Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
Unai Emery’s Arsenal team welcome struggling Brighton & Hove Albion to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, with the Gunners looking for three points to end a run of three straight Premier League defeats. The north Londoners will have been boosted by their midweek Europa League semi-final first leg win over Valencia at the Emirates Stadium. League points are desperately needed now, though, if the Gunners want to overhaul Chelsea and claim a top-four finish.
Chris Hughton’s Brighton are fortunate that Cardiff City have been so poor in recent weeks, otherwise they would be in the relegation mire themselves. The Seagulls have not won in seven Premier League matches, and sit just four points above Cardiff. If they lose here and Cardiff win on Saturday against Crystal Palace, it will certainly be ‘squeaky bum time’ for the Seagulls.
Arsenal vs Brighton & Hove Albion Prediction: Gunners 2-1 Seagulls
Our prediction for this game is that the Gunners will win 2-1, and end their recent run of league defeats. It might be quite a close game for much of the 90 minutes, with confidence from both teams looking a little low right now. Arsenal’s European form may give them the boost in morale they need to get over the line in this game. In fairness, Brighton’s form has been so appalling in recent weeks that it is hard to look beyond anything other than an Arsenal victory in this game, though it is unlikely to be convincing.
Our recommended tip: Gunners, both score
Our featured tip for this game comes from Paddy Power. The Irish bookie is offering odds of 15/8 on Arsenal to win and both teams to score. We think that this is a good bet because it matches our prediction of a 2-1 victory for the home side, while also giving you a certain amount of flexibility when it comes to the precise final score. Odds of 15/8 also offer decent value for punters. We suspect that the desperation of Albion’s situation will see them push hard and score once, but the Gunners will have too much quality for them in the end.
These sides have met on just three previous occasions in the Premier League. Each team has won one of those games and there has been one draw. Arsenal’s victory came in the first Premier League meeting between the teams, in 2013/14. At the Emirates the Gunners beat the Seagulls 2-0. Brighton got their revenge later that season at the Amex Stadium, though, when they won 2-1.
Earlier this season, the two sides met at the Amex Stadium on Boxing Day. Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw by the Seagulls. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored for Arsenal, only for Jurgen Locadia to equalise 10 minutes before half-time.
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Players to watch: Alexandre Lacazette & Anthony Knockaert
Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette the Gunners’ leading provider of assists this season, having given his team-mates eight in his 34 Premier League appearances in 2018/19. He is also his team’s second-highest league goalscorer, having found the net 13 times in 34 Premier League appearances this season. Of his 13 league goals, 12 have been scored with his right foot and just one with his left, a statistic which the Brighton defenders would do well to note.
Anthony Knockaert needs to step up to the plate this weekend if Brighton are serious about taking three points home from the Emirates. He was sent off in the 5-0 defeat to Bournemouth last month, something which has undoubtedly harmed his team’s recent form. He is the Seagull’s leading assist provider, with six to his name from his 28 Premier League appearances this season. He has also scored two goals in the league in 2018/19.