Brighton vs. Arsenal
Venue: Amex Stadium
Kick off: 3PM
Arsenal will be looking to recover from a dampening 3-0 defeat to Manchester City when they travel to the South Coast to take on Brighton & Hove Albion this afternoon.
Meanwhile, Brighton will be looking for their first win of 2020 as they return to action following a three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As the only side in the Premier League yet to taste victory since the turn of the decade, Brighton are firmly embroiled in a relegation battle as they prepare to return to action in an empty Amex Stadium this weekend.
Indeed, Graham Potter’s men have drawn six and lost three in 2020 thus far, and their fixture list does not look all too friendly as they still have to face Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Leicester City in the next couple of months.
The outlook does not look good for the Seagulls as they lie in 15th, two points above the relegation zone after 29 matches, and they are without victory on home turf since their 2-0 win over Bournemouth back in December.
Brighton have performed relatively well against some of the Premier League’s household names at the Amex, recording victories over Tottenham Hotspur and Everton, while also holding Chelsea to a draw.
14th-placed Southampton are five points above Brighton so the Seagulls cannot rise any higher with a victory, but they could plunge into the relegation zone if they suffer defeat and West Ham United, Watford and Bournemouth all pick up wins this weekend.
Mikel Arteta returned to familiar surroundings as he reunited with Pep Guardiola at the Etihad on Wednesday, but the student was outdone by the master as Manchester City cruised to a 3-0 victory to end Arsenal’s unbeaten run in 2020.
Facing a fully-fit City side was always going to be a difficult first game back, but the Gunners simply capitulated following injuries to Pablo Mari and Granit Xhaka before David Luiz was given his marching orders.
Since the turn of the year, Arteta had guided Arsenal to four draws and four wins in the Premier League before the enforced suspension, but a second 3-0 defeat to City this season means they remain eight points adrift of the top four in ninth.
To make matters worse, Burnley and Crystal Palace sit just one point behind the Gunners at this stage, and while it seems incomprehensible for the Gunners to finish in the bottom half of the table, they cannot afford any more performances like the one at the Etihad if they are to keep their European hopes alive.
The Gunners are now visiting a ground where they are yet to taste victory since Brighton’s promotion to the top flight, and the Seagulls enjoyed a 2-1 win over Arsenal earlier in the campaign.
Brighton possible XI: Ryan, Montoya, Webster, Dunk, Burn, Mooy, Propper, Bissouma, March, Maupay, Trossard.
Arsenal possible XI: Leno, Bellerin, Sokratis, Mustafi, Saka, Ceballos, Guendouzi, Pepe, Willock, Aubameyang, Lacazette.