After making a winning return to Premier League action, Brighton entertain Arsenal at Amex Stadium on Saturday (5.30pm). Can the Seagulls continue moving in the right direction? Or will getting the better of the league leaders be a step too far for Roberto De Zerbi’s men?
After the disappointment of losing to League One opposition in the League Cup, the Brighton boys rallied fantastically well on the south coast, as they beat Southampton by three goals to one, despite playing away from the comforts of home. Adam Lallana got the ball rolling with the first on 14 minutes. The Seagulls once again showed how useful they can be in the final third, scoring three or more for the fourth time in five matches.
It is now four wins from five Premier League games for De Zerbi’s men, who are up to seventh in the league, and they are just one point behind Liverpool in sixth.
The Gunners also got back to winning ways at the first time of asking since the World Cup, as they beat West Ham by three goals to one in front of a home crowd. They didn’t have it all their own way, especially during a first half in which they went a goal down, but Mikel Arteta’s team showed everybody why they are top of the league in the second half. Once they get going, this side is hard to stop. They can play teams off the park, while with players such as Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah in their ranks, they have the cutting edge in the final third to make their dominance count. Could this finally be the year that the men in red and white finish top of the pile?
Strong at home
When they were last in action in front of a home crowd, the Seagulls did come up short, losing by two goals to one against Aston Villa, though it was a close game, one that could easily have gone a different way. Prior to that, their only home defeat of the campaign was a narrow one against Spurs, again a game that could have gone either way.
The Seagulls have lost only two out of seven at Amex Stadium, winning three. They have kept three clean sheets and have only conceded six goals. Only two Premier League teams have conceded fewer home goals than Brighton so far this season. De Zerbi’s team also ranks as one of the best when it comes to expected goals against at home, surrendering 7.3, which makes them the fourth-best team in the league in that respect.
As good as it gets on the road
As things stand, Mikel Arteta’s team is the best in the business at picking up points on the road. They have lost just once away from the Emirates this season, which is something that only two other Premier League teams can lay claim to, plus they have the best travelling defensive record in the division and have conceded the fewest goals.
Realistically, their efforts on the road have been hard to criticise, especially recently. Last time out away from home, they beat Wolves by two goals to nil. Prior to that they got the better of London rivals Chelsea by a goal to nil at Stamford Bridge. They have now kept four clean sheets in their last five away games, so it is probably safe to say that they are not in the business of giving much away.
Seagulls on top
In recent times, this has been Brighton’s fixture. They won when the teams met in the EFL Cup in November, coming out on top by three goals to one. The Seagulls also emerged victorious when the pair last met in the league, winning by two goals to one at the Emirates towards the back end of last season. They are now without a defeat against Arsenal in three games.
Moreover, at home, Saturday’s hosts have a relatively encouraging record against the Gunners. Since 2018, the North London side has won just out of five at the Amex Stadium. They have lost two of those five, scoring more than one goal at no point during that spell.
Low scorer incoming?
In the early betting, the Arsenal boys are more fancied and that is hard to argue with, but whether you would back them to win this difficult fixture at odds of 11/10 is another matter.
Brighton do not just perform against weak teams at home, oh no. They held off Newcastle, who as we all know are fast becoming one of toughest teams in the league to face, while they battered Chelsea too, so this won’t be easy for the Gunners, not at all.
Really, at the current odds, a bet on either team to win makes little appeal. What does appeal is ‘Under 2.5 Goals’.
The visitors have regularly kept things tight away from home, conceding just four times in eight travelling fixtures, keeping six clean sheets in the process. Similarly, the hosts give little away at home, conceding less than one goal per game on average. It is therefore little surprise that less than three goals have been scored in each of Arsenal’s four away games, as well as in four of Brighton’s seven home games this term. Moreover, each of the Seagulls’ two previous home games against teams currently in the top four contained less than three goals.
Throw in the fact that the last two league games played between the pair at Amex Stadium ended 0-0 and 0-1 and the low-scoring route appeals at odds just above evens. So this is the betting tips verdict for this BHA vs AFC preview:
- Under 2.5 goals @ evens with Bet365.
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.