What a scrappy goal. But of course, Everton won’t care. A low free-kick travels to the comes into the near post from the right wing from Anthony Gordon. It’s not what you’d call a good delivery. But no matter: Richarlison is there to get a glancing contact on the ball … which squeaks in at the far post, possibly via a touch by Calvert-Lewin at the end. Scruffy, but potentially so, so important for Everton. Poor defensively from Brentford, who perhaps are struggling to withstand this electric atmosphere, not to mention the way Everton are attacking with purpose.
7 min: Everton attack, yet again, this time down their right wing. Brentford deal with a low cut-back from the byline and then embark on another foray into the hosts’ half. This is end-to-end, it’s all happening, both teams having a go – and Brentford are most certainly not on the beach just yet.
5 min: Now it’s Brentford’s turn. Eriksen whips a set-piece over from the Bees’ right. Ivan Toney flicks a header just over the crossbar. Everton storm down to the other end, and Richarlison pounces on some hesitation in the Brentford defence to clip an effort just wide …
3 min: So close for Everton! Calvert-Lewin flicks on a ball from deep. Anthony Gordon ghosts across the edge of the box with an excellent diagonal run, and pokes an attempted finish goalwards which Raya saves. On the follow-up, Richarlison is there with a header from close range, and he should arguably score, but sends the ball wide! Huge chance.
1 min: Everton start the match on the front foot. Andre Gomes, with a neat bit of work centrally just outside the area, plays in Vitalii Mykolenko on the left. He wins a corner with at attempted low cross. The corner doesn’t come to anything. But Everton have roared out of the traps, as expected.
We are under way.
The teams are on the pitch. The noise is deafening. The Everton fans are baying for the scalp of Brentford – and the knowledge that they will be in the Premier League next season. This is happening!
The teams are in their respective tunnels. The Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford stands behind Séamus Coleman, deep in thought, listening to the roars emanating from out in the stadium.
Under 10 minutes until kick-off.
You’ve got time to read our match preview, here:
The Brentford manager Thomas Frank tells Sky Sports he is determined to keep producing good results and carry momentum into next season. He says he wants a strong, brave performance from Brentford in what they expect will be a difficult atmosphere.
Michael Keane misses out for Everton with illness. Frank Lampard tells Sky Sports the centre-back’s illness emerged overnight, but that he has faith in Jarrad Branthwaite, who makes his third Premier League start of the season. Yerry Mina is still out injured, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin comes into the starting lineup up front for the hosts. Brentford, meanwhile, are unchanged.
Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Holgate, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Andre Gomes, Doucoure, Iwobi, Gordon, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison. Substitutes: Kenny, Allan, Gray, Begovic, Davies, Rondon, Alli, Price, Welch.
Brentford: Raya, Ajer, Jansson, Sorensen, Henry, Jensen, Norgaard, Eriksen, Mbeumo, Toney, Wissa. Substitutes: Canos, Dasilva, Jeanvier, Peart-Harris, Baptiste, Janelt, Roerslev, Stevens, Lossl.
Referee: Michael Oliver
Safety is in sight for Everton. Seven points from matches against Chelsea, Leicester and Watford have considerably eased the nerves of the fans, not to mention the manager Frank Lampard and his players. The feeling, judging by the number of fans crowding around Goodison Park before the visit of Thomas Frank’s Brentford, is that today is the day they secure their Premier League survival, following Leed’s 1-1 draw against Brighton at Elland Road.
Brentford may be thinking of next season already, safe as they are in mid-table, but they are sure to pose plenty of attacking threat with Christian Eriksen pulling the strings in midfield. Can the famous Goodison Park roar propel Everton and Lampard to safety? We’ll know in a couple of hours. Team news and more coming up.