Premier League

Brighton and Everton Battle To Create Chances

 • by Andrew Gibney
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For both Everton and Brighton, Premier League goals have been hard to come by this season.

During the summer transfer window, each side looked to make that big money centre-forward signing, but neither could land that much-needed striker before deadline day passed.

In seven games, Sunday’s home side have managed to find the net just five times, with Ronald Koeman’s visitors one behind on four.

It suggests that the fixture at the Amex will come down to perhaps who scores first, which defence holds firm and most importantly, who creates the best chances.

For the Seagulls, Chris Houghton will look to Pascal Groß to be his chief creator this weekend.

The German is averaging 2.3 key passes per 90 minutes and 0.19 (xA) Expected Assists

On the opposite side of the pitch, Gylfi Sigurdsson, bought for £45million from Swansea in the summer will be the player tasked with providing opportunities for the Toffees and it’s no surprise that he leads players with over 100 minutes with 2.6 key passes per 90.

There is very little to separate these two head-to-head.

Brighton v Everton creative battle

Groß is seeing more of the ball per 90 minutes, with 36.1 passes, but it’s the Icelandic international who edges the German in key passes and crosses attempted per 90.

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Yet, it’s the Seagull creative force who finds his target more with those crosses. According to understat.com, it’s Groß who has more xA per 90.

With not much to give between the two midfielders, this game could go down to the smallest of margins.

Statistically, it’s the 26-year-old German who has the edge with two goals and two assists this term, with the £45million man waiting for his first contribution this season.

The X-Factor could be the quality of chances they create for their struggling strikers. Groß is Brighton’s joint top goal-scorer with Tomas Hemed with two. Solly March is the only other player in the Seagull’s squad to find the back of the net.

No one would have predicted at the beginning of the campaign that Oumar Niasse would be the Toffee’s top marksmen, joint on Wayne Rooney with two. They are the only two players to find the net in the Premier League this season.

Both Groß and Sigurdsson will be key to helping change their sides fortunes in front of goal, they can only continue to do what they have been doing, but sometimes it just isn’t enough.

Everton need Sigurdsson to continue creating chances and hope someone can covert if they are to play their way out of trouble and start climbing up the table.

 

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