Brighton v Arsenal Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
December 24, 2018
Amex Stadium - Premier League
Brighton host Arsenal in the Premier League on Boxing Day, with the aim of ending 2018 in the top half of the Premier League table. The Gunners remain in the hunt for the top four, and Unai Emery may have an eye on the January transfer window to improve his squad.
Brighton earned a surprise win in this fixture last season, with early goals from Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray too much for Arsenal, despite Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang pulling one back before half time.
Shane Duffy returns from a three match suspension and may well slot right back into the Brighton back-line. With Jose Izquierdo and Alireza Jahanbakhsh both doubts, Anthony Knockhaert is expected to start on the flank once again,.
Emery is facing somewhat of a defensive crisis with Rob Holding, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Shkodran Mustafi all absent. This should see Laurent Kolschielny start once again, with Stephan Lichsteiner also tipped for the first XI with Hector Bellarin an injury doubt.
Brighton v Arsenal Preview and Predictions
With the season nearing the half-way point, Chris Hughton's Brighton have earned plaudits for a solid start. However, the Seagulls will need to step it up another notch if they want to beat Wednesday's opponents, Arsenal.
The Gunners, following a slow start to the campaign, have adapted to an efficient, ruthless style of play entirely absent under Arsene Wenger. A derby win over Tottenham in the league has optimism at a high, despite a loss to the same opposition in the league cup.
Sitting in fifth place in the table, Emery will be pleased to have done so well despite operating with his predecessors squad, and will surely be looking to bring in a player or two through January. Mesut Ozil is the latest to be tipped with a move, having fallen behind Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mikhitarian, whilst Aaron Ramsey is expected to leave at the expiration of his contract in the summer.
If both central midfielders depart, the Arsenal coach will have the resources to invest, further fine-tuning his tactics.
For Brighton, the transfer window is likely to offer less excitement. The Seagulls invested over the summer, breaking their record on winger Jahanbakhsh, and midfielder Yves Bissouma. However, neither have made a significant impact, starting just 12 games between them, with Hughton clearly preferring established players such as Solly March and Knockhaert.
It is the managers faith in his players that has allowed Brighton to succeed despite a minimal transfer budget, but, having seemingly lost a bit of steam in recent weeks, Hughton may need to make some changes. Glenn Murray, for all his talents, is very much over-burdened with goal-scoring responsibility, with centre-back Shane Duffy the second top scorer.
The Seagulls are safely mid-table, a perfectly reasonable rank given their resources. However, if the club want to keep hold of Hughton they will have to ensure that their ambition grows with that of their manager. A good result against Arsenal on Wednesday would surely be the perfect motivation to back their man even further.
Glenn Murray to score anytime at 15/8
The English forward is precisely the man to test the uncertain Arsenal back-line.
Arsenal to win and both teams to score at 12/5
Despite defending deep against Chelsea, Brighton lost by 2-1, and a similar result can be expected on Wednesday.