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Verdict: Home win to nil
Best Odds: 10/11
Following a somewhat difficult start to the season, Arsenal come into the game with Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday afternoon looking to make it their fourth consecutive home victory of the 2017/18 Premier League campaign. Meanwhile, Chris Hughton’s Seagulls will be targeting back-to-back top division wins for the first time since 1982.
Arsene Wenger’s men come into the clash with the Seagulls in a confident mood having won their last three games in all competitions. As a matter of fact, the Gunners have not lost a game since the 4-0 defeat by Liverpool at Anfield towards the end of August. Arsenal also managed to put on an impressive showing in their last clash as they dismissed of BATE Borisov 4-2 in the Europa League on Thursday evening. They also won their last Premier League game with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Tony Pulis’ West Bromwich Albion.
Despite, their current good form, the task for Brighton will be getting past the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium. Wenger’s troops have been particularly impressive on home soil in recent seasons. They have not dropped a single point in Premier League action since a 2-2 draw with Manchester City in May and have not lost at home since January. In fact, they have won their last eight games at the Emirates Stadium, earning clean sheets in six of those games. Even more impressively, Arsenal have only lost two league games since the start of the 2016/17 season and have only failed to score in one of the last 29 home league clashes. The Londoners currently sit seventh in the Premier League table and could go as high as third with a victory against Brighton.
Regardless of their good form, Arsene Wenger does have a few key personnel missing through injury. Mesut Özil remains on the injury table with a knee problem and is joined by the likes of Francis Coquelin and Danny Welbeck.
Winger Alex Iwobi does have an outside chance of making the match-day squad following his recovery. Defensive pairing Sead Kolašinac and Laurent Koscielny are being tested ahead of the game but both could feature.
Brighton & Hove Albion
Chris Hughton’s Brighton will have to rectify their away form if they are to earn a result in North London. Despite winning their last two home games, the last being a 1-0 victory over fellow-promoted side Newcastle United, the Seagulls are yet to win away from home this season. Their only point away from the Amex Stadium has come in the form of a 0-0 stalemate with Watford. Their problems on their travels stretch back further than that though. The team’s last away league win came way back in May with a 2-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers, a run stretching six games. Since that game, they have only managed to score two goals on their travels.
Hughton’s troops will need to start finding the back of the net with more regularity if they are to stave off the threat of relegation. They have only scored six goals in eight games in all competitions since the start of the season, with only five coming in Premier League action. However, the Seagulls’ defence is looking strong following promotion. In six league games since the start of the season, they have only conceded seven goals, with only three coming in the last four games. With the Seagulls currently sitting in 13th position in the league table, three points above the relegation zone, they could go above hosts Arsenal with a victory at the Emirates.
Chris Hughton does have major problems with the amount of strikers available for selection. Last weekend’s match-winner Tomer Hemed is suspended so will miss the game. Fellow attackers Glenn Murray and Sam Baldock are also both ruled-out through respective injuries. As a result, Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown could start the game against Arsenal.
Midefielders Beram Kayal and Steve Sidwell are out through respective injuries.
Key Facts to Consider
- Brighton have never beat Arsenal away from home
- The Gunners themselves have not lost to the Seagulls since a 1-0 defeat in 1982
- Arsenal possess the far better record between the two (W11, D2, L2)
- Brighton & Hove Albion have only managed to score nine goals against the Gunners in 15 previous clashes
- The last two clashes between the teams have both ended 3-2 to Arsenal
Despite Brighton coming into the clash in relatively promising form, the Gunners will be just too much of a challenge at the Emirates Stadium. Arsene Wenger has them currently playing with confidence and the trip to Belarus on Thursday night should not play too much of an impact with lots of changes expected.
The Londoners should earn an emphatic and well-deserved victory against an injury-hit Seagulls’ side.
Verdict: Home win to nil
Best Odds: 10/11
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