Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal Preview : Seagulls in Trouble
Brighton and Hove Albion have a major task to achieve in the coming weeks. They need to learn how to win at home and begin that challenge with a home game against Arsenal. Their opponents have the exact opposite problem as their away form continues to hold them back.
What's it Like to Win at Home
Brighton and Hove Albion narrowly avoided relegation last season. It was only the incompetence of the sides that did go down that kept them alive. They are currently 15th in the Premier League but just two points above the dreaded bottom three. One strength that Albion have had in recent seasons is their home form. The sad fact is though that the Seagulls are yet to win a home league game in 2020. Their last home game ended in a 1-0 home loss to Crystal Palace and that's always something bound to upset a Brighton fan.
Home points are vital for Brighton due to their poor away record. Only two away Premier League games have been won this season. One was at Watford on the opening weekend of the season and the other just happened to be at Arsenal. They need to start winning home games or relegation back to the Championship wil be a distinct possibility.
A victory over Arsenal would be a start in their bid to stay in the Premier League. Brighton have managed two wins and a couple of draws in their last four league games against the Gunners. They need to recapture the form that earlier in the season saw them win three home matches in a row. They were in the top ten at that stage and even dreaming of European football. Failure to win home games against Watford and Aston Villa might prove costly in a few weeks time.
There is one major problem for Brighton and that's their final set of home league games. After Arsenal, they are due to host both Manchester clubs and Liverpool. By the time they play Newcastle United their situation might be one they can't recover. There's also an away trip to Leicester City following this game. Brighton are in deep trouble.
Gunners Struggling to Qualify for Europe
Arsenal returned to Premier League action on Wednesday and it was another disappointing away day for them. Defeat at Manchester City meant their game in hand has gone and they are still ninth in the table. The dreams of making it back into the Champions League are gradually fading. Even getting into the Europa League might be a difficult task.
The Gunners have only won two away games this season in the Premier League. None of the last six have been won, though five in a row had been drawn before the loss at the Ettihad, A win at the Amex on Saturday is going to be a key result for them or they will have a fair few spare midweeks next season.
Arsenal have a strange fixture list for sure. This is their second away game in a row and it's followed by a trip to Southampton next week. They don't get to play at home until the start of July. Arsenal still have to play Wolves, Leicester, Tottenham and Liverpool, so climbing up the table isn't going to be easy. They have scored in five of their last eight away league fixtures. Brighton regularly get on the scoresheet at home, scoring in four successive games before the loss to Palace. Clean sheets aren't that common for Brighton with just one in the last eight home league games. On the road, Arsenal have just three in their last 14 away Premier League fixtures. Both teams scoring looks a good bet to make for this game.