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Everton vs Brighton: Match Preview | In-form Toffees seek seventh straight win

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The Blues can go back top of the table if they avoid defeat - for 24 hours at least

Everton v West Ham United - Carabao Cup - Fourth Round - Goodison Park Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images

Everton can make their best start to a league season since their 1969-70 title-winning campaign if they secure a fourth win from four against Brighton on Saturday.

The records and milestones have been tumbling with increasing regularity as Carlo Ancelotti’s side pick up win after win.

Another victory on Saturday would make it seven successive wins in all competitions, a feat not achieved since the title-winning side of 1986-87. They have only started a campaign with seven straight win once in the club’s history, a run of eight straight victories to open the 1894-95 campaign.

Everton v West Ham United - Carabao Cup Fourth Round Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

With stats like that can you blame Evertonians for getting carried away?

Fans of other clubs have tried to mock Toffees fans for getting excited this week, but that has done little to dim the supporters’ enthusiasm and if anything makes them look shallow and cynical.

We know this wonderful run will come to an end at some point, it may also not result in anything tangible (we have seen that script too many times before). But that’s all the more reason to enjoy the moment.

If you can’t enjoy the journey when there’s no guarantee you will reach the destination, what’s the point?

The opposition

Newcastle United v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Evertonians wary of the threat posed by Brighton are not just doing so purely out of their own sense of fatalism, the Seagulls are showing signs of developing into a decent Premier League team.

There is a sense that Graham Potter, now in his second season on the south coast, is starting to get his message across.

Their tally of three points from their opening three games is not a fair reflection of their performances. They were unlucky against Chelsea on the opening day and even more so against Manchester United last weekend, where they hit the woodwork five times before conceding a match-winning penalty with the last kick of the game to lose 3-2.

They do, however, have a poor record at Goodison, losing six of their eight trips to Merseyside, last picking up a point in 1982.

Previous meeting

Everton 1-0 Brighton - 11 January 2020

Everton FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League Photo by Emma Simpson - Everton FC/Everton FC via Getty Images

Everton bounced back from that horrendous FA Cup derby defeat the previous with a narrow victory at Goodison Park thanks to Richarlison’s smart first half finish.

Team news

Everton have a mounting injury list that is starting to test the squad even at this early stage of the season.

Andre Gomes, Allan and Jonjoe Kenny join Mason Holgate and Jarrard Branthwaite on the injury list.

Kenny is expected to be out for a month with an ankle injury suffered against West Ham. Allan is also sidelined with a groin strain but Ancelotti is hopeful he will be back after the international break. Gomes is expected to be fit again in a few days.

Richarlison was also forced off against West Ham with an ankle knock but faces a late fitness test.

Abdoulaye Doucoure will return after only being a substitute against West Ham, with Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fabian Delph in contention to come into the midfield alongside him.

What they said

Everton v West Ham United - Carabao Cup Fourth Round Photo by Peter Byrne - Pool/Getty Images

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti: “We are really pleased with our start but the players are focused on what is going on,” added Ancelotti.

“The start was good but unfortunately it is only the start. The season is long. I advised them there will be difficulties

“The atmosphere on the training ground and the spirit of the team are really good.

“The new players adapted really well, really fast. Everything is okay at this moment

“But against Brighton I know it will be difficult We have to pay attention to these types of games.”

FBL-ENG-LCUP-BRIGHTON-MAN UTD Photo by MATT DUNHAM/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Brighton head coach Graham Potter: “They have been really strong and made a good start. They’ve invested well in this window with a very experienced and high-quality manager.

“He’s done a really good job there since coming in and stamped his authority on the team.

“They’ve got some really top players and they’re a good team with a solid balance. We know it will be a difficult game.”

Recent form

Brighton

Portsmouth (H - EFL Cup) Won 4-0

Newcastle (A) Won 3-0

Preston (EFL Cup - A) Won 3-0

Man Utd (H) Lost 3-2

Man Utd (H - EFL Cup) Lost 3-0

Everton

Salford (H - EFL Cup) Won 3-0

West Brom (H) Won 5-2

Fleetwood (A - EFL Cup) Won 5-2

Crystal Palace (A) Won 2-1

West Ham (H- EFL Cup) Won 4-1

Final word

Another win here would cap a perfect start to the season and allow us to sit back and admire the Premier League table for two weeks before you-know-how arrive from across the park.

The injuries are a concern, but those who have come into the side during the Carabao Cup games have shown themselves to be up the task, with Ancelotti seemingly fostering a strong team spirit.

Let’s do it , Blues!