In a world that has seen its fair share of unexpected events this year, it could be argued that Everton (so far) delivering on their potential is the most shocking of all. For years, the Toffees have promised much but failed to deliver. Now, with the experienced Carlo Ancelotti at the helm, they're looking more promising than they have for years.
James Rodriguez has captured the imagination of the supporters, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin is currently the hottest striker in the country. Are the good times finally returning to Goodison Park?
Meanwhile, Brighton have impressed themselves so far. Graham Potter's men have put in eye-catching performances against both Chelsea and Manchester United and were unlucky to lose both matches. In between, they travelled to Newcastle and demolished their hosts by 3-0. With the likes of Leandro Trossard, Neal Maupay and Tariq Lamptey earning plaudits for their exploits, the club should feel optimistic about their prospects this season.
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Although Everton smashed West Ham in the Carabao Cup during the week, the victory did not come cheaply for Ancelotti's men. Young full-back Jonjoe Kenny limped off with an ankle injury, while injuries to Richarlison and Allan will worry fans. While Richarlison should be fit for Saturday, neither Kenny nor Allan are expected to be available.
Brighton also suffered an injury setback in their Carabao Cup exit against Manchester United, with Alireza Jahanbakhsh missing out, while Davy Propper remains sidelined for this one too. Jose Izquierdo and Florin Andone are also unavailable for the visitors, but Yves Bissouma is ready to return after suspension.
Everton: Pickford; Coleman, Mina, Keane, Digne; Doucoure, Delph, Gomes; Rodriguez, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.
Brighton: Ryan; White, Dunk, Webster; Lamptey, Lallana, Alzate, March; Trossard, Connolly, Maupay.
Everton have started the campaign with six successive wins for the first time since the 1938-39 season. Considering the political climate of the time, civilisation must be keeping their fingers crossed that history does not repeat itself.
The Toffees have demonstrated they can win games in multiple different ways. Whether it's the attacking blitz that saw off West Brom, the control that won the game at Tottenham or defensive discipline that enabled them to grind out a win over Crystal Palace, early evidence suggests that this Everton team has many strings to their bow.
Brighton have not yet achieved the results their performances have deserved. After unluckily falling to Chelsea and thrashing Newcastle, the Seagulls will still be baffled how they managed to lose against Manchester United last weekend. After hitting the woodwork on five separate occasions, Brighton only fell to a penalty given after the final whistle sounded. However, Potter should be encouraged by his side's exploits so far.
Here are each club's last five competitive results:
Everton 4-1 West Ham (30/9)
Crystal Palace 1-2 Everton (26/9)
Fleetwood 2-5 Everton (23/9)
Everton 5-2 West Brom (19/9)
Everton 3-0 Salford (16/9)
Brighton 0-3 Manchester United (30/9)
Brighton 2-3 Manchester United (26/9)
Preston 0-2 Brighton (23/9)
Newcastle 0-3 Brighton (20/9)
Brighton 4-0 Portsmouth (17/9)
The positive mood music surrounding both clubs suggests that Saturday's encounter should be a clash between two confident teams. Both have started the season well, with performances building the belief of both supporters that this year will be a special one.
The signing of Rodriguez has captured the imagination of the blue half of Liverpool and it seems as if the Colombian is thoroughly enjoying his football. Alongside talents such as Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, the Toffees will be looking to continue their winning start to the season.
While Brighton have also performed well, it is hard to see beyond another win for Everton on Saturday.
Predicted Score: Everton 3-1 Brighton
Source : 90min