There could be light at the end of the tunnel for Arsenal. The unexpected 3-1 win over Chelsea at the weekend his undoubtedly raised spirits around the training ground and sparked hope amongst the support. The Gunners will look to keep things rolling today against 16th-placed Brighton, who’ve earned draws against some of the top clubs this season but are struggling to stay above the relegation zone.
The Seagulls will be relieved to see the Gunners on the schedule, however. Brighton have amassed a 3-2-0 record in the last five meetings between the clubs, and haven’t lost to the Gunners since 2017. The most recent meeting saw Neal Maupay injure Bernd Leno with an unnecessary bump while the keeper was in the air and vulnerable and the ensuing spat between Matteo Guendouzi and Maupay boiled over at the final whistle. Guendouzi was exiled from the squad in the fallout, and Maupay made some not very nice comments about the Gunners’ roster need to learn “humility.” I think many Gunners and Gooners wouldn’t mind getting a bit of revenge today.
Arsenal will be without Gabriel Magalhaes, who tested positive for COVID-19. The earliest the centerback could return is January 9th in the FA Cup against Newcastle. Willian and David Luiz, who were “ill” for the match against Chelsea, are expected to return to training on Thursday. Thomas Partey is making progress but isn’t ready for a return to action. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been taken off the injury report, so presumably he’s fully recovered from his calf injury.
Brighton will miss the services of breakout performer Tariq Lamptey. The right back has a hamstring problem. Adam Lallana should also miss out with a groin problem. Attacker Aaron Connolly is questionable after he was a late scratch before the Seagulls’ last match. Florin Andone and Jose Izquierdo are both out.
Arsenal - Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney, Xhaka, Elneny, Saka, Smith Rowe, Martinelli, Aubameyang
Brighton - Sanchez, Webster, Dunk, Bissouma, Mac Allister, Gross, Jahanbakhsh, Propper, Bernardo, Burn, Veltman
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