Brighton Pose a Tough Challenge: Prematch and Predicted Line-Up

Brighton away: we’ll fight them on the beaches…

You have to give credit to Brighton and Hove Albion and their head coach Graham Potter.

Since getting back into the Premier League in 2017 they have established themselves as a good, competitive side and they’re really reaping rewards this year for the solid groundwork they have been putting in.

I doubt many of us – at the start of the season – would have expected that when we visited the South Coast in early October Brighton would be joint second in the league, only a point behind the leaders.

The Seagulls are on a great run, they’re in good form and in Maupay they have a dangerous goal threat.

So should we be scared?

Nope. Not if we can bring the attitude to today’s game that we brought to the North London Derby last Sunday.

Brighton are good, but our own team is slowly beginning to create an identity for itself and at the pointy end we have players with the creativity to hurt anyone.

On paper a draw would be a good result for us today, but I will be disappointed with anything less than a win.

Team news is that Xhaka is out with the knee injury he picked up against the N17 Miscreants, but everyone else should be available. With no midweek games ahead and an international break coming up there’s no reason to rest anybody.

With that in mind I expect to see Arteta start with the same team that blew away the Spuds in the first half last weekend, minus the injured Xhaka. I would be inclined to replace the Swiss with Sambi Lokonga, but El Patron may want an older head in amongst our precocious youngsters and might opt for Elneny. We’ll see.

Brighton are effective from set pieces so we’ll need to be disciplined about not giving up fouls in dangerous places and our defensive focus will need to be top notch. Let’s hope that the impressive Ben White reacts to a game against his old club by putting in a man-of-the-match performance.

Here’s the team I expect to see take the field:


Tomayisu – White – Gabriel – Tiermey

Lokonga – Partey


Saka – Aubameyang – Smith-Rowe

Come on you Gunners!



22 Responses to Brighton Pose a Tough Challenge: Prematch and Predicted Line-Up

  1. Adegboyega Obasa says:

    I would love Arsenal to disgrace and disappoint Owen by beating Brighton today. This Owen never saw anything good in Arsenal as he consistently predicted against the team. I strongly believe if the same set of players that defeated Spurs were fielded today, Brighton will definitely bite dust twice . 2-0 win in favour of Arsenal.

  2. Adegboyega Obasa says:

    I would love Arsenal to disgrace and disappoint Owen by beating Brighton today. This Owen never saw anything good in Arsenal as he consistently predicted against the team. I strongly believe if the same set of players that defeated Spurs were fielded today, Brighton will definitely bite dust twice . 2-0 win in favour of Arsenal.

  3. Las says:

    Cheers Ricky, nice one!
    I fully agree with your analysis, Brighton will be a tough nut to crack.
    I think there is also a chance for a 4-3-3 and Pepe coming in instead of Sambi.

  4. Damilola says:

    We need Lokonga to be preserved and always ready to step in for Partey in that holding role…

    So Elneny should be the go to choice.

  5. RA says:

    A typically excellent pre-match report, Rocky, thank you.

    Your predicted team selection seems absolutely fine to me, and I hope, in addition, that the subs will include more young players like Charlie Patino, John Jules, Balogun, Martinelli, Tavares and Okonkwo.

    Give those who are likely to be our future stars the satisfaction of being included in first tram games.

    [Have the regulars all gone down to Cornwall together for their hols – do you think?]

  6. RockyLives says:

    Morning all

    Redders – you raise a good point about the next generation of home grown stars.

    It is arguable that Arteta only gave ESR, Saka and others their chance in the EPL last season when forced to do so by injury and suspension.

    Without midweek Europa games there are few opportunities to give the likes of Balogun and Patino a chance (and given our limited potential routes to silverware this season I expect Arteta to send out a strong team against Leeds in the next round of the Carabao Cup).

    So how do we get game time for the new crop?

    I think Arteta should – as you say – make sure that a couple are on the bench for every game and, when we are in (hopefully) comfortable positions in certain games, bring them on for 15- and 20-minute cameos.

    Not sure we’ll be in a sufficiently ‘comfortable’ position today to do that, but you never know.

  7. RA says:

    You are right, of course, Rocky — and perhaps I was indulging in too much wishful thinking.

    I think a win today has to override wishful thinking — but as you said, if we go two – nil up, perhaps that would give Mikel the choice of which road to follow — lock down the game, or let the youngsters gain the necessary experience.

    I think Mikel is naturally more conservative – but who knows.

  8. Aaron says:


    Agree with your write up, sentiments and team selection.

    If Arteta starts Elneny in favor of Lokonga, AFC might have trouble breaking down the block of 4.

    Just keep the winning formula going, albeit without Xhaka.

    Think we can do it if galaxy brain does not over think it!

  9. RC78 says:

    Well Rocky, 11 out of 11:

    Rams – Tomy, White, Gabs, Tierney – Partey, Lokonga – Saka, Ode, ESR – Auba

    Against Brighton, we need to be good defensively on the wings as well as keep an eye on Maupay, We also have to be good on second balls/pick-ups.

    But Brighton are not great through the middle so I do expect a goal from ESR or Ode today and I d expect that a player like Laca could come in to really disrupt Brighton so I think we could potentially leave Brighton with a 1-2 win with a goal from ESR (or Ode), one from Laca and then we concede to Moder or Maupay.


  10. RockyLives says:

    Ha – that’s a rarity!

    I’m just praying that the incisive forward movement we saw against the Spuds continues today.

    I suspect Brighton will be better at closing us down in our own third than the noisy neighbours, so our defence will really need to be on their toes.

    Sambi-Partey has potential as a base-of-midfield partnership…

  11. RC78 says:

    I would have been happy to also see AMN rather than Sambi next to Partey but let us see…

  12. RA says:

    I wonder when the Arsenal team will turn up so we can get rid of this bunch of pretenders??

  13. Aaron says:

    Really having a hard time with their man on man press.

    Need to play it wide for a few run ons for Auba or Saka, playing to narrow.

  14. Aaron says:

    Dang, all Auba had to do is finish his run and head, shoulder, shin or foot it in!

    Growing into the game in the last 5 minutes. The other 40 was all Brighton…

  15. Las says:

    We haven’t turned up really. We were pedestrian for this first half. The weather of course not support us, but still.
    Brighton is playing what I expected. Simple but effective.
    We need to gear up to win this.
    I hope we will

  16. RockyLives says:

    Be interesting to see whether Arteta’s HT chat will produce a different dynamic.

  17. Aaron says:

    Playing too darn deep, why o why does Arteta continue with this half ass press and just drop of without pack type pressing?

    This reminds me of Emeryville, sit back and give the other team the ball…

    Note to self, never let Partey take free kicks or shoot from 25+ meters out.

    Let’s go!

  18. Las says:

    This is not good enoigh, we have to push more. Pepe for Odegard loomed good but we are still slow.

  19. RockyLives says:

    Poor performance but a good point.

  20. Aaron says:

    Not impressed with Arteta’s approach-period!

    Just play the team higher up the pitch and squeeze space and time.

    We have pace at the rear to play this way…

    Geez, his teams are hard to watch.

    A point earned, yet Brighton deserved more.

    Them are the breaks though.

    Take the point.

  21. RockyLives says:

    Good point Aaron- I couldn’t understand why we were setting up on the half way line.

  22. RockyLives says:

    New Post

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: