Brighton return from the break with their Premier League lives on the line. They sit 15th, but are only two points clear of the relegation zone. They cannot afford to take time to get back in a rhythm. If they don’t come out strong, their stay in the Premier League could end.
Arsenal restarted with an embarrassing 3-0 loss to Manchester City on Wednesday. They sit in ninth, five points back of fifth, the potential last Champions League place. That final Champions League place is the only thing the Gunners have to play for. If they fall out of contention for it, their season may as well not finish.
Brighton’s only injury issue is Jose Izquierdo’s knee problem. He is expected to miss out, according to PremierInjuries.com.
Arsenal are expected to have a few absentees. Calum Chambers missed out against Manchester City with a long term injury, while Granit Xhaka and Pablo Mari picked up injuries and are doubts for Saturday, according to PremierInjuries.com. David Luiz is suspended after his red card.
Brighton: Neal Maupay
Maupay is the only Brighton player with more than three Premier League goals this season. His eight more than double anyone else on the team, so his ability to get going is crucial to Brighton’s survival. Arsenal’s defenders are quite error-prone, so this could be a huge match for Maupay.
Arsenal: Nicolas Pepe
Arsenal really struggled to progress the ball against Manchester City. Pepe’s dribbling ability is one of the Gunners best way to do that. Mikel Arteta choosing to start him could be a big factor in Arsenal’s ability to get the three points they are desperate for.
Brighton will look to take advantage of the tired legs of Arsenal and the Gunners atrocious away record. The Seagulls have a real chance at a win here.
Prediction: 2-1 Brighton