Brighton & Hove Albion Take on Decimated Arsenal
Brighton & Hove Albion sit quite low on the table but they have a surprisingly great record against the Gunners. The Seagulls have not tasted defeat against the North London side in their last four encounters. In fact, Graham Potter’s men went to the Emirates earlier in the season and picked up all three points.
This will be Brighton’s first match after the resumption of the premier league. It will be interesting to see how that rustiness will affect them against Mikel Arteta‘s Arsenal side who will be playing their second game in just four days. Brighton are yet to taste victory in 2020 as well so it may be a good time for them to get it against a decimated Arsenal side.
Brighton & Hove Albion
“Everybody’s fit. We’ve got a full squad to choose from. We’ve been delighted with how the players have worked during this period. They’ve worked through lockdown in their Zoom sessions and they’ve come back in a good way.”
It is possible that Potter might make one or two changes from the lineup he used in Brighton’s last match. He said the following about rotation:
“Five weeks and nine matches from a long lay-off. The realities of playing 11 players for every single minute of every game is quite difficult for lots of reasons. We’re fortunate to have a fully-fit squad and have players who want to play. We have to make sure we’re ready
Hence, it is difficult to predict the starting lineup for this particular match as we do not know which players have impressed the manager during this ‘pre-season’. However, the following is probably Brighton’s strongest lineup-
With such a short duration of time between matches, it is tough to predict the starting XI. Arsenal lost Granit Xhaka and Pablo Mari to injuries during the Manchester City match. David Luiz is suspended after getting sent off for a reckless challenge on Riyad Mahrez. With Sokratis Papastathopoulos being an injury doubt as well, Mikel Arteta is struggling to field players at the back. Callum Chambers is also out with a long-term injury.
Bernd Leno has saved Arsenal quite a number of times this season. He made nine saves against Manchester City as well. He will definitely start in goal. If fitness permits, Hector Bellerín and Kieran Tierney should start in the full-back positions. Shkodran Mustafi will start with whoever is fit enough to start with him. Rob Holding might get the nod.
In midfield, Dani Ceballos will probably start alongside Matteo Guendouzi. Lucas Torreira is another option if fit. Three of the front four positions are up for grabs. One would expect Nicolas Pépé to start this one after not getting any action against City. Alexandre Lacazette should start ahead of Eddie Nketiah. Mesut Özil‘s status is uncertain after he was left out of the squad completely for ‘tactical’ reasons against Manchester City. Bukayo Saka or Joe Willock might continue. Reiss Nelson is another attacking option as well. Gooners will look to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang once again to deliver the goals.
A very tricky one to call. Brighton’s style of play will challenge Arsenal that is for sure. One expects a tough day out for the Gunners. Mikel Arteta will probably look to a fresh Nicolas Pépé to produce some magic for the gunners. A scrappy 1-1 draw at the Amex is probably the most likely outcome.
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