Brighton vs Fulham – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 18th February 2023
AMEX Community Stadium
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Brighton’s home match against Fulham. Both sides are in a position to push on for European football – who will prevail here? Read on with our Brighton vs Fulham prediction.
Brighton vs Fulham Match Preview
Brighton come into the game in good form, sitting in third in the form table over the last six games. The Seagulls have won three and drawn two of those. Three-goal victories over Merseyside clubs Everton and Liverpool were convincing, and there was also a win against Bournemouth. Draws with Leicester and last time out with rivals Crystal Palace weren’t as impressive, but still decent. Players such as Mitoma and March are in good form; Brighton have scored 13 goals across this period.
Brighton have had their blips at the Amex Stadium over the previous six. Aston Villa came from behind to win 2-1 the weekend before the World Cup began, and Arsenal gave Brighton a 4-2 hiding. However, Brighton must indeed be pleased with their season so far. Wise recruitment and the impressive tactical knowledge of coach Roberto De Zerbi have them in sixth, with 35 points after 21 games. Still in the FA Cup, they have two potential avenues into Europe next season.
Fulham travel south with a good record of their own. Indeed, since the league resumption after the World Cup, the Cottagers have won five games, including 2-0 against Nottingham Forest last time out. The only blips are the defeats to Newcastle and Tottenham and a draw with Chelsea (after they had beaten the Blues a few weeks previously). Hence, Fulham have only dropped points against better sides on paper with more resources in this period.
Five of Fulham’s last six games have seen two goals or fewer scored in the match, and only eight goals have been registered in total, so their games have been low-scoring. Mitrovic’s goals have dried up somewhat, having not scored in the last five, but they have built their success on the foundation of a strong defence. Marco Silva’s men have won half their games on their travels in the last eight, so they are a threat. In seventh with 35 points after 23 games, they can be pleased with their season and have performed admirably for what was previously a yo-yo club.
This game should be an enticing affair between two good sides. Both games finished goalless last season, and Fulham won the reverse fixture 2-1 earlier in the season. They will hope their decent run against Brighton continues.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Colwill, Moder, Lallana, Welbeck
Might Not Play: Cairney, Willian, Mitrovic, Kebano
Will Not Play:
Brighton vs Fulham Lineups (Predicted)
Brighton (4-2-3-1): Sanchez; Estupinan, Dunk, Webster, Veltman; Caicedo, Gross; Mitoma, Mac Allister, March; Ferguson
Fulham (4-2-3-1): Leno; Robinson, Diop, Ream, Tete; Reed, Palhinha; Willian, Pereira, Decordova-Reid; Mitrovic
Brighton vs Fulham Analysis
Brighton and Fulham Flying High
Brighton have turned on the style this season. They have had several impressive performances and are a highly entertaining team to watch. They have had Liverpool’s number in particular, with a 3-3 draw at Anfield in October, followed by the victories at the Amex in the league and FA Cup in January. Players such as the exciting Estupinan, Mitoma, March, and Mac Allister have been central to the positive style Brighton have implemented. However, it remains to be seen how they will cope with the loss of Trossard to Arsenal.
Fulham have also been playing well. The London club use an energetic and frenetic style of play where their midfielders press and harry the opposition and try to get the ball quickly to their front three or four. Fulham sit in 13th and 12th for possession and completed passes, respectively, so they are more of a countering team that take advantage of transitions.
Brighton Will Likely Control Possession
In contrast to Fulham, Brighton are very much a possession side that builds the play (though they are at home countering, too, they are versatile). According to Opta stats, Brighton have controlled many of the zones in their half and some in the earlier areas of their opponents’ halves this season, gaining more than 55 per cent of touches in these zones. These stats support our assertion that Brighton build the play from the back. Indeed, the goalkeeper Sanchez has excellent distribution. His long and short passes allow the Seagulls to beat opposition pressure and advance further up the pitch.
Brighton are fourth in the possession table with an average of 58 per cent, an identical tally to Arsenal. Hence, we see them controlling the ball against a low-block Fulham side. The onus will be even more on Brighton as the home team and having not won for two games. Dunk is very good at starting moves for them from the back, and Caicedo, Mac Allister and Gross in midfield are good passers and press-resistant.
Brighton will use their power, passing ability, and Caicedo’s ball-carrying skill to try to win the 50/50 duels and wriggle out of the tight spaces when Reed, Pereira, and, Palhinha close them down. This ability should allow them to find gaps in the final third when Fulham’s shape is disrupted. Both teams have a threat in attack, but how will they exploit this?
While Brighon can transition well due to the speed of Mitoma and March, their patient probing style is more likely to allow their attackers to find themselves in one-on-one situations out wide. Mitoma has been a revelation this season, and he will look to attack Tete at every opportunity. The Fulham right-back must be very cautious of the Japanese man’s dancing feet and crossing and shooting ability.
Estupinan will also drive forward from left-back and offer overlaps. The Brighton left side is very dangerous. Tete will need help from Decordova-Reid and the covering midfielders. On the other side, March will look to cut inside and shoot or deliver crosses for Ferguson to attack. March has had a real standout few months, and Brighton rely on him to provide some cutting edge. Brighton are seventh in shot-creating actions, so they are undoubtedly an incisive team who can open up defences.
For their part, Fulham will be energetic and never stop running. Mitrovic is their focal point; he has improved in carrying the ball, and his hold-up play has been excellent. They will try to win the ball with Palhinha and Reed’s industry and get it up to him to allow Willian, Periera, and Decordova-Reid to break into spaces around him and pick up loose balls or passes from him.
The full-backs Tete and Robinson can also fly forward, though they may have to be more restrained here against Mitoma and March. Crosses are a massive part of Fulham’s game. They have delivered the third-most in The Premier League with 468. This stat makes sense when you consider the dribbling and crossing ability of the wingers (Willian in particular) and how strong Mitrovic is in the air. They are right to take advantage of these attributes.
This game is between two sides doing well right now, better than plenty would have expected. Sitting in sixth and seventh in the league, Brighton and Fulham will have designs on a surprise qualification for Europe. This game is a meeting of styles, with Brighton being a more controlled team and Fulham more direct in their play. Both clubs possess tactically astute managers, energy, and an intelligent tactical framework which gets the best out of their personnel.
It is difficult to pick a winner here, but Brighton might claim the three points. Fulham are a good side, but the goals have dried up somewhat for them, whereas Brighton are the highest scorers in the league over the last ten and have scored three or more in five of these ten. Brighton likely won’t destroy the Cottagers (though they can tear apart most teams in this league when they are on song). However, we believe Brighton will do enough to earn a narrow victory despite a spirited Fulham performance.
Brighton 2-1 Fulham
Brighton vs Fulham Betting Tip – Brighton Odds:
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