The Premier League weekend kicks off on Friday with Brighton hosting Burnley at AMEX Stadium. The Seagulls are fifth from the bottom, picking up only five points in their first seven games. Meanwhile, the Clarets are still looking for their first win of the season and are tied for last in the Premier League table.
Brighton lost 2-1 to Tottenham last weekend. The Seagulls have been dreadful defensively, conceding 14 goals in their seven games. If Brighton are going to avoid relegation they will have to stop leaking goals. Manager Graham Potter was forced to drop Neal Maupay before the game against Tottenham. The issue with Maupay has been resolved and he should start on Friday. Maupay leads the club with four goals this season.
The Seagulls come into this match really needing something to go their way.
Brighton is fresh off a hard-luck 2-1 loss against Tottenham Hotspur in league action. The result just added to the Seagulls’ misery during a campaign where it’s played much better than what its record shows.
Prior to that defeat, the club settled for back-to-back 1-1 draws against Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion. Those stalemates came on the heels of setbacks against Everton and Manchester United.
Gareth Bale won the game with his highly-anticipated first goal for Spurs since making his return, with another controversially-awarded penalty seeing Harry Kane continue his prolific start to the season before Lamptey levelled for Brighton, who are now winless in six in all competitions.
Graham Potter’s men have not tasted success in a top-flight game since their 3-0 win over Newcastle United in September – which remains their solitary top-flight victory of the season – but that is not to say that Brighton have simply gone down without a fight in the opening stages of the campaign.
I rated Brighton as a club that would potentially be knocking on the league’s Top-10 door this season, which I think is still possible if it can get on a bit of roll and find a touch better form.
The Seagulls have recorded some respectable offensive numbers thus far, boasting 8.9 expected goals and a solid 7.3 expected goals against. That results in a +1.6 xGDiff and +0.17 xGDiff/90 minutes. Those numbers are pretty solid for a club sitting in 16th place out of 20 teams on the table.
THE TEAM NEWS
Predicted line-up (3-4-2-1): Ryan; Burn, Webster, Veltman; Lamptey, Alzate, Bissouma, Lallana, March; Trossard, Maupay
Unavailable: Izquierdo (Injured), Walton (Injured), Andone (Injured), Dunk (Suspended)
Questionable: Jahanbakhsh (Injured), March (Injured)
Predicted line-up (4-4-2): Pope; Lowton, Long, Tarkowski, Taylor; Gudmundsson, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil; Barnes, Wood
Unavailable: Cork (Injured), Pieters (Injured)
Questionable: Mee (Injured), Bardsley (Fitness), Gudmundsson (Injured)