The Breakdown

The Breakdown: Brighton v Arsenal preview

Alex Iwobi in action against Brighton

We’re back in Premier League action on Sunday when we take on Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.

Ahead of the game, tactical expert Michael Cox examines our opponents in more detail.


Chris Hughton has a habit of causing Arsenal problems, having taken both Norwich and Newcastle to wins over the Gunners in previous seasons. Hughton remains one of the most popular managers in England, and is excellent at organising his side in a solid defensive shape, usually in two banks of four.


Hughton always favours two banks of four, with the wide players providing a counter-attacking threat. Anthony Knockaert should play from the right, while Jose Izquierdo offers a long-range goalscoring threat from the right. The defensive section is combined with a clever No 10, in Pascal Gross, and Glenn Murray, who has enjoyed a good campaign as an old-school penalty-box poacher.


First and foremost, Brighton are in good form: four wins and two away draws from their last six matches in league and cup. But their defensive organisation is the standout feature of their side – they get 10 men behind the ball very quickly to protect the backline, which is the primary reason why only the current top seven have conceded fewer goals.


Gross has enjoyed an excellent first Premier League campaign. An attacking midfielder who plays between the lines and concentrates on playing killer passes, he’s unquestionably Brighton’s major creative threat. He’s also an excellent set-piece taker, and the Seagulls might depend upon this route for goals.


Brighton centre-back Lewis Dunk has the unfortunate record of scoring no fewer than four own goals already this season. An otherwise impressive defender who has enjoyed a good Premier League campaign, he’s clearly prone to mistakes.

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