away. I fancy another three from our lads today.
Geoff Lambert
67 Posted 04/11/2023 at 10:44:08
Need to be more clinical in front of goal and we will start climbing the table. As Rob says Press press and more pressing we can win this. COYMB.
Derek Knox
68 Posted 04/11/2023 at 10:50:45
Geoff, spot on there, Dom is fairly good when given the chance and usually on target but often straight at the keeper, where our other goal threats mainly McNeil, Harrison, and Garner, often balloon gilt edge chances. I suppose Doucoure can be guilty of that too, but that ball they play with these days is like a beach ball ! Can't envisage that ever changing.
Tony Abrahams
69 Posted 04/11/2023 at 11:27:49
I thought Brighton played out from the back as well as any team I’ve seen at Goodison, under the floodlights last season. The kid who was on loan from Chelsea, was standing with his hands on his hips, taking the piss, because he knew that Iwobi, would eventually break rank, and make it easy for them to play around us.

That’s how I viewed it anyway, and with my non attendance now over, this is the part of the game that I’m looking forward to most today, and believe that if Everton, can show a lot more discipline than last year, we can eventually pull Brighton, into a scrap.

David Hallwood
70 Posted 04/11/2023 at 11:50:55
38% possession is our sweet spot, and I'd be astonished if we get more than that today, simply because they're better on and with the ball; it's what we do with the ball when we get it.

Like most posters I think Dyche will go with Young, which to my mind is a mistake as teams are targeting him, and with Mitoma he'll be in for a long afternoon, and as some have already posted, we probably won't see much of Harrison as an attacking threat.

Saying all of that, I'm going for a 2-1, which will put us mid table(depending on results) and open up a considerable gap on the relegation 'tier'.

Andrew Clare
71 Posted 04/11/2023 at 11:51:02
We mustn't concede first as we are hopeless when chasing the game.
This game will be a stern test of our credentials.
James Hughes
72 Posted 04/11/2023 at 11:56:04
I think Dyche has us set up to play without the ball and hit on the break. We are settling down as a unit and think we will win 3-1.

Beto to get the third as He is finally getting used to pace of the PL. Seris A is like a walking race compared to the speed of our game.

Mark Taylor
73 Posted 04/11/2023 at 12:03:28
I'm also in the camp that thinks a 3 day recovery will hinder us and I'd take a draw.

I think Young will play but I also think he will be targetted and we will lose attacking effectiveness by having to double up.

On the Dele issue, it would be great to have an alternative at number 10 because Duke is desperately limited in that role, but Dele is way too high risk with the current financial arrangements and Levy too much of a hardballer to do anything to alleviate that. He's probably still falling over laughing about how easily he made a very expensive problem go away.

Christopher Timmins
74 Posted 04/11/2023 at 12:21:01
Tony A

Glad to hear that you have returned to your rightful place on match days at Goodison. It does feel like you are returning at a time when there is a change for the better both on and off the field.

Rob H

Can I assume that it does not need saying that you are hoping for someone other than Young at right back today?

Everton to win with 30% ball possession and keep our improved form going!

Brent Stephens
75 Posted 04/11/2023 at 12:27:18
High Press. Contain Ferguson. Hit them on the break.
Derek Knox
76 Posted 04/11/2023 at 13:36:22
Brent, Ferguson has already been contained, in Barlinnie Prison 1994 !

Oh you meant the Brighton and H Ferguson ? Wish we had spotted him before they did ! :-)

Brent Stephens
77 Posted 04/11/2023 at 13:48:35
At, Derek. What a player and so young.

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