Freddie Ljungberg Set to Take Charge at Home as Arsenal Manager for First Time

Freddie Ljungberg

When Arsenal host Brighton & Hove Albion on Thursday they will do so with Freddie Ljungberg at the helm for the first time at home. The Swede only managed a 2-2 draw in his debut as interim head coach at Norwich City over the weekend but will want all three points against the Seagulls.

Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion Preview

Team News

Arsenal will be without Dani Ceballos again as he continues to recuperate from a left hamstring injury. He is aiming to return to first team training in mid-December according to the club website.

Meanwhile, Hector Bellerin is recovering from a tight hamstring of his own. He is being assessed but did participate in first team training on Wednesday.

The BBC claim that Rob Holding is also unavailable, but that has not been confirmed by Arsenal. Brighton & Hove Albion will welcome back a long-term absentee at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

Bernardo has been out for three months following a knee injury but could make his return against the Gunners. However, neither Solly March not Jose Izquierdo are available due to respective groin and knee injuries.

Freddie Ljungberg

Interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg gave the pre-match press conference on Wednesday and gave his thoughts on the opposition.

“Yes, I watched them a little bit, they look good, they change formations a lot, so we will see what they come with. They try to play out, defend well, they look very organised but for me we need to concentrate on our own game.

“We play at home so I take into account how I think they will play but I have to develop the gameplan how we want to play football and that’s what I try to concentrate on.”

Form

Arsenal were in terrible form before Unai Emery’s sacking and they didn’t do much better afterwards against the Canaries. Brighton, meanwhile, have lost three on the bounce but two were against Liverpool and Manchester United respectively.

Over the last five games they have taken two wins, a 3-2 success against Everton and a 2-0 win over Norwich. The Gunners haven’t won a game in the Premier League in six matches and took only four points from that stretch. Only four points separate the two sides in the table.

Their manager, Graham Potter, is also no stranger to Arsenal. He guided Ostersunds FK to a win over Arsenal in the Europa League round of 32 during Arsene Wenger’s final season in charge.

On form, his Seagulls look like they could cause Freddie Ljungberg and the Gunners some real issues. Their 16 goals isn’t terribly impressive but they do go against a side that has shipped 21 already this season.

Prediction

However, Arsenal are at home and feelings around the ground will no doubt be much better with Emery gone. Freddie Ljungberg should be able to guide his side to three points on ability alone, even if the coach doesn’t quite get the tactics spot on, but don’t expect a clean sheet.

Predicted score: Arsenal 3 Brighton 1

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