Arsenal are hosting Brighton on Sunday as they attempt to build positive momentum after a string of good results. This will be the first league meeting between the two clubs since 1983 and they have played each other only three times since then. The Gunners have won the last two fixtures by a 3-2 scoreline, both of which came in the FA Cup. This will be the away side’s first visit to the Emirates Stadium since it was opened.
The Gunners are currently positioned in 7th and they will be hoping to move into the top four if results go their way this weekend. Arsene Wenger divides Arsenal supporters and he will know that returning to the Champions League is a must if he is to enjoy the final few years of his tenure. Their draw against Chelsea was an encouraging sign, but they need to show that level of effort on a consistent basis.
Brighton have enjoyed a good start to life in the Premier League and are safely positioned in mid-table after their victory over Newcastle United this weekend. It is going to be important that the Seagulls deliver at home if they are to stay up and back-to-back wins at the Amex Stadium are a positive sign. The pressure isn’t on them this weekend and they can approach the game against Arsenal with confidence.
Arsenal have recovered from their back-to-back losses and have taken seven points from their last three matches. They are starting to build their confidence and look like a team that can compete at the top of the division. Last weekend, they ran out comfortable winners against West Brom and they will want a similar result against Brighton on Sunday.
Brighton were slow starters and lost their opening two matches, but they have taken seven from their last four to climb the table. Their away form hasn’t been as impressive as they have only taken one point and scored one goal in three fixtures.
Mesut Ozil is pushing for a recall after overcoming a knee injury. Danny Welbeck, Calum Chambers, Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla all remain on the sidelines.
Tomer Hemed will be missing through suspension. Glenn Murray has returned to training and could be given the opportunity to start. Beram Kayal and Sam Baldock will miss out through injury.
Score prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Brighton
Chris Hughton is very good at setting up his teams to be hard to beat and they will look to frustrate Arsenal on Sunday. It could take a while for the Gunners to find a breakthrough, but they should have enough quality to take the three points. Brighton will struggle to threaten in attack, especially without Hemed and that makes a home victory look the most likely result.