Premier League

Everton-Brentford Preview

Rafael Benitez is confident he has the backing of Everton's hierarchy despite a troubling run of results.

Everton, who spent only £1.7 million in the last transfer window, have won just one of their last nine matches across all competitions heading into Sunday's trip to Brentford, themselves without a victory in five league games.

Benitez's team have been hit hard by injuries to key players, with Demarai Gray the latest casualty, though Everton are hoping to have Abdoulaye Doucoure back.

And though Everton have a run of difficult games coming up, Benitez believes he has the support of Everton's majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri.

"I think Mr Moshiri is quite clever and we cannot complain because he has spent a lot of money," he said. "He is someone who is trying to improve the team and improve the club in every sense. He wants to do well but he knows, from when we had conversations in the beginning, they have to support me and support the structure in general so that we can improve.

"All the conversations with him have been really positive. We talk about this all the time but we have to be realistic. If we analyse what happened in the summer window, and what will happen in the January window, it's not easy to find exactly what you want but it is important to improve in the area where we think we need to improve."

Brentford are just three places and two points behind Everton. Thomas Frank said: "It is very important that our approach is front-footed, aggressive, and brave. That is the bit I can control.

"Every game is a huge experience and huge occasion. I am very aware of that and try to embrace it but after that it is just a match. I am in charge of a team that I badly want to win."

Brentford - Rico Henry

Rico Henry has scored in consecutive Premier League games for Brentford, having netted just twice in his first 120 league appearances for the Bees.

Everton - Salomon Rondon

With Dominic Calvert-Lewin injured and Richarlison suspended, Everton will likely use Salomon Rondon up front. The former West Brom and Newcastle United striker has been poor since his arrival from Dalian Pro, and is yet to score a goal. The Toffees need him to step up.

- As Liverpool manager, Benitez lost just one of his 36 Premier League games against promoted sides (W26 D9). Since then, the Spaniard has lost seven of his 18 such games (W5 D6), including a 5-2 home loss against Watford in his last such match.

- No side have conceded more Premier League goals in the first half of games than Brentford this season (11), with the Bees shipping the highest share before half-time (65 per cent). However, only Aston Villa (three) have scored fewer goals in the opening 45 minutes of games than Everton (four) this term.

- Having kept three clean sheets and conceding just two goals (0.4 per game) in their first five Premier League games, Brentford have conceded in each of their last seven in the competition (15 in total - 2.1 per game).

- Everton had won 13 points from their first six Premier League games this season (W4 D1 L1), leaving them in fifth place and just one point off top spot. However, since then the Toffees have earned just two more points (D2 L4), fewer than any other Premier League side over the last six games.

- This is the first meeting between Brentford and Everton in any competition since September 2010, in an EFL Cup match. Following a 1-1 draw at Griffin Park, the Bees progressed 4-3 on penalties.

Updated November 27, 2021

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