Interview

'Brighton have worked in a very intelligent way'

Monreal scores v Brighton

Installed as pre-season favourites for relegation, Brighton & Hove Albion have impressed many with the way they have performed this term.

Chris Hughton's side are 12th in the Premier League ahead of Sunday's game at the Amex Stadium, and Arsene Wenger revealed what has impressed him most about them.

"The fact they play good football," the Arsenal manager said. "They have a team who play quality [football] collectively. When they had a bad patch during the season, they stayed together and focused and made some surprising results.

"They have worked in a very intelligent way. They fought for many years in the Championship to come up, and a few times just missed that by a very little margin.

"They kept their philosophy, they continued to work in a rational way and, overall now that they’re up there, I believe that they will stay in the league this season and why not? They have the structure to stay for longer."

We are unbeaten in 34 Premier League games against newly-promoted sides, but Wenger says those that do come up are better prepared than ever before.

"They are tougher, they have bigger squads [now]," he said. "The television money has given huge potential to these teams to compete on the European side, out of England they can compete and get the best players, apart from the top three or four, in every league.

"Every team who is in the second part of the Premier League table can buy the players everywhere, so when I go down sometimes to these teams, the best indication is who is sitting on the bench. You see that even in the teams in the second part of the table, you have six international players."