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Selection Nightmare for De Zerbi With Eight Key Players Missing: Brighton Predicted Lineup vs Wolves

Brighton and Wolves players scramble on the goal line after a header

Roberto De Zerbi will be without eight players as Brighton and Hove Albion travel to Molineux Stadium to face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Here’s how Last Word on Football predicts Brighton will line up.

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Brighton Predicted Lineup: Seagulls Missing Key Players


De Zerbi confirmed Kaoru Mitoma could miss the rest of the season due to a back injury which ruled the Japanese winger out of the game against Everton on the weekend.

The Seagulls will also miss striker Evan Ferguson who has picked up an ankle injury while fellow forward Danny Welbeck is a doubt to make the squad.

The Brighton boss said: “I think we lost Mitoma until the end of the season. It’s an important problem.

“Ferguson tomorrow, he can’t play. Welbeck has a problem, and we have to make a check.”

The Italian also said that Paraguay forward Julio Enciso is not ready to start after returning from a meniscus tear.

The South Coast side will continue to be without top scorer Joao Pedro who has been sidelined in recent weeks through a hamstring injury meaning they could be without a recognised striker.

Read More: The Brighton De Bruyne: The Numbers Behind De Zerbi’s Unsung Hero

Billy Gilmour picked up a straight red card for a reckless tackle on Amadou Onana against Sean Dyche’s side on Saturday and will be suspended for three games.

This is a big blow to De Zerbi who has started Gilmour alongside Pascal Groß in the last 13 matches in all competitions..

The Italian confirmed that Joel Veltman will miss out but could return for the weekend trip to Fulham, alongside Ferguson.

This latest set of absentees adds to the extensive list of players De Zerbi has had to cope without in recent weeks with Jack Hinshelwood, Solly March and James Milner also missing.

This could allow others to impress, such as central midfielder Carlos Baleba and Barcelona loanee Ansu Fati, who has struggled to get into the side on his return from injury.

Brighton Recent Form and Tactics

The Seagulls have had a convincing campaign in the FA Cup so far, beating Stoke City 4-2 in the third round before a resounding 5-2 victory over Sheffield United in the next.

Both of these ties have been on the road which should give De Zerbi’s side confidence as they are yet again drawn away from home.

The key man in the cup run so far has been Pedro who will continue to be a big miss for Brighton having scored five goals in the previous two rounds and 19 goals in all competitions this season.

Since their last outing in the FA Cup, Brighton’s league form has fluctuated having picked up two wins in five.

Read More: ‘Talented’ Brighton Winger Lights Up AFCON Final And Leads Ivory Coast To Victory

De Zerbi’s men most recently salvaged a 1-1 draw at home to Everton thanks to a header from captain Lewis Dunk in the closing stages of added time.

The Seagulls have been dominating games having had the majority of possession in eight of their last nine games but have often failed to convert this dominance into a victory.

Brighton’s last meeting with Gary O’Neil’s side came just over a month ago as the sides played out a goalless draw at the Amex in a game in which the home side had 71% possession.

De Zerbi has been switching between a back three and back four in recent weeks with the team often changing systems in different phases of a match.

The long list of absentees could see another change of system in Wednesday’s FA Cup clash.

How Brighton Have Lined-up Recently

De Zerbi continues to rotate his goalkeepers with Bart Verbruggen starting five of the last nine fixtures while Jason Steele has been in the sticks for the remaining four.

However, the Dutchman has started the last two games, suggesting he may be De Zerbi’s number one, in the league at least.

Lewis Dunk and Jan Paul van Hecke have been a mainstay in central defence for the Seagulls while injuries have seen a lack of consistency in the fullback position.

Billy Gilmour and Pascal Groß had struck up an effective and instrumental partnership in central midfield that will now be disrupted for the next three fixtures due to Gilmour’s suspension.

Facundo Buonanotte capitalised on injuries and players away on international duty and has established himself as a key member of the side, starting the last ten games and scoring three goals in his last six appearances.

Brighton’s front line of Simon Adingra, Mitoma and Welbeck has looked dangerous, particularly in their 5-0 dismantling of Sheffield United before Mitoma’s injury. However, De Zerbi will have to find someone to fill the shoes of the Japanese going forward.

Brighton Predicted Lineup

GK: Jason Steele

CB: Jan Paul van Hecke

CB: Lewis Dunk

CB: Adam Webster

LWB: Simon Adingra

CM: Pascal Groß

CM: Carlos Baleba

RWB: Tariq Lamptey

LF: Adam Lallana

RF: Facundo Buonanotte

ST: Ansu Fati


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