Arsenal welcome Brighton to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon, with the hosts fighting for a Champions League spot and the visitors fighting for Premier League survival.
The Gunners enter the fixture off the back of Unai Emery’s worst league run as Arsenal manager to date, having lost their last three outings – shipping nine goals in the process.
Brighton by contrast have battled to two draws in their last three fixtures and have opened up a four point cushion between themselves and the relegation zone. Victory on Sunday would ensure that the Seagulls play top flight football next season.
Check out 90min’s preview of Sunday’s clash below.
Where to Watch
|When is Kick Off?||Sunday 5 May|
|What Time is Kick Off?||16:30 (BST)|
|Where is it Played?||Emirates Stadium|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Sky Sports Premier League|
The rest of Emery’s starting 11 is likely to be rotated from the side that beat Valencia in the first leg of their Europa League semi final on Thursday. While the Gunners cannot afford to take a relegation-threatened Brighton lightly, Emery will undoubtedly look to rotate his players, with one eye on the return fixture at Mestalla the following Thursday.
Without the worry of other fixtures and competitions, Chris Hughton can focus solely on Sunday’s clash, and enters the match with the added boost of having Anthony Knockaert
back from suspension.
After providing the assist for what could prove to be a crucial equaliser last Saturday, expect Brighton’s veteran striker Glenn Murray to retain his place in a largely unchanged lineup for the Seagulls. Davy Propper will miss out, while Beram Kayal is a doubt.
|Arsenal||Leno; Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Mavropanos, Monreal; Elneny, Guendouzi, Xhaka; Iwobi, Ozil; Aubameyang.|
|Brighton||Ryan; Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo; Gross, Stephens, Bissouma, Izquierdo; Murray, Andone.|
Head to Head Record
With Brighton having spent much of their life outside of England’s top flight, it is unsurprisingly Arsenal who lead the head to head statistics. Of the 18 fixtures played between the two sides, the Gunners have won 12 to the Seagulls’ three, with the pair having shared honours for the other three matches.
However, recent history makes for far better reading for the team from the south coast. Since gaining promotion to the Premier League in 2017, Brighton have lost one, won one, drawn one, and are undefeated in their two previous encounters.
Arsenal’s recent struggles have been clear for all to see, with three back-to-back league losses that has seen them concede three goals in each game. They did, however, return to form with an important 3-1 victory over Valencia.
Although the Gunners have not been renowned for their defensive prowess during this campaign, these heavy breaches have still come as something of a shock, as they were preceded by an impressive clean sheet away to Napoli.
In recent months, Brighton have become the unwilling recipient of the ‘out of nowhere relegation candidates’ title, following five consecutive defeats that saw the Seagulls plummet down the table.
However, Chris Hughton has steadied the ship somewhat since their defeat to Cardiff City. Through a clear emphasis on tightening things up at the back, the Brighton manager has been able to eke out some important results that should be enough to keep the Seagulls afloat.
Here’s how each team performed in their last five fixtures.
|Arsenal 3-1 Valencia (2/5)||Brighton 1-1 Newcastle (27/4)|
|Leicester 3-0 Arsenal (28/4)||Tottenham 1-0 Brighton (23/4)|
|Wolves 3-1 Arsenal (24/4)||Wolves 0-0 Brighton (20/4)|
|Arsenal 2-3 Crystal Palace (21/4)||Brighton 0-2 Cardiff (16/4)|
|Napoli 0-1 Arsenal (18/4)||Brighton 0-5 Bournemouth (13/4)|
Despite their recent struggles, Arsenal can still boast an ominous home record this season – having won 14 of their 18 Premier League bouts at the Emirates – and will be confident of improving on that record this Sunday.
Brighton will likewise enter the fixture full of confidence given Arsenal’s recent defensive woes, and will be looking to target this game as their best chance for guaranteeing Premier League football next season.
With their final game of the season against Manchester City at home, Hughton’s men would surely fancy their chances more playing at the Emirates against an out of sorts Arsenal with one eye on Europe, than at home against a rampant City intent on defending their Premier League crown.
Expect Arsenal to sneak a very tight affair against an obstinate Brighton, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to add to his impressive record against the Seagulls.