Brighton invites Arsenal to the Amex on Tuesday night in a bid to repeat last season’s victory over the Gunners.
On a hot June day, the Seagulls struck deep into injury time to claim a massive 2-1 victory that strengthened their fight against relegation. Neal Maupay scored the winner, while Gunners midfielder Matteo Guendouzi grabbed his French compatriots by the throat, subsequently seeing him frozen for the remainder of the season.
Brighton missed an away win in their last game, having to accept a 2-2 draw at West Ham, while Arsenal head south to try to build momentum after their impressive 3-1 win over Chelsea on Boxing Day.
When does the kick-off take place? Tuesday, December 29
What time is the kick-off? 6:00 p.m. (GMT)
Where is it played? Amex stadium
TV channel / live broadcast? Amazon Prime (UK), fuboTV (US)
Arbitrator? Craig pawson
Tariq Lamptey missed the game against West Ham but could be back for the Gunners’ trip. He has been one of Brighton’s star players this year and his presence on the right flank has been sorely missed.
Colombian Jose Izquierdo remains out, fighting for full fitness, with Graham Potter saying he does not want to rush the winger.
Arsenal lost David Luiz and Willian due to illness during the clash against Chelsea, while Gabriel Magalhaes will miss two more games due to his self-isolation after close contact with the coronavirus.
Club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returned to the bench against the Blues and could be called up to lead the team against the Seagulls. Thomas Partey is expected to be out until the New Year.
Brighton: Sánchez; White, Webster, Dunk; Jahanbakhsh, Lallana, Bissouma, March, Trossard; Maupay, Welbeck
Arsenal: Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney; Xhaka, Elneny; Saka, Lacazette, Martinelli; Aubameyang
Brighton are yet to win at home in the Premier League this season, having lost three and drawn in the other four appearances at Amex. Another draw in their last game was their seventh of the season, two more than any other team. If they want to start moving away from the relegation zone, they have to start converting those dead ends into wins.
Arsenal fans are praying that Boxing Day’s victory over city rivals Chelsea is the kick they desperately need for their season. A young team scored an unexpected but well-deserved victory, their first since defeating Manchester United at Old Trafford in November.
The Gunners looked sharp for once at the top of the field, scoring as many goals (3) as they had in their previous seven league games combined. Goals are always a problem for the North Londoners, but dispatching three past the Blues should give them confidence heading into this game.
However, Brighton are a bit of a swamp team for Arsenal. In their six Premier League encounters since their promotion in 2017, the Seagulls have won four times, losing just once on their maiden trip to the Emirates in October 2017. The Gunners have to put everything behind them if they are to begin their ascent. table.
Western ham 2-2 Brighton (12/27)
1-1 Sheffield United (20/12)
Fulham 0-0 Brighton (16/12)
Leicester City 3-0 Brighton (12/13)
Brighton 1-2 Southampton (7/12)
Arsenal Chelsea 3-1 (12/26)
Arsenal 1-4 Manchester City (22/12)
Everton 2-1 Arsenal (19/12)
Arsenal 1-1 Southampton (16/12)
Arsenal 0-1 Burnley (12/13)
It remains to be seen if Arsenal can start to move the table up. Lucky for them, they have some winnable matches against teams below them, this one included.
Brighton are a team still in transition and relying too much on 20-year-old Lamptey. His absence saw the team go to three or few successes, and if he misses again for this game, it will be a big blow to the Seagulls.
With all of this, it looks like it might be too early to see Arsenal claim their first consecutive league wins since the first two games of the season.
Prediction: Brighton 1-1 Arsenal