Brighton vs Wolves – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 29th April 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Wolves’ visit to Brighton. A shock 3-1 defeat away to Forest was Brighton’s second defeat in 3 Premier League matches – can they rebound? Read on with our Brighton vs Wolves prediction.
Brighton vs Wolves Preview
Brighton come into this game having had a challenging week. Last Sunday, they frightened Man Utd in Wembley’s FA Cup semi-final. They were the better team and created enough chances to win the match, but they couldn’t convert. Eventually, it went to penalties, where Solly March put his over the bar before Victor Lindelof converted for United in sudden death. It was a bitter blow for the Seagulls, and they followed it up with a 3-1 defeat away at Nottingham Forest in midweek. Forest are much better at home than away, but with 75 per cent possession and both teams having an xG between 2.00 and 3.00, Brighton might feel unlucky at losing the game.
Bad fortune has been a theme for Roberto De Zerbi’s men recently. The refereeing association PGMOL have repeatedly apologised to the club for officiating decisions that have gone against them. It is not an exaggeration to say that Brighton could have ten more points than they do had they received better decisions this season. Still, they cannot allow that to grind them down, and they still have a chance at European football. They’ve taken seven points from the last three home games (though they are only in 11th in the season’s home table) and will feel confident about winning this match. They are five points off fifth-placed Aston Villa in the Europa League position but have games in hand over the teams above them.
Wolves make the trip south like a Jekyll and Hyde team. At home, Julen Lopetegui’s side have won four of their previous five, which has eased their relegation concerns significantly. This run includes victories over Spurs, Chelsea, Brentford and midweek against Crystal Palace in what was a six-pointer. An own goal by Joachim Andersen at the start of the match and a penalty by Ruben Neves at the end sealed the three points. Wolves only had 41 per cent possession, but they had a higher XG; hence they will be pleased with the win. We expected Palace to have less of the ball than they did, so Wolves had more opportunity to counter, which suits them.
Away from Molineux, Wolves have been much worse and haven’t won in five games. This run includes losses at Anfield, St James’ Park and the King Power. They’ve only won two of 16 games away and are 17th in the away table. Therefore, Wolves might feel trepidation about making this trip to the Amex. Still, with 37 points from 33 games and sitting in 13th place, the recent home results have essentially made them safe from relegation, so they’ll breathe a massive sigh of relief.
The reverse fixture ended 3-2 to Brighton.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Ferguson
Will Not Play: Moder, Lamptey, Lallana, Sarmiento
Might Not Play: B. Traore
Will Not Play: Kalajdzic, Chiquinho
Brighton vs Wolves Lineups (Predicted)
Brighton (4-2-3-1 / 4-3-3): Steele; Estupinan, Colwill, Dunk, Veltman; Caicedo, Gross; Mitoma, Mac Allister, March; Welbeck
Wolves (4-4-2 / 4-2-3-1): Sa; Toti, Kilman, Dawson, Semedo; Sarabia, Neves, Lemina, Nunes; Cunha, Costa
Brighton vs Wolves Analysis
Brighton Suffered A Setback At Forest. They’ll Try To Get Back On Track Here
The defeat to Forest was a blow for Brighton, particularly following the semi-final. However, they will likely get back on track here. Brighton are a much more possession-orientated team than Wolves, so we anticipate them having most of the ball and controlling the game. Steele (or Sanchez) in goal is vital at playing out from the back. Through the likes of Steele, Dunk and Estupinan, Brighton will attempt to play the ball into midfield and wide areas and build from there, progressing the ball into the final third.
In midfield, there are numerous options. We see Caicedo and Gross being the two holding midfielders with Mac Allister in front. Caicedo will be his usual industrious self – snuffing out counter-attacks, receiving the ball from the defenders, and trying to evade the press so Brighton can find gaps in Wolves’ formation. Enciso and Buonanotte are options to start in creative positions – indeed, the two youngsters have been a revelation recently and will play a big part in Brighton’s future. They could start or be used from the bench.
Gross and Mac Allister will also be important – the latter connects the midfield to the attack, and his ability to make the play from that number 10 position will give Wolves a headache. Mac Allister’s passing and ability to join the attack will be vital. In attacking areas, Ferguson might still be out. If he is, Welbeck must be his usual hard-working self and link up well, allowing Brighton to have extra men in deeper positions. If Welbeck gets a chance on goal, then he must take it.
Mitoma and March on the wings are two of Brighton’s best players and offer much creativity. Mitoma can go both ways; his dribbling and pace are big weapons. He will take on Semedo often and try to enter the box. On the other side, March will be much the same, and both players offer invention and end product. Estupinan is also a good weapon on his drives forward from left-back. As stated, Enciso and Buonanotte are also exciting options. Furthermore, if Ferguson is fit, he will give Brighton a whole new dynamic in attack.
Wolves Are Almost Safe And Should Play Counter-Attacking Football In This One
Following their victory over Crystal Palace, Wolves are virtually safe. However, Lopetegui wants his players to continue being professional and make it to that magic forty points mark in this game. We expect they will turn up at the Amex and play a containing and counter-attack game. They have players who can control the game in midfield in Lemina and especially Neves. However, they will be happy to play that pragmatic, less expansive style against a Brighton team that is a well-oiled machine where every player knows their role well. Their defence will sit deeper, with Kilman and Dawson being wary of crosses into the box and darting runs of the skilful Brighton attackers.
Neves and Lemina will work tirelessly in midfield, and their battle with Caicedo and Gross should be interesting. Nunes will often come infield from the right – he is more of a central midfielder, and Wolves need him to combat Brighton’s potential numerical supremacy when Mac Allister drops deep. Overall, Neves, Lemina and Nunes must press as much as possible but be careful not to allow Brighton to play around them. If the Seagulls can do that, then they will expose Wolves. Gomes could also play.
In attack, Wolves have numerous options. Hwang might start wide left as he did against Palace. They also have Podence, Adama Traore, Sarabia and Neto as potential options. These players all have a mixture of pace, dribbling and dynamism on the counter. A combination of them could help beat the full-backs, especially as Estupinan often commits forward. In the striking areas, Costa and Cunha must be physical and try to bully and overpower Dunk and Webster/Colwill (no easy task). Crosses and cutbacks will come in, and the two forwards must have their shooting boots on and be influential in the air.
Wolves have been a different team home and away recently, doing well at Molineux but less so on their travels. The Midlands club have many attacking threats (especially out wide) that can cause problems for Brighton. Wolves could be a threat in this game on the counter-attack, especially as Brighton have seemed relatively susceptible to being hit on the break recently. Brighton will likely control the game, which will suit Wolves as it will allow them to transition at pace when they win the ball.
However, given that Brighton are generally an excellent team, and Wolves being poor recently on the road, we will call this a Brighton victory. We debated whether Wolves would score, but Brighton could keep them out. Brighton can create chances with the attacking threats the Seagulls have in their squad and their ability to play out from the back and disrupt Wolves’ shape. Much will depend on whether Sa can make saves. We think Brighton will convert one or two and win the game, maintaining their quest for European football.
Brighton 2-0 Wolves
Brighton vs Wolves Betting Tip – Brighton Odds:
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