Pre-Match Report

Preview: Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal

Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal

We could extend our unbeaten league run to 11 games when we visit Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, and end the day on top of the Premier League table once again.

Facing the prospect of three games in seven days, Mikel Arteta and Roberto De Zerbi shuffled their packs in midweek with a combined total of nine changes, but we’ll be hoping our strength in depth and energy levels continue to drive us towards maintaining our incredible momentum.

However the Amex Stadium has been something of a fortress for the Seagulls this term. They have lost just once at home this season and that came back in August, with only the three title contenders boasting similar records.

Seagulls struggling for consistency

Danny Welbeck celebrates scoring against Liverpool

An incredible start to the season saw De Zerbi’s team win five of their first six games, before a 6-1 defeat at Aston Villa started a mini-slump as they struggled to juggle domestic and European action for the first time in their history.

They recorded just three wins in 16 matches straddling the end of 2023 and the start of this year, including a 4-0 loss at Luton Town at the end of January. They bounced back with a 4-1 victory over bitter rivals Crystal Palace, and also thumped Sheffield United 5-0, but March saw their Europa League campaign end against Roma, as well as losses to Fulham and Liverpool before a 0-0 draw at Brentford in midweek.

While their form at home is impressive, it hasn’t been consistent as they have alternated between drawing (4) and winning (4) their last eight on home soil, and they beat Nottingham Forest 1-0 in their last Amex appointment. Clean sheets have been hard to come by - they had to wait until January for their first in the league, but have kept two in their last three matches.

What the managers say

Arteta on Brighton: “I'm very impressed. [De Zerbi] is a top manager with a top coaching staff. I think they’re an unbelievable football club, what they have done deserves incredible credit.

“The way they run the football club, the decisions they have made and how they have established themselves in the league, and now fighting with the top clubs as well, I think they’ve done a magnificent job. I think Roberto has given a very clear style and attractive way of playing football, and they make life very difficult for the opponent.” - read every word of Mikel’s pre-match press conference

Roberto De Zerbi

De Zerbi: "Mikel Arteta is a great manager; I have big respect for his job and his style is clear. They always play with big intensity and with courage. I think they will be aggressive, and they have a clear style with and without the ball. I think it will be a good game to watch.

"In terms of our target, we want to improve our place in the table. Last season is history, this season is completely different. I think we have the quality to reach the European position but there are a lot of teams from Fulham to Manchester United who could reach the position.

"For sure we have the ambition and I am positive because I believe in my players, and I know their human qualities. They will be emotional games [against rivals for European football] and it’s nice to compete against Arsenal, Newcastle, Manchester United… but we are focused on our target."

Team news

Saka pre WHU

Just as they were against Luton in midweek, Bukayo Saka and Jurrien Timber are our only injury concerns. Bukayo will again be assessed in training ahead of this one, while Jurrien’s long-term absence from his ACL injury continues.

Having dropped to the bench against the Hatters, the likes of Declan Rice, Jakub Kiwior, Jorginho and Gabriel Jesus could all be back in contention for a starting spot.

Joao Pedro and Julio Enciso both returned against Brentford in midweek, but Evan Ferguson was missing with an ankle injury and Adam Webster is dealing with a muscular issue.

James Milner has been out since January with a thigh problem, while Billy Gilmour sustained a knee injury on international duty.

The campaign has come to an end for Kaoru Mitoma (back), Solly March (knee) and Jack Hinshelwood (foot) who will be missing until the summer.

Facts and stats

Gabriel Jesus celebrates giving us the lead against Brighton

After winning 2-0 at Emirates Stadium in December, we are looking to complete the Premier League double over Brighton for the second time, previously doing so in 2020/21.

We have kept a clean sheet in each of our last four away Premier League matches – only once in our league history have we kept five in a row, doing so between February and April 1997.

Since the turn of the year, we haven’t trailed for a single minute in any of our five away league games, conceding the fewest goals (1), allowing the lowest xG against (2.26) and facing the fewest shots on target (5) on the road of any side in 2024.

Brighton have lost just one of their last eight home league matches against London-based sides, winning each of their last three in a row.

Ex-Gunner Danny Welbeck has scored in four of his last five starts against us in all competitions.

Martin Odegaard has had a hand in four goals across his six Premier League appearances against Brighton.

David Raya could become the first Spanish keeper to keep a clean sheet in five consecutive away Premier League starts, and the ninth different keeper to do so overall in the competition.

Each of Brighton’s last nine Premier League goals against us have been scored by different players (Dunk, Maupay, Trossard, Mwepu, Mitoma, Ferguson, Enciso, Undav & Estupinan).

Match officials

John Brooks

John Brooks takes charge of only his second Gunners game ever, and the first in the Premier League having overseen our FA Cup exit to Liverpool back in January. Conversely, it’ll be the fourth time this season he’s refereed Brighton, and they’ve won one and drawn two of the previous encounters.

In his 18 Premier League appointments this term, Brooks has dished out 82 yellow cards and four reds, as well as awarded four penalties. Only two other officials have sent off more players in the competition in 2023/24.

Referee: John Brooks
Assistants: Lee Betts, Dan Robathan
Fourth official: Keith Stroud
VAR: Robert Jones
Assistant VAR: Simon Long

Recent visits to the Amex

After losing two of our first three Premier League trips to Brighton, we head into this game unbeaten on our last three trips to East Sussex. Last season saw us spend New Year’s Eve at the Amex and we recorded an excellent 4-2 success, with strikes from Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli ending 2022 in style.

The season before had seen a 0-0 draw play out between the teams in October 2021, while we also rounded off 2020 with a trip to the Seagulls, with Alexandre Lacazette making an instant impact off the bench to net the only goal of the game.

Take a trip down memory lane with highlights of four of our best victories at Brighton

Live coverage

Breakdown Live

Nick Bright and Adrian Clarke will be live on and the official app from an hour before kick-off to bring you the best build-up any Gooners could ask for!

They will be looking back at our 2-0 win at Emirates Stadium earlier in the season as well as the Seagulls' recent matches to find out how we can get the three points, and also discuss our Conti Cup victory for the women's team as well as take a look at the academy.

Then from 5.30pm, live commentary comes from Dan Roebuck and Josh James at the Amex Stadium as they hope to describe another impressive display from Arteta's men.

You can also find out which broadcasters are showing the action wherever you are in the world

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