Brighton & Hove Albion welcome Arsenal to the Vitality Stadium on Boxing Day, with Chris Hughton’s team needing some points to make their Christmas celebrations feel a little more festive. The Seagulls have lost their last three Premier League games. Arsenal in contrast, despite a couple of defeats last week, have been enjoying good form in recent times. Unai Emery’s Gunners have lost only one of their last 16 in the league.
Brighton will take some cheer from recent history in this fixture though, as they have won their last three home top flight league matches against the Gunners. Two of those games were in the early 1980s, though. Arsenal, however, have lost just one of their last nine Boxing Day fixtures. It should be an interesting game for the Sky Sports TV viewers.
Brighton vs Arsenal Prediction: Brighton 0-1 Arsenal
Our prediction for this game is that Arsenal will win it, but it will be close. Brighton have fallen into a rut when it comes to results in recent weeks, and have scored just one goal in their last three league games. They have also lost those three league games, increasing the pressure on manager Chris Hughton, so are looking vulnerable. Arsenal have just endured a tough week, but bounced back with a 3-1 home win over Burnley on Saturday. We expect the Gunners to travel back to the capital on Boxing Day evening with three points secured by a single goal.
Our recommended tip: Arsenal 1-0
Our featured tip for this game comes from William Hill. There, you can find a price of 13/2 for our prediction of a 1-0 win for the Gunners. We think that the game will be tightly contested and that Arsenal will have to work hard to break down the home side. In the end, they will triumph, thanks to a moment of quality from a star player. Odds of 13/2 seem pretty generous to us, and offer punters good value for such a likely final score.
These two sides have played each other just twice on previous occasions in the Premier League. Brighton’s absence from the top flight for much of the last four decades had limited the sides’ exposure to each other to cup competitions, until last season. The Seagulls and Gunners clashed twice in the Premier League in 2017/18, with each team winning its home game. Arsenal won at the Emirates Stadium in October 2017, triumphing 2-0, thanks to goals from Nacho Monreal and Alex Iwobi. At the Amex Stadium in March 2018, Brighton won 2-1, with Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray on the scoresheet.
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Players to watch: Glenn Murray & Aaron Ramsey
Brighton striker Glenn Murray might be 35, but he is still the Seagulls’ top goal-scorer in 2018/19. The veteran forward has scored eight goals in his 18 Premier League appearances this season, an average of 0.44 per match. Three of those goals have come from the penalty spot. He has missed just one big chance, and has hit 20 attempts on goal, of which 11 have been on target – an accuracy rate of 55%.
There has been much talk recently that Aaron Ramsey might not be at Arsenal next season, with Juventus reportedly interested in acquiring his services when his contract expires. In the meantime, the Welsh midfielder continues to be an important asset for the Gunners, having contributed six assists in his 15 Premier League appearances in 2018/19. He has scored one goal. Significantly, he has also hit 10 accurate long balls and nine crosses.