After a good start to the season, Brighton have lost their last three matches. They are still sitting in 13th, but the Seagulls will have to start picking up points again soon or risk falling into the relegation battle. In those three matches, Brighton have scored only one goal. If they are to beat Arsenal, they’ll likely need to score more than one. If they are unable to find their goalscoring boots, they’ll struggle to get anything from this match.
Arsenal are in a very tenuous position right now. They have 37 points from 18 matches and sit in fifth place, behind Chelsea on goal difference. But, if they drop points in matches they are expected to win, they could find themselves in a big hole in the race for the top four race. With that in mind, they cannot afford to drop points against Brighton. The Gunners have had some struggles away from home, with four wins, two draws and two losses. They cannot afford to struggle away from home again.
Brighton will be missing Jose Izquierdo and Alireza Jahanbakhsh through injury, according to physioroom.com. They will also be without Lewis Dunk, as he misses out through suspension.
Arsenal are in a bit of an injury crisis. They will be without Hector Bellerin, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Rob Holding, Danny Welbeck, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Shkodran Mustafi through injuries, according to the team news on Arsenal’s official website. Nacho Monreal will also be assessed before the match.
Brighton and Hove Albion: Glenn Murray
The Seagulls have struggled to score as a whole, but that has not been the case for Glenn Murray. He has scored eight goals this season, though three of those have been penalties. His eight ties him with Callum Wilson for the top scorer outside of the top half of the table. For Brighton to get anything of this game, they’ll likely need to get Murray going.
Arsenal: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
While Murray is one of the top scorers in the bottom half of the table, Aubameyang is the top scorer in the league to this point. His 12 goals are the most in the league going into Christmas and he has accomplished that while starting as a winger for a large chunk of the season. He has proved himself to be a generational goalscorer in France and in Germany and now he is showing that in England. If he can perform at his top level, he can win Arsenal this match.
Brighton will be looking to take advantage of a tired and thin Arsenal team. If there has been a time to play the Gunners all season, this is probably it and they could get something out of it.