After a midweek victory against BATE Borisov in Belarus Arsenal will come back to England to face a different team starting with “B” in Brighton and Hove Albion.
Since their 4-0 embarrassment at the hands of Liverpool, Arsenal haven’t lost any of their last six matches, winning five of those six matches. Their 4-2 victory over BATE was quite strange as they played a complete backup team, dominated early, then conceded a few goals after that. It’s not a match that can be analyzed much further than the fact that they took three points, but it will help improve squad moral and importantly they were able to rest their key players. That rest in itself is about as good as the preparation as the BATE could have been.
After not winning any of their first three matches in the Premier League, Brighton have now won two of their last three Premier League matches, with the wins coming against West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United. Brighton were relegation favourites at the beginning of the season, and are still expected to go down, but they are showing signs of life. Games like this against the top sides are not the ones that will decide the fate of Brighton, but any points from these matches could be invaluable to the Seagulls.
Arsenal will be without Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Calum Chambers, and Danny Welbeck with varying injuries. Arsene Wenger has said that Alex iwobi, Laurent Koscielny, and Sead Kolasinac are all doubts for the match with Koscielny the least likely to play.
Steve Sidwell, Sam Baldock, and Beram Kayal are all out for Brighton through injuries, while Tomer Hemed is suspended after his stamp on DeAndre Yedlin. Glen Murray is a doubt with an ankle injury, according to physioroom.com.
Arsenal: Alexandre Lacazette
Many of the Premier League’s big teams bought new strikers this summer and they all seem to be performing well early in their Premier League careers. Lacazette has been no exception to that with four goals in 418 minutes. While one of those goals was from the penalty spot, he has started very well and has scored in every home match for the Gunners so far this season, including both goals on Monday against West Bromwich Albion. The Frenchman will be hoping that record continues and that he can help Arsenal brush Brighton aside.
Brighton: Pascal Gross
It didn’t stop them from being relegation favourites, but Brighton did very well with their recruitment this summer. While the Seagulls reportedly paid an undisclosed fee that was relatively modest, Gross had a good season for Ingolstat and has started his Brighton career well with two goals and two assists in his first 497 minutes played. While he likely won’t continue to score with 40% of his shots as he has so far, he’s had a solid start and is showing why he was brought in from Germany.
Arsenal really should be winning this match pretty easily. Brighton are yet to win away from home and were comprehensively beaten in their only match against a top six side in their 2-0 loss to Manchester City.