Brighton vs Arsenal: Premier League match preview, team news, predicted line-ups, plus more
Arsenal travel to Brighton on Boxing Day looking to keep pace in their race for the top four.
The Gunners recovered from a dip in form to beat Burnley 3-1 on Saturday after consecutive defeats to Southampton and Tottenham ended their 22-match unbeaten streak.
Their opponents welcome the Gunners on the back of three straight defeats and would love to finally give their fans something to cheer during the festive period.
A repeat of their last home clash with the Gunners would be much appreciated – goals from Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray secured a 2-1 home victory over Arsenal in March.
What the managers are saying
Chris Hughton (Brighton): “You look at pivotal moments in any season – one was getting our first win at the Amex, then our first away win and then our first win against a top-six team.
“We’d found it difficult – we played Manchester City on the first day of the season and that was a very tough game, and Chelsea was a difficult game as well.
“The Arsenal win was a fairly significant moment for us and one that we deserved.”
Unai Emery (Arsenal): “Brighton is the same, a very tough match physically, very organised and, like with Burnley, a very good coach who is working very well.
“It is a challenge and I respect those teams a lot because they also have good players. They decide to do a line-up with physical players with a lot of crosses for the strikers for heading in our box.
“We need to defend very far in our box to defend better against that.”
Arsenal’s defensive injury crisis is set to continue on Boxing Day.
Rob Holding (knee), Konstantinos Mavropanos (groin) and Hector Bellerin (calf) are definitely out, while Nacho Monreal (hamstring) will be assessed and Shkodran Mustafi (hamstring) is set to return to training this week.
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Playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan (fractured metatarsal) is out for six weeks and striker Danny Welbeck (ankle) is a long-term absentee.
Shane Duffy will replace Lewis Dunk in central defence for Brighton.
Duffy is available after a three-match ban and steps in for his usual defensive partner Dunk, who is now suspended following his red card against Bournemouth.
Wingers Alireza Jahanbakhsh (hamstring) and Jose Izquierdo (knee) are still out injured.
Brighton: Ryan; Montoya, Balogun, Duffy, Bernardo; March, Gross, Propper, Bissouma, Knockaert; Murray.
Arsenal: Leno; Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Koscielny, Kolasinac; Torreira, Xhaka; Iwobi, Ozil, Aubameyang; Lacazette.
Source: Prem News