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Kaoru Mitoma is likely to miss out through injury as Brighton look to extend their club record of 10 consecutive top-flight home games unbeaten, with Everton as the visitors.

Roberto De Zerbi confirmed that Mitoma has an issue with his back unrelated to the challenge on him by Mason Holgate, which resulted in a red card, in last Sunday’s game against Sheffield United.

In his pre-match press conference De Zerbi said: “We are used to playing without important players, such as Kaoru [Mitoma].”

He added: “Everton are a very good team, who shouldn’t be near the bottom of the table.

“It will be a tough game and we need to be ready to stop the counterattack and defend set-pieces.”

Joao Pedro, Jack Hinshelwood (foot), Solly March (knee) and James Milner (thigh) are still not fit enough to make the matchday squad, but Julio Enciso is expected to be involved.

Given the injuries, De Zerbi will be even more grateful for the return of Simon Adingra from AFCON with the Ivory Coast international scoring a brace in the 5-0 demolition of Sheffield United last time out.

West Ham are the only visiting team to win a Premier League fixture at the Amex in 2023-2024, defeating Brighton 3-1 in August. 

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Everton have failed to win any of their last eight premier league games, the longest current winless sequence in the top-flight, and sit just outside of the bottom three on goal difference.

The Toffees will hope to take inspiration from last year’s sensational 5-1 victory at the Amex, and captain Seamus Coleman should be back in the side after missing their last game against Crystal Palace through illness. 

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Speaking in his pre-match press conference Sean Dyche said: “They’re [Brighton] a good outfit, and we know that.

“I think that [Brighton’s defeat against Everton last year] was probably just a hiccup in their season, but we’ve got to look to do that again.”

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May 2024