Brighton vs Arsenal Preview | Predictions, Stats and Key Players

Brighton vs Arsenal Preview | Predictions, Stats and Key Players

Brighton welcome Arsenal to the Amex Stadium this weekend. It is going to be another test of Arsenal’s title credentials, as they will be facing one of the best teams outside of the traditional top six. Although they lost Graham Potter, the Seagulls have maintained their high standards and they have adapted well to Roberto de Zerbi. Very few teams have it easy on the South Coast and Mikel Arteta will know how difficult this game can be. They will need to put in a strong performance to take maximum points.

De Zerbi has led Brighton back into the top seven. Funnily, they are above Potter’s Chelsea on goal difference. It would create a great narrative if Brighton were to finish above their former boss. It will be difficult to keep their position in the top seven, but that will be the motivation. For a club like Brighton to qualify for European competition would be an excellent achievement and consolidate their status as one of the best clubs outside of the top six. It is the natural next step for a club that has continued to improve since being promoted to the Premier League.

Arsenal are still five points clear of Manchester City. As long as they have that cushion, they need to be seen as a major contender for the title. The next two matches will be a big test for them, as they face Brighton and Newcastle United, the two best teams outside of the traditional top six. If the Gunners manage to come through with maximum points, we need to take them seriously and perhaps even consider them favourites. Arteta would probably take four points if offered to him now. We will learn a lot more about the Gunners over the next seven days.

Interesting stats

In the last 10 Premier League matches between these two clubs, Brighton have triumphed on four occasions.

Arsenal have only managed to win one of their away matches against Brighton.

Key men

Trossard

It has been an excellent season to date for Leandro Trossard. When he was signed by Brighton, a lot was expected from him. It has taken him some time to get to his best in England, but he is now one of the best players in the league operating outside of the traditional top six. This season, he has contributed seven goals and two assists in the Premier League. This is easily going to be his best season since joining the Seagulls. With his contract situation being an uncertain one, he may want to play well against the current league leaders as it could create interest in him from bigger clubs. Trossard has regularly scored against the best teams in the league, with goals against Manchester City and Liverpool. That could convince Champions League clubs to look at him in the summer. He won’t be looking that far ahead, but it is an interesting point to note. He will be the player that Arsenal are worrying about.

Saka

Bukayo Saka has had an excellent 2022 for club and country. It is easy to forget that he is still at the start of his career and he will be keen to play in the Champions League for a first time in 2023. It seems very unlikely that Arsenal won’t qualify for next season’s competition. It would require a huge drop off. The focus for Arteta and his players will be to push City as far as they can. Saka has shown an impressive consistency this season. He will be one of the players that is needed to step up in the absence of Gabriel Jesus. Saka is both a goal-scorer and a creator. That makes him very difficult to defend against. He re-started his Premier League season with a bang, as he scored against West Ham United. The 21-year-old has contributed five goals and six assists in the Premier League. It is shaping up to be his best personal season. He is well placed to get ten goals and ten assists for the first time in his career.

Team news

Moises Caicedo will be suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card. Danny Welbeck is a doubt to face his former club. Alexis Mac Allister and Adam Webster are both expected to be unavailable.

Emile Smith Rowe and Takehiro Tomiyasu are both doubts for the trip to the South Coast. Gabriel Jesus won’t be available until February.

Verdict

This is going to be stern test for Arsenal. They will be helped by the absence of Caicedo. He has been excellent in the midfield for Brighton and it is no surprise that he is attracting interest from Champions League clubs. That could be the boost that the Gunners need to win this weekend. They have been an unstoppable force this season. Although Brighton are a tough team to face, the Gunners should have enough to get a massive three points.

Brighton 1-2 Arsenal