Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s welcome top-of-the-table Everton to the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre this evening - kick-off 7pm - knowing that victory would move them above the Toffees to the summit.
Simon Rusk’s side momentarily topped the league table on Saturday afternoon, following their 3-2 victory against Chelsea, but wins for Everton and Derby County saw the Seagulls drop to third.
But with the Toffees visiting the south coast for the second time this season, after September’s 2-2 draw in the Premier League International Cup, Albion can reclaim top position with their fifth league win of the campaign.
Aaron Connolly notched his tenth and 11th goals of the season after Viktor Gyokeres dispatched from the penalty spot against Chelsea, and despite the Blues bringing the score back to 3-2, Albion held on for maximum points.
Everton sealed a narrow 1-0 victory over Manchester City on their last league outing, but tasted defeat in the Checkatrade Trophy as they lost 3-2 to Oldham Athletic on Tuesday evening.
Tonight’s meeting will be the third time the sides have played at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre in just under nine months and Albion maintain an unbeaten record.
Ben Barclay levelled the game with a front-post header in September, before James Tilley prodded Albion in front, but Ellis Simms struck for the Toffees to earn a share of the spoils on the south coast.
The Premier League Cup provided the competition back in March, and goals from Gyokeres, Connolly and former Albion man Jiri Skalak sealed a comfortable 3-0 victory to beat their top-tier opponents.
But after last season’s promotion to the Premier League 2 Division 1, Albion will come up against Everton for the first time in league competition and top spot is the prize up for grabs.
Albion supporters can follow a live text blog on the Match Centre, with a report and gallery to go online shortly after the full-time whistle.