Arsenal visits Brighton on New Year’s Eve in a match-up of the two Premier League sides which have, probably, pleasantly surprised the most this season.
We’re about a third of the way through, in the middle of festive period fixture congestion, and Arsenal sits seven points clear at the top of the table. Brighton despite losing their manager to Chelsea, are in the thick of it for a Europa League berth. Fair to say both of overachieving.
Arsenal at Brighton FYIs
Kickoff: Mon Dec. 31, pm GMT, The Emirates, London, UK
Arsenal Starting XI Prediction: go here
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
PL Form: Arsenal WWWWD Brighton WLWWL
PL Standings: Arsenal 1st, 40pts Brighton 7th, 24 pts
Google Probability: Arsenal win 45% Draw 27% Brighton win 28%
So let’s preview this match-up of two sides that are feeling good right now.
Team News for Both Sides
We start with the Gunners, where Emile Smith Rowe (groin) and Takehiro Tomiyasu (thigh) are doubts for the clash. Meanwhile Reiss Nelson (thigh) and Gabriel Jesus (knee) are out for the long term. With the latter, we may not see him return until late March or early April.
Flipping over to the Seagulls, former Gunners forward Danny Welbeck (muscular issue) and Alexis Mac Allister (delayed return from international duty at the World Cup) are doubts here.
Meanwhile Jakub Moder (knee), Adam Webster (unspecified) and Moises Caicedo (suspension) are all out for this one.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.