Arsenal v Brighton

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Team news: Ozil, Koscielny, Iwobi and Welbeck

Arsene Wenger has provided us with the latest team news update ahead of Sunday’s Premier League game against Brighton at Emirates Stadium.

He discussed Mesut Ozil’s availability, and also had this to say about Laurent Koscielny, Alex Iwobi, Francis Coquelin and Danny Welbeck:

on team news…
Mesut Ozil will not be available for Sunday.

on how long Mesut is out for…
Very short-term. He is not far, but he is not enough for Sunday. 

on Alex Iwobi…
Alex Iwobi might be available for Sunday, of course Coquelin and Welbeck are not available. 

on Laurent Koscielny…
We have a doubt about Laurent Koscielny unfortunately and he will have a test tomorrow. It’s an achilles problem, it’s ongoing. I think everybody else should be available. Sead Kolasinac had some problems, but he is available. That’s basically it.

Pre-Match Report

Arsenal v Brighton: The Brief

Suddenly a season that started so uncertainly has acquired the consistency with which we have come to expect from an Arsene Wenger side. Five wins out of six - with a draw in the middle of that at Chelsea - has changed the narrative and imbued the Arsenal squad with a degree of confidence.

Our win in Belarus saw Theo Walcott score twice and Olivier Giroud claim the 100th goal of his Arsenal career, and both will be vying to start alongside the red-hot Alexandre Lacazette this Sunday in our Arsenal for Everyone matchday against Brighton.

Read on for a comprehensive pre-match briefing: we’ve got classic goals against the Seagulls, team news, an exclusive chat with Arsene Wenger, match facts, graphics and a chance to test your knowledge.


Wenger on Giroud reaching 100 goals…

"I am pleased for him because it’s a remarkable achievement. Oliver Giroud has a fantastic reputation that is well-deserved and we are all pleased for him inside the club that he has done that. I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate him on something special. We have all played football, but to score 100 goals you need to be a bit special."


ARSENAL: Cazorla (plantaris), Welbeck (groin), Coquelin (hamstring), Ozil (knee)

BRIGHTON: Murray (ankle), Sidwell (back), Kayla (back), Baldock (calf)


Michael Cox:

“Brighton’s attacking play flows entirely through their wingers. Out wide, Anthony Knockaert was their star performer last season, winning the Championship Player of the Year award and bagging 15 goals. An excellent all-round attacking midfielder capable of dribbling, crossing and shooting from range, on paper he’ll be Brighton’s main counter-attacking threat. On the opposite flank, Solly March has arguably been brighter so far this season, heading in the opener at Bournemouth two weeks ago. He’s also a good dribbler, and another suited to a counter-attacking style.”


Wenger on how the Premier League is shaping up…

"It looks like it [is taking shape now]. I know some teams have had a very quick start and we are in a position where we want to take advantage of our good moment and want to capitalise at home. We’ve been strong and it’s important we stay strong. Overall, I am convince that the team will be well-focused on Sunday."


'Every goalscorer is interested in records'

In the aftermath of our win against West Brom on Monday, Alexandre Lacazette insisted that he was not interested in personal goal records.

The France international had just become the first Arsenal player to score in his first three home game since Brian Marwood in 1988.

But Arsene Wenger does not believe his new striker, insisting that every goalscorer likes to break records.

This is what he said:

on Alex Lacazette being shy…
I think he is not shy on the pitch and he has adapted very well to the kind of game we want to play. You know we want to have the ball, we want to dictate the game, we want to combine at a quick pace. He can integrate into that kind of game very well. He looks like he is coping every week better with the physical demands of the game, so I am quite pleased.

on Lacazette saying he’s not interested in records…
That’s not true, no. I think every goalscorer is interested in records and I’ve not seen many who are indifferent to that.

on October being a good month…
I believe your result is always linked with the quality of your performance, no matter what month you are in. The performance is linked with the confidence of the team, and it depends on your recent results. Our recent results make us a bit more confident but as well we want to keep a level of urgency that allows you to perform at your best.

on the club moving in the right direction…
If you look at the performances I believe that what’s most interesting is that we looked like we are consistent now and the results are always the consequence of the performances. Overall I’m convinced that the team is hungry, united and if we showed that in every single game the fans will be behind us.


'I believe his strength is to score goals'

Theo Walcott scored his second and third goals of the season on Thursday night as we won 4-2 against BATE Borisov in Minsk.

The England international is yet to make a Premier League start this campaign, but Arsene Wenger singled Walcott out for praise as we made it six points from six in Group H.

“I believe his strength is to score goals,” Wenger said. “He can score goals, he’s a good finisher. He had two or three more chances but as long as the team played well he had plenty of chances.

“He has a good quality, it’s the timing of his runs and the quality of his runs. He goes into areas where he is dangerous.

“Never encourage them [strikers] to be selfish. You want them to make the right decision in front of goal.

“Sometimes the right decision is to give the ball and when the right decision is to take your chance, take your chance. But overall, all the strikers need to be a little bit selfish.

“I don’t like this word but you do need to believe that you will score.”


'Jack has a very objective analysis of his game'

One of the most positive aspects of our 4-2 win at BATE Borisov on Thursday was the outstanding performance of Jack Wilshere.

The England international was pulling the strings in the No 10 role, and was named as our man of the match afterwards.

Arsene Wenger was asked about him in his pre-match press conference, and this is what he said the midfielder and his squad depth:

on Wilshere and Walcott…
They are ready to play, but the rotation system is there to give a breather to players who need one and to give competition to those who need it. The positive thing is that I have 20 players to choose from and the negative is that some players who deserve to play will not necessarily play in the next game. That was the same after West Brom, players deserved to play in the Europa League and they did not necessarily play. I will keep the rotation going.

on the Europa League being useful for rotation…
It is fantastic because I can see as well some young players, and you could see that Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott get stronger and stronger every week. It gives me more freedom to change the team.

on speaking to Jack a lot…
We speak a lot, but Jack - like every great player - has a very objective analysis of his game. He knows where he stands, and he knows he is nearly there. Last night’s game was a step for him that was very interesting.

on having a selection dilemma…
Well all of them did well, I cannot fault one player who didn’t do well, so they give me always a headache - that’s what you want. I believe that we know that our season doesn’t depend on 11 players, but on the team attitude, the global focus of the whole squad and the more I have performances like I had last night the better our season will be.

The Breakdown

The Breakdown: Arsenal v Brighton preview

We return to Premier League action on Sunday when we take on Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium. 

Ahead of the game, tactical expert Michael Cox analyses our opponents’ strengths, dangermen and areas we can target.

Chris Hughton has triumphed at the Emirates in 2010 with Newcastle, and two years later beat Arsenal at Carrow Road when Norwich manager, both 1-0 wins. Brighton were widely tipped for relegation after their long-awaited promotion to the Premier League, but two victories from six matches suggests that they have adapted well to life in the top flight.
Hughton likes to use a simple formation based around two solid banks of four – the wingers are expected to retreat into position quickly when possession is lost, and for long periods Arsenal will find themselves frustrated by Brighton’s reluctance to move forward from a deep defensive block.

Brighton’s attacking play flows entirely through their wingers. Out wide, Anthony Knockaert was their star performer last season, winning the Championship Player of the Year award and bagging 15 goals. An excellent all-round attacking midfielder capable of dribbling, crossing and shooting from range, on paper he’ll be Brighton’s main counter-attacking threat. On the opposite flank, Solly March has arguably been brighter so far this season, heading in the opener at Bournemouth two weeks ago. He’s also a good dribbler, and another suited to a counter-attacking style.
Pascal Gross, who starts in the No 10 position but spends the majority of matches drifting into wider positions, before attempting to cross the ball into the box. He consistently recorded excellent figures in terms of creating chances at former club Ingolstadt, many from set-pieces, and Arsenal should be careful not to concede cheap free-kicks in dangerous positions here.
Right-back Bruno Saltor remains a solid operator, but is 37 today and while surprisingly mobile, might struggle to cope with the speed of Alexis.


'Brighton has everything for the Premier League'

Sunday’s game will be our first meeting with Brighton in the Premier League and Arsene Wenger is looking forward to locking horns with Chris Hughton.

The boss has huge respect for his managerial counterpart, and believes that the Seagulls will provide a big test for his in-form side.

This is what he said:

on Chris Hughton…
I believe that he will be focused on the quality of his team and try to organise them, which he does very well. He has done an exceptional job with Brighton.

on Brighton…
I think it will be difficult to break them down because they are very well organised, they are very disciplined as well. Their team keeps the ball well and from what I’ve seen they have a good technical quality, they try to play everywhere and it is a different challenge for us. But we came back from a good experience away from home. We have done very well at home until now, so we know that it is absolutely vital for us.

on Brighton being in the top flight…
I remember we played some cup games a few years ago there and they had a new stadium and you drive home and you think this club is absolutely everything needed to play in the Premier League. They fought every year and just fell off at the last moment and you think they deserved [promotion] because they were on a consistent way always. They were always present in the fight to get up to the Premier League and finally they made it. They have all the structures and that means as well the club has quality people because when you have consistency, that means you have quality people always.

on our strong record against newly-promoted teams…
I don’t look at that. When you play a football game in the Premier League today, you can win, lose or draw. Just before the game you prepare the team to focus on that test and to have a good performance and to win the game.

on Arsenal for Everyone…
We are highly involved in social work and for our club it’s something that is very important. Arsenal for Everyone means that we take care of our social responsibilities and that’s a day that we want to show it.


Follow the Brighton game LIVE on

Follow the Brighton game LIVE on

We're back in Premier League action on Sunday afternoon - and you can follow our match against Brighton & Hove Albion live on the website.

Make sure you visit for the following:

  • Matchday Show, with live build-up from 11.30am (UK time) and audio commentary from midday (UK time)
  • Live text commentary - featuring minute-by-minute updates and insights from our fans on Twitter
  • A short goals clip, extended highlights and a full match replay will be available from midnight on Sunday

It's all free with Digital Membership - and remember, you can listen on the Arsenal App too!


Brighton game is 'Arsenal for Everyone' matchday

We will be marking our 'Arsenal for Everyone' campaign at Sunday's match against Brighton. 

It's an opportunity to celebrate the diverse nature of our team, our supporters and our wider community - and to ensure that everyone associated with the club feels respected and welcomed. 
Please extend that same respect to Brighton this weekend - on their first trip to Emirates Stadium.
Homophobic and discriminatory chanting of all kinds is offensive to home and away supporters alike and will not be tolerated.

It’s not "banter", in the same way that racism or any other discrimination isn't banter. 
If you witness any form of homophobic or discriminatory chanting at the match, you can report it to a matchday steward or use our 'See Something, Say Something' service by texting "FOUL" to 67777 together with a description of the incident.

Thank you for making Arsenal a welcoming place – for everyone.