Brighton welcome Everton to The Amex on Saturday, for the first league meeting between the two clubs since 1983.
The Seagulls face the Merseyside club at a good time, with Koeman’s blues making a disappointing start to the season which has left them sitting in 16th place in the Premier League.
After a summer where the cash was most definitely splashed at Goodison Park, the results have not lived up the hype surrounding the players Koeman acquired and the squad he has utilised.
The departure of Romelu Lukaku for £75 million allowed The Toffees to bring in a number of players, the only real surprise being that only a small chunk of the money spent actually went towards adding a striker to the squad. Sandro Ramirez arrived for around £5.2 million from Malaga, along with Wayne Rooney.
There is no hiding the fact Rooney has evolved from a natural centre-forward into an attacking midfielder. His acquisition along with Davy Klaasen and Gylfi Sigurdsson has certainly bolstered their options in midfield but perhaps left Everton a bit frail in the final third.
Oumar Niasse’s future at Goodison looked in doubt, but Koeman had to turn to the Senegalese striker in the team’s last win against Bournemouth.
A club of Everton’s size, especially with the money invested in the summer, should undoubtedly be firing higher in the table, but the trip to The Amex on Saturday is not the ideal fixture to get their form back on track.
Home form was key for Chris Hughton’s side in their automatic promotion to the top flight last season, with his team losing just 3 games at home all season and winning seventeen.
With back-to-back home wins in the league, the confidence that Brighton took into every game last season is well and truly back, and when Hughton’s team are playing with confidence they are a match for anyone on their day.
The Brighton manager started off with a positive mind-set, saying his side must be “optimistic and confident” this campaign. His side have taken 7 points from their opening 7 games and having faced Manchester City & Arsenal, that return is not disheartening at all.
The late kick-off on Saturday you feel will be a battle of the midfielders. Davy Propper and Dale Stephens have been the common pairing in the Brighton midfield, they will go toe and toe with Everton’s Idrissa Gueye and Morgan Schneiderlin you would imagine.
Pascal Gross has started life brightly in the Premier League. He, Anthony Knockaert, Wayne Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson can be the real creative influences on the pitch, and it may well be a matter of which one of those can pick the killer cross or pass to unlock two defences that will most likely be stubborn.
The unpredictability of the Premier League is what makes it the league it is, and this is truly a game that you’d be a brave man to bet on.