Arsenal host Brighton at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon in the Premier League. The Gunners have lost two of their last three matches and need to get back to winning ways in the race for a top-four spot. The Seagulls are in freefall with six defeats in seven matches with just a single goal scored in that run.
The Gunners had been on a superb run of form with nine wins, one draw, and just one loss in 11 matches. Five wins in a row put them in pole position for a top-four place with games in hand. Their last three matches have seen two defeats and one win, letting Spurs jump above them in the table albeit having played a match more.
After a steady 2-0 win against Leicester, Arsenal lost 2-0 at home to Liverpool despite a really strong first-half performance. They bounced back with a dominant display to win 1-0 at Aston Villa in a match where the margin could have been bigger. Their last match saw a 3-0 loss at Crystal Palace. Arteta’s team trailed 2-0 after 24 minutes as Palace dominated due to their pressing. Arsenal improved in the second half but conceded a penalty and only created a couple of clear chances.
Arsenal Team News
Arsenal’s tiny squad has only three injuries but already feels completely stretched. Kieran Tierney is out for several weeks after knee surgery, Takehiro Tomiyasu is not yet ready to return and Thomas Partey has injured his thigh.
Arteta will likely start Albert Sambi Lokonga in Partey’s place whilst Cedric Soares will probably continue at right-back. Nuno Tavares was taken off at half-time against Crystal Palace after a terrible showing so Arsenal could also bring in Rob Holding, move Ben White to right-back, and put Cedric at left-back. Gabriel Martinelli is pushing to return to the XI in the attack.
Nothing less than a win will do in this match. Arsenal will play on the front foot and take the game to Brighton from the start.
Motivation will be very high for this match. The full focus will be on this one with no cup distractions.
The Seagulls are in terrible form right now. They have lost six and drawn one of their last seven matches. An 11-match winless run was followed by a seven-match unbeaten run with three wins and four draws.
The side’s last seven matches have seen the attack stop scoring with just one goal netted. The loss of Adam Webster to injury has seen the side leaking goals, including shipping three at home to Burnley. Their last three saw 2-0 home losses to Liverpool and Tottenham. Their last match saw a 0-0 home draw against Norwich despite 63% possession and 31 shots (but just four on target).
Brighton Team News
Brighton have Adam Webster and Adam Lallana back in full training but neither is expected to start according to Graham Potter. With Shane Duffy struggling for form of late, it could again see Marc Cucurella used in a back three with Solly March at left wingback.
Moises Caicedo is fit again to give more options in midfield. Yves Bissouma has been on the bench for some recent matches and played no minutes against Norwich. He could be recalled for this one.
Potter will change nothing in his style of play, with Brighton expected to play on the front foot and looking to dominate the match. They were outstanding in the reverse fixture, albeit in a 0-0 draw, and will take Arsenal on toe-to-toe.
A draw would be a good result in the side’s current dip in results and performances but they won’t play for one, nor settle for one, at any stage.
Arsenal have won 9 of their last 13 PL matches (L1, D1)
Arsenal have lost 2 of their last 3 matches
Arsenal have seen Both Teams to Score – No in their last 4 PL matches
Brighton have lost 6 of their last 7 matches (all comps)
Brighton have failed to score in 6 of their last 7 PL matches
Brighton have conceded in 13 of their last 15 matches (all comps)
This should be a very good match. Brighton may be getting poor results but they will take Arsenal on and look to exploit areas weakened by key injuries. The Gunners may have enough to grab a 1-0 win but Brighton are capable of a surprise.
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