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Brentford have won three, drawn four and lost five of their 12 Premier League matches this season to collect 13 points, which has left them in 14th position in the table heading into the next set of fixtures.
Overall, it has been a positive start to the season for the promoted outfit, but it would be fair to say that their recent form is slightly concerning, having picked up just one point from the last 15 available.
Indeed, the Bees have not been victorious in the Premier League since the start of October, and they lost four straight games against Chelsea, Leicester City, Burnley and Norwich City between October 16 and November 6.
Thomas Frank‘s side were then involved in a six-goal thriller against Newcastle United last weekend; the visitors twice led at St James’ Park but ultimately had to settle for a share of the spoils.
Incredibly, Sunday’s clash will be the first meeting between these two teams in the league since February 1954, when Everton ran out 6-1 winners at Goodison Park.
Brentford will again be without the services of Josh Dasilva, Julian Jeanvier, Kristoffer Ajer and David Raya through injury, while Mathias Jorgensen is also expected to miss out.
Mathias Jensen and Mads Bech Sorensen are both available, though, and there will be a return to the squad for Yoane Wissa after spending six weeks on the sidelines with an ankle problem.
Jensen missed the draw at Newcastle after contracting coronavirus, but he should be back in the XI here, while Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbuemo will again feature as the front two in a 3-5-2 formation.
As for Everton, Mason Holgate and Richarlison will both miss out through suspension, while Yerry Mina, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Tom Davies and Andre Gomes are all definitely unavailable through injury.
Abdoulaye Doucoure has returned to full training, though, and could be in the squad, and the Toffees are hopeful that Demarai Gray, who has been struggling with a groin problem, will be fit to feature.
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Allan is also a doubt due to a muscular problem, but Benitez is confident that the midfielder will be able to prove his fitness in time for the clash against Brentford.
Brentford possible starting lineup:
Fernandez; Rasmussen, Jansson, Pinnock; Canos, Janelt, Norgaard, Jensen, Henry; Toney, Mbeumo
Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Coleman, Godfrey, Keane, Digne; Gordon, Allan, Delph, Iwobi; Townsend; Rondon