|Brighton will look to continue their strong start to the season with the visit of Arsenal to the Amex on Saturday. (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
Brighton vs Arsenal
Arsenal are on the rise, from the misery of losing three straight games without scoring a single goal to recording three straight league wins including against Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates last weekend, a result that earned Mikel Arteta a manager of the month nomination.
Brighton are proving to be the surprise package of the season, they have lost just once and won four times, scrappy at some points and dominant in some, hallmark of a team that want to mix it hard with the big sides in the league.
Brighton’s last outing was a last gasp draw against Crystal Palace, they trailed right into the final minutes of added time before Neal Maupay struck, a win in that game could have taken them to the top of the table, despite being in sixth, they’re only a point off the top and a win here will take them top.
The current dynamics also encourage Arsenal, a win on Sunday will mean that they would have closed the gap between them and Brighton, and with Liverpool and Manchester City going head to head, one or two of them will drop points, same for Everton and Chelsea.
It's a fixture of huge significance for both sides, The Seagulls want to prove they’re here to compete, Arsenal also want to prove that they’re better than what the table says, it will be a game of who wants it more.
Arsenal beat Brighton home and away last season, the Seagulls completed a double over the Gunners as well in the season before and taking it back a bit again, it was stalemate between the two in the 2019/20 season, there’s little to choose between them.
Brighton will be compact and they will go for it, all eyes will be on Maupay as he has a weird history with Arsenal and Bernd Leno who is now the second choice goalkeeper for Arsenal. Brighton will be without former Arsenal man Danny Welbeck as well as a potential absence of Yves Bissouma.
Arsenal will be without Granit Xhaka who sustained a knee problem from the North London Derby, Arteta will decide on who to hand the starting berth between Albert Sambi Lokonga and Ainsley Maintalnd-Niles; there’s also a case for Nicolas Pepe with a change of system.
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang will lead the line for Arsenal and the duo of Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard will be on hand to supply him from the middle and the flanks, Pascal Gross and Leandro Trossard will be available to feed Maupay as well.