Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion: Premier League Match Preview
Arsenal host Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League at the Emirates Stadium at lunchtime today (12.00 noon kick-off UK time).
The Gunners go into today’s fixture in seventh position in the Premier League table.
Arsenal maintained their 100% home win record in the Premier League this season with Monday’s 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion.
Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 31 Premier League matches against newly-promoted sides (W26 D5), collecting 83 points from a possible 93 since losing 1-2 to QPR in March 2012.
Indeed, the last promoted side to win at Emirates Stadium in the Premier League were Newcastle United in November 2010, then managed by current Brighton manager Chris Hughton.
Arsenal have not lost a home Premier League match in the month of October since 2002 (W21 D5).
Brighton & Hove Albion are in fourteenth position in the Premier League table.
The Seagulls beat Newcastle United 1-0 at the Amex Stadium last Sunday.
It was their second Premier League victory of the season following the 3-1 home success over West Bromwich Albion on 9 September.
Brighton could win consecutive top-flight matches for the first time since September 1982, when they enjoyed home victories against Arsenal and Sunderland.
They have won only one of their last 32 top-flight away matches, a 2-1 victory at Swansea in March 1983 (D8, L23).
The Seagulls are yet to win an away game in league or cup this season, scoring only one goal.
The three Premier League matches in which Brighton have avoided defeat this season have come against sides starting that day in the top seven – 0-0 v Watford (fourth), 3-1 v West Brom (fifth) and 1-0 v Newcastle (seventh).
The Seagulls will be playing at the Emirates Stadium for the first time today.
Arsenal have won the last four meetings, the three most recent coming in the FA Cup.
The last two meetings between the teams have been at the Amex Stadium, with Arsenal winning 3-2 on both occasions in the FA Cup.
This is the first league meeting between the side since February 1983 – Arsenal won 3-1 at Highbury with goals from Graham Rix and a brace from Raphael Meade.
Brighton have never won an away match at Arsenal in all competitions in six attempts (D1 L5), scoring just one goal in those six matches.
The Seagulls have only ever beaten Arsenal twice in 16 attempts, both home league victories in 1982.
Alexandre Lacazette became the first Arsenal player to score in his first three home appearances in the Premier League era. His double on Monday against West Bromwich Albion took his Premier League total onto four goals.
All Lacazette’s goals have been scored at the Emirates Stadium. The last Arsenal player to score in his first four home matches was Jackie Henderson in 1958, who went on to score in five.
Brighton & Hove Albion
The performance of new Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper Mathew Ryan will be key for the Seagulls. The highly rated Australian stopper was signed on a five-year deal from Valenica in the summer of 2017.
The experienced and influential Seagulls skipper Bruno returned to action last Sunday and helped his team to keep a clean sheet in the 1-0 win over Newcastle United at the Amex Stadium.
Anthony Knockaert was the key figure in the Seagulls promotion to the Premier League last season. He received the EFL Championship Player of the Season Award, following over 20 goals and assists during the campaign.
After making wholesale changes for the 3-1 win over BATE Borisov in the Europa League on Thursday, Arsene Wenger will field the majority of the team that started against West Brom in the 2-0 Premier League win on Monday.
Laurent Koscielny is a doubt with an achilles problem.
Mesut Ozil is out (knee) but Alex Iwobi might be available.
Danny Welbeck (groin), and Francis Coquelin (hamstring) remain sidelined and won’t be in contention to return until after the International break.
Brighton & Hove Albion
Striker Tomer Hemed will miss the match as part of a three-match ban after being found guilty of violent conduct during Sunday’s game against Newcastle.
Glenn Murray (ankle) is back in training and could be involved today.
Izzy Brown is back in contention and could make a return from a hamstring problem. Sam Baldock (calf) is also back in training, but today will come too soon for him.
Steve Sidwell (back surgery) and Beram Kayal (broken leg) are long-term absentees.
Wenger will beat Sir Alex Ferguson’s record of defeating 44 different Premier League opponents if Arsenal win against the Seagulls.
I remember we played some cup games a few years ago there and they had a new stadium and you drive home and you think this club is absolutely everything needed to play in the Premier League. They fought every year and just fell off at the last moment and you think they deserved [promotion] because they were on a consistent way always. They were always present in the fight to get up to the Premier League and finally they made it. They have all the structures and that means as well the club has quality people because when you have consistency, that means you have quality people always.”
Hughton managed the last promoted team to beat Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, when in charge of Newcastle United in November 2010.
“Psychologically (beating Newcastle United) was important for us.
We’ll go into the Arsenal game the way we go into every game, looking for a result. But we know it’ll be tougher. Anything you can get from that match is a bonus.
If we do things well and to the best of our abilities, we can compete.
This is definitely another type of challenge for us. In the six games we’ve had different types of challenges.
The first one was at home to Manchester City, who had an outstanding pre-season and have gone on to show how prolific they can be. This would be the first of this type, a top-six team away from home, and that itself brings another challenge. We’ll certainly have to be at a level to be able to get anything from the game.”
Referee: Kevin Friend
Assistants: Stuart Burt, Ian Hussin
Fourth official: Roger East
Arsenal to win 3-1.