Brighton vs Arsenal Prediction
Saturday 31st December 2022
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Brighton vs Arsenal Prediction Match Overview
Both Brighton and Arsenal enjoyed a triumphant return to Premier League action with identical 3-1 scorelines following the resumption of domestic competition following the winter World Cup. Brighton continued their push for European football next season at Southampton and they now find themselves well-positioned to do so in 7th place, above Chelsea on goal difference and four points behind Liverpool. There were justifiable concerns that Brighton could fall off the pace following the departure of former manager Graham Potter, however, Brighton recruited well with respected Italian coach Roberto De Zerbi, who brings a similar, if more aggressive footballing outlook with him. Brighton have won 3 of their last 5 games and though they face the league leaders Arsenal this time out, they’ll be confident that they have what it takes to achieve a positive result here.
Arsenal have only dropped four points all season and find themselves with a small cushion at the top of the Premier League table, and have won six of their eight away matches so far this season. Historically, Brighton have been something of a bogey team for the North Londoners – in fact, over the course of their last 10 encounters stretching back to March 2018, Brighton have won on five occasions and Arsenal twice, with three draws making up the remainder of the results between the two teams. Can Arsenal shake off their Brighton hoodoo? Or will Brighton further strengthen their claim to battle it out with Europe’s elite next season?
Brighton vs Arsenal Team News
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Tavernier (Bournemouth)
Will Not Play: Caicedo, Mac Allister, Moder, Webster, Welbeck (Brighton); Jesus, Nelson, Smith-Rowe (Arsenal)
Brighton (4-2-3-1): Sanchez; Lamptey, Dunk, Colwill, Estupinan; Caicedo, Gross; Mitoma, Lallana, March; Trossard
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale; Zinchenko, Saliba, Gabriel, White; Xhaka, Partey; Martinelli, Odegaard, Saka; Nketiah
Brighton vs Arsenal Prediction Analysis
Stopping the Play Between the Lines
The key to this match would appear to lie in the ability of either team to stop the other from getting on the ball in between the lines where both have wreaked havoc this season. For Arsenal, while Gabriel Jesus is usually so effective at dropping off the play, pulling defenders out of position and creating chances for himself and others, Arsenal’s expected solution was to play precocious playmaker Martin Odegaard in a more advanced role and it worked out very well for them indeed against West Ham, who were unable to cope with the Dane’s industry and inventiveness. What Brighton must do here is compromise their shape somewhat and effectively man-mark Odegaard out of the game – with Jesus missing, he’s crucial for Arsenal in linking the play. Should they be able to do so, they’re effectively restricting Arsenal’s attacking options to moments, wing-play and overloads.
Brighton have a cadre of versatile attacking midfielders who are well-suited to constructing unpredictable attacking moves. With Welbeck out, Brighton will again look to Trossard, who is more of an attacking midfielder than the former Manchester United and Arsenal striker, to lead the line in his absence. Welbeck’s physical presence is normally beneficial for Brighton as he helps to create space for others in addition to his ability to link the play and press aggressively from the front. This is important because Brighton ordinarily have one of the highest shares of possession in the league. However, the dynamic of this match will likely be different, and perhaps Brighton are better served playing with an additional attacking midfielder anyway as there will be more room for them to operate in.
A Chess Match Out Wide
Both of these teams have high quality, attacking full-backs and make use of inverted wide players to help them make the best use of these spaces and help to bolster the unpredictability of their attacks. Neither side will want to blunt their attacking weapons, so we expect to see the likes of Partey and Xhaka for Arsenal, Gilmour and March for Brighton filling in at full-back periodically as both sides look to create overloads. Arsenal in particular will not relent from this approach as with Gabriel Jesus missing they need to create as much room as possible in the middle via other means, which in turn will give Odegaard more time and space – or so goes the theory.
Should either side get this wrong, then the punishment is likely to be swift and brutal as the opposition will be able to create numerical advantages on the counter with both sets of full-backs stranded up the pitch, and therefore it’s of extra importance in a tactical battle such as this one that those responsible for providing defensive cover know where to be and, more crucially, when to be there because both sides can transition from defence into attack in a matter of seconds without having to resort to aimless long balls.
Beat the Bookmaker Brighton vs Arsenal Prediction
This is a difficult match to predict, because although Arsenal’s high-flying form and position at the top of the Premier League means that the vast majority would automatically pick the Gunners to win here, Brighton have an exceptional record against them and Arteta in recent seasons, and they’ve proven over the last couple of seasons that they’re a match for any team in the league. In fact, Brighton would be an established European team if they were better at breaking down low-block sides and had a prolific goalscorer – neither of which is required in a match where they will have far more room to attack into. For this reason, we’re predicting an upset and a bump in the road that won’t derail Arsenal’s title-challenge ambitions but perhaps give them something to think about.
Brighton 2-0 Arsenal
Beat the Bookmaker Brighton vs Arsenal Prediction – Brighton Odds:
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