Brighton & Hove Albion host Aston Villa at the AMEX Stadium in a huge Super Sunday clash.
Victory would see Brighton climb to fifth for a few hours at minimum, whilst Villa can improve to 12th with a win.
Brighton have no fresh injury concerns to report after their Carabao Cup win at Arsenal in midweek, as Robert Sanchez and Leandro Trossard feature amongst those looking for a recall to the starting line-up.
Jakub Moder (knee) remains absent.
Aston Villa have no fresh injury concerns to report after their midweek Carabao Cup exit at Manchester United, as Philippe Coutinho (muscle) and Diego Carlos (Achilles) both remain absent.
- Brighton have won just one of their last five meetings against Aston Villa (W1, D2, L2).
- Aston Villa are unbeaten in three Premier League trips to Brighton (W1, D2).
- Villa have kept clean sheets in each of their last three meetings against Brighton (W2, D1).
- Brighton have kept just one clean sheet in their last five home matches against Villa in all competitions – in a 0-0 draw in February 2021.
- Villa’s Ollie Watkins scored in both appearances against Brighton last season (W2).
Having expected Brighton to struggle with squad changes at Arsenal in midweek, I have to admit that I was surprised by their fierce attacking intensity and pace which proved key in their response to conceding first with poor marking of Eddie Nketiah to turn the match around.
Morale amongst the Seagulls therefore seem extremely positive at present and with several first-team regulars set to return, I am excited to see how they get on because this is a huge chance to lay a statement of their intent for a potential European qualfication challenge.
Villa meanwhile have found their attacking spark already under Unai Emery but Thursday’s cup exit at Utd exposed their defensive fragilities, so they’re in for a tough task here because they need to neuter Brighton’s attacking aggressiveness quickly or this could be a difficult afternoon.
Goals therefore feels like a certainty but I am going for Brighton to nick a rare win against Villa.
Prediction: Brighton 2-1 Aston Villa
Result: Brighton 1-2 Aston Villa