Brighton v Arsenal: Seagulls and Gunners to cancel each other out

Two in-form teams do battle at the Amex Stadium on Saturday night, and Kevin Hatchard anticipates a tight tussle.

Potter's boys have grit as well as grace

We often focus on the technical aspects of Graham Potter's Brighton, and we rightly coo over the lovely football they play. However, Monday's battling draw at Crystal Palace shows there is some steel wrapped in the silk. Neil Maupay grabbed a last-gasp leveller as the Seagulls flew away from Selhurst Park with a 1-1 draw and a point. Brighton have now lost just five of their last 17 Premier League games, and they go into this weekend in the Premier League's top six.

Brighton's recent home form has been particularly impressive. They have won five of their last eight Premier League matches at the Amex Stadium, including three of the last four. In that spell they have beaten the champions Manchester City and a talented Leicester City side. Our friends at Opta tell us that Brighton have racked up seven clean sheets at home in the PL in 2021, a record only eclipsed by Chelsea and Manchester City.

Interestingly, Brighton spent pretty much the whole of last season underperforming compared to their Infogol Expected Goals figures, whereas this season the pendulum has swung a bit the other way, as they are overperforming xG slightly in attack and defence.

Brighton are hopeful that Yves Bissouma can return from injury, having missed the game on Monday. Former Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck is struggling with a hamstring problem, so Aaron Connolly could partner Maupay in attack.

NLD win is a small step forward

One game does not a season make, but Sunday's 3-1 North London derby win for Arsenal at the Emirates has genuine significance for Mikel Arteta and his players. Rightly criticised for a poor and familiarly fragile start to the campaign, Arsenal have strung together three straight wins, but now it is up to Arteta to prove that his style can yield long-term success. The Gunners have backed their coach with time and money, and he must deliver.

For a team that has often lacked personality, the arrival of goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale seems to be targeted at solving the issue of leadership. Ramsdale is vocal and charismatic, and already looks more commanding in the box than his predecessor Bernd Leno, who is believed to be considering his future. If the current back four of Kieran Tierney, Ben White, Gabriel and Takehiro Tomiyasu can stay together and form an understanding, there is potentially a solid foundation to build upon.

Thomas Partey's return to the heart of midfield after a myriad of injury problems could prove crucial if he stays fit. Further forward, Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe have excellent technique, and there are signs of recovery for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after a tough year off the field.

However, no-one should be getting the bunting out just yet. The Gunners have still only scored seven league goals this term, and even though Granit Xhaka can be a loose cannon sometimes, the loss of the Swiss midfielder to injury does put plenty of pressure on youngster Albert Sambi Lokonga. That may be the only change from the derby win.

Gunners rightful favourites, but only just

Arsenal are on a high, and they beat Brighton home and away last season. If Bissouma misses out again in the Brighton midfield, the I can understand Arsenal's price in the Match Odds market of 2.68. If you want some insurance, you could back the visitors +0 on the Asian Handicap (effectively Draw No Bet) at 1.8, which sees your stake returned in the event of a draw.

Alternatively you could use the Sportsbook's Bet Builder (see offer below) to combine an Arsenal/Draw Double Chance bet with Under 2.5 Goals at 2.13, which covers the 0-0, 1-1 and 1-0 and 2-0 Arsenal wins.

Opposing goals the way to go

I like the look of backing No in the Both Teams To Score market here at 2.1, with Under 2.5 Goals also a runner at 1.86. Both teams have found the net in just one of Arsenal's eight competitive matches this season, and the Gunners have scored multiple goals just once in the league so far.

Brighton have seen a BTTS bet land in just three of their eight competitive outings, and in just three of their last nine games at the Amex.

Brighton to end up on the naughty step

Brighton are seen as quite a tippy-tappy soft touch by some, but it may surprise you to learn that they have picked up 14 yellow cards already in the Premier League, collecting at least two yellow cards in each of the last three top-flight matches. In this fixture last season the Seagulls had two players booked, and I'll go for Over 1.5 Cards for Brighton at 10/11 on the Sportsbook.

0 nhận xét Blogger 0 Facebook

Post a Comment