Feature

#BHAARS: Five things to look out for

MAKING HISTORY

This will be the first ever Premier League game shown live on British television kicking off at 3pm on a Saturday. Broadcasters have not been able to show top-flight games at this traditional kick off time previously, so as to not impact the attendance figures lower down the football pyramid.

During the pandemic though, this 'blackout' restriction has been lifted, as every remaining Premier League game this season will be broadcast live. Our record in Saturday 3pm games has been excellent in the past few years - in fact we are unbeaten in all such fixtures since November 2015.

We have won 19 and drawn four of the 23 games, the last was at home to West Ham United just before the hiatus - ending in a 1-0 win. However, our previous three Saturday 3pm games this season all ended in draws.

Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta


AUBA'S 50

For the third game in a row, our leading scorer goes searching for his 50th Premier League goal.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is still in line to become the sixth fastest player to reach a half century in Premier League history, he has netted 49 from 76 appearances.

So far 37 players have scored at least 50 league goals for Arsenal, but since Joe Baker reached the target during his 62nd game back in 1963, no player has got there as quickly as Auba.

Of his 49 goals to date, 38 have come from his right foot, eight from his left and three have been headers. Four have been scored outside the area, and the tally includes six penalties. Only six of his 49 have been scored on Saturdays however.

He's claimed 21 away goals in the competition and Brighton are one of 20 different Premier League teams he has already scored against. In fact he grabbed both of the goals we've managed away to Brighton since their return to the top flight.

Auba has also netted 12 goals in other competitions to take his overall total at Arsenal so far to 61 goals in 98 appearances.


BRIGHTON HOODOO?

The Seagulls are slowly turning into something of a bogey team.

We won the first Premier League meeting against Brighton back in October 2017 - 2-0 at the Emirates thanks to goals from Alex Iwobi and Nacho Monreal – but since then we've drawn two and lost two.

Those two losses include the 2-1 reverse at home earlier this season, while both games last term ended 1-1.

In fact we haven’t won away to Brighton in the league since a 1-0 win in April 1981 at the old Goldstone Ground. John Hollins scored our goal that day.

We did beat Brighton in each of our first two visits to the Amex - both in the FA Cup fourth round, and both by a 3-2 scoreline - in 2013 and 2015, but are yet to win in the league there.

Our record generally on the south coast hasn't been strong lately, winning just one of our last seven away league games against Brighton, Bournemouth and Southampton, losing three and drawing three.

However our last trip south ended in a 2-0 FA Cup win over Portsmouth at the start of March, and we also knocked fellow south coasters Bournemouth out of the cup in January.

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Brighton & Hove Albion (h) - Highlights


POTTER'S TRICKS

This will be Graham Potter's fourth match against Arsenal, but only his second as Brighton manager.

Potter was in charge of Swedish side Ostersunds in 2017/18 when we faced them in the Europa League – we won the first leg 3-0 away before losing the return 2-1. It was the same score when he brought his Brighton team to the Emirates in December, in what was Freddie Ljungberg's second match as caretaker boss.

Michael Cox of zonalmarking.net says Potter is always capable of springing a tactical surprise.

"Of all the sides in the Premier League, Brighton are the least predictable in terms of formation. Potter has used almost every system imaginable this season, often switching shape midway through matches. 4-2-3-1 seems the most likely option, but after three months without a game, Potter could have planned something entirely new.

"He has overseen a dramatic change in style - under Chris Hughton, Brighton sat deep and only sporadically attacked. Now they have possession figures comparable with the biggest sides in the league, and are particularly good at getting Pascal Gross and Aaron Mooy on the ball between the lines."

Potter

ALL TO PLAY FOR

With matches spread out on different days and kick off times for the remainder of the season, the league table is going to be constantly changing over the next couple of months.

Fifth-place could yet be good enough for Champions League qualification, and with two of the teams above us in the race for the top five - Tottenham and Manchester United - meeting on Friday night, we have an opportunity to make up points on one or both of those sides on Saturday.

It's tight at the other end of the table too. Our hosts go into the weekend in 15th place, but just two points above the relegation zone.

Brighton have yet to record a win in the Premier League in 2020 so far, drawing six and losing three of their nine games since the turn of the year, last winning on December 28 - nearly six months ago.

However, they are unbeaten in all three of their Premier League home games against the six ever-present sides in the competition this season, beating Spurs and Everton before drawing with Chelsea.

Auba

 

 

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