Carlo Ancelotti will be desperate to see his Everton side make a return to winning ways when they meet Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League on Saturday.
The Toffees were wasteful going forward during a 1-0 defeat against Liverpool's youngsters in the FA Cup last weekend, while Brighton were also dumped out of the competition following a 1-0 loss to Sheffield Wednesday. Everton's players will know that they wasted their greatest chance to record a victory at Anfield in years by faltering against Jurgen Klopp's band of teenagers last weekend.
Reports claim that Ancelotti launched a furious tirade at his players following the game, with several members, such as Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jordan Pickford, at risk of losing their places.
The Everton manager will hope that last weekend's loss was more down to a psychological block - they have not won at Anfield since 1999 - as opposed to any technical shortcomings.
After all, prior to that defeat, the club recorded a pair of victories over Burnley and Newcastle United ahead of battling impressively away at Manchester City.
As they return to Goodison Park to face the Seagulls, Everton supporters will expect their team to play with much more panache and zip compared with what they displayed at Anfield last time out. While Everton have oscillated between extremes this season, Brighton's results under new boss Graeme Potter have largely reflected their previous two years in the Premier League.
Sitting 14th in the table, four points above the relegation zone, the Seagulls rarely dazzle with their football but also hardly ever fall below a particular level of performance.
They have proven to be tricky opponents for the big clubs, beating Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal in convincing fashion while also holding Chelsea to a draw over the Christmas period.
With a core group including the likes of Davy Propper, Lewis Dunk and Pascal Gross as well as exciting young talents such as Neal Maupay and Aaron Connolly, there is enough in this team to suggest that they are capable of avoiding the drop this season.
That said, Potter must be conscious of the club's poor away form - just two wins from 10 outings - and will view Saturday's game, against an unpredictable Everton side, as an excellent chance to impress on the road.
Everton Premier League form: WDDWWL Everton form (all competitions): LDWWLL
Brighton & Hove Albion Premier League form: DDLLWD Brighton & Hove Albion form (all competitions): DLLWDL
For Everton, Andre Gomes remains the club's only long-term absentee after breaking his ankle against Spurs in November.
Alex Iwobi and Jean-Philippe Gbamin are both nearing returns to action following respective thigh issues, although this game comes too soon for the pair.
Glenn Murray and Solly March could return for Brighton ahead of this game, although Dan Burn and Jose Izquierdo are not expected to come back until next month.
Leon Balogun, who has a thigh injury, is the club's only long-term absentee, with no timescale yet available on when he may return.
Post by Everton News. on Jan 10, 2020 14:25:08 GMT
Injury update on Andre Gomes, with the midfielder set to return to USM Finch Farm next week to continue his rehabilitation. The need to look forward and a "great opportunity" to move up the table with a win against Brighton. The positive spirit in the Blues squad. Support from Majority Shareholder Farhad Moshiri and the Club's Board to strengthen in the January window, if needed. Why Cenk Tosun's loan move to Crystal Palace suits the striker. The challenge posed by Brighton this weekend.