Brighton vs Arsenal on Sky: Welbeck doubtful; Xhaka out

Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Brighton vs Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday Night Football; kick-off 5.30pm.

Team news

Brighton will be without Steven Alzate for Saturday evening’s Premier League game against Arsenal, while Danny Welbeck is a major doubt.

Midfielder Alzate is set for a prolonged spell on the sidelines after suffering an ankle injury in Monday’s 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace. Forward Welbeck has been sent to a specialist after sustaining a hamstring problem in that game.

Yves Bissouma, who missed out against Palace due to a knee issue, will be assessed but fellow midfielder Enock Mwepu (groin) and defender Adam Webster (hamstring) are out.

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Take a look at a preview of this weekend’s Premier League matches, as Manchester United take on Everton, Chelsea face Southampton and title rivals Liverpool and Manchester City meet at Anfield.

Arsenal are expected to be without midfielder Granit Xhaka for up to three months because of a knee problem.

Switzerland international Xhaka suffered significant damage to the medial ligament in his right knee after being accidentally caught by Lucas Moura during last weekend’s north London derby, but is not expected to need surgery.

Arsenal, who secured a third successive league win on Sunday, report no fresh selection problems ahead of the trip to the Amex Stadium.

How to follow

Saturday 2nd October 5:00pm

Kick off 5:30pm

Sky Sports Premier League HD
Sky Sports Premier League HD

Brighton vs Arsenal is live on Sky Sports Premier League from 5pm; kick-off 5.30pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.

Last time out…

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Crystal Palace’s draw against Brighton in the Premier League.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s win over Spurs in the Premier League.

Jones Knows’ prediction

I’m more than happy to back Arsenal for an away win here at 6/4 with Sky Bet. Confidence is high, their defence is ultra solid and Brighton are very opposable.

Graham Potter’s side are failing to hit the performance metrics of last season yet are now defying that data to pick up results. It’s a very weird turn of events. Their attacking process of 6.61 expected goals is the sixth worst total in the Premier League.

If they continue performing at the same level, it’s hard to see them breaking down Arsenal’s defence that is being led excellently by Gabriel. Arsenal have won their last eight Premier League games in which Gabriel started, conceding just three goals (0.4 per game). Flip that to their record without him where they’ve won just one of their last seven Premier League games, conceding 14 goals (two per game).

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes the club is heading in the right direction following a ‘significant summer’.

In fact, the Gunners have won eight of their last 11 Premier League games since the start of May – only Liverpool have won more points than Arsenal in that period. A top-six finish is on the cards.

Brighton seriously missed the influence of Yves Bissouma at Crystal Palace. He remains a doubt for this encounter and it’s a position where Brighton are lacking strength in depth. Steven Alzate and Enock Mwepu are also both out, so it looks certain that Adam Lallana will play in the engine room. If he does, I’ll backing him with confident stakes to pick up a booking at a massive 15/2 with Sky Bet.

The 33-year-old is a fantastic technician still but his positioning and ability to get about the pitch like he used to is on the wane. In his last two games playing in the middle he has given away three niggly fouls – one which led to a booking at Palace. He is surely going to get caught on the wrong side of Arsenal’s speedy transitions across their nippy forward line. Fellow central midfielders Rodri, Ashley Westwood and Oliver Skipp have all been booked facing this Arsenal side this season. Lallana can follow suit.


BETTING ANGLE: Adam Lallana to be carded (15/2 with Sky Bet)

Opta stats

  • After a five-game unbeaten run in the Premier League against Arsenal (W3 D2), Brighton lost home and away against the Gunners last term.
  • Arsenal are looking to win back-to-back away league games against Brighton for the first time since April 1981, following their 1-0 victory at the Amex Stadium last term.
  • This is just the second time Arsenal are facing Brighton in the top-flight while below them in the table, with the previous match being a 0-0 draw at Highbury in January 1982 (Arsenal 10th, Brighton 9th).
  • Brighton have won three of their last four Premier League home games (L1), as many as they had in their previous 22 at the Amex Stadium (W3 D10 L9). The Seagulls have kept seven home clean sheets so far in 2021, with only Manchester City and Chelsea (9 each) keeping more at home this calendar year.
  • Arsenal are just the third side in Premier League history to lose their opening three games of a campaign and then win their next three, after Wimbledon in 1996-97 and West Bromwich Albion 2002-03. The Dons won their seventh game in that campaign, while the Baggies lost theirs.

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