Brighton welcome Aston Villa on Saturday as they hope to extend the gap between themselves and the relegation places
Brighton welcome Aston Villa to the Amex Stadium on Saturday night, hoping to keep up their recent run of form that has saw their relegation worries ease significantly.
The Seagulls have a ten-point cushion going into the game, which has emerged as a result of Graham Potter’s side losing just one of their last six games in all competitions.
It’s a run in contrast to Aston Villa, who have won three and lost three of their last six, as consistency escapes Dean Smith’s side. Wins over Arsenal, Southampton and Newcastle have been interrupted by defeats to West Ham, Burnley and Manchester City, but the Villans are still comfortably in the top half after 21 games.
Villa have enjoyed a rare midweek off in the buildup to the trip to the South Coast, having exited the FA Cup at the third round stage to Liverpool. Brighton meanwhile were beaten by a 90th minute Kelechi Iheanacho strike at the King Power, as Leicester moved on to the last eight.
Potter shuffled his pack for that game, but should welcome back the likes of Neal Maupay and Yves Bissouma to the starting lineup for the visit of Villa. Robert Sanchez, who this week was rumoured of being monitored by both Spain and England’s national teams, will return in goal after Christian Walton played against Leicester.
Danny Welbeck returned to action after missing seven games against Burnley last week and should be involved again, but Florin Andone, Tariq Lamptey, Alireza Jahanbaksh, Solly March and Davy Propper are all out. Adam Webster missed the Leicester game with an ankle injury, but could return.
Aston Villa have almost a full compliment from which to choose, with only Kortney Hause and Wesley missing. The Brazilian striker has been out for over a year with a knee injury, and Smith says he’s still building up his range of motion before returning to full training.
A win for Brighton will take them above Wolves ahead of their visit to Southampton on Sunday, whereas a win for Villa could move them as high as seventh, depending on Spurs’ result at Manchester City.
Brighton take on Aston Villa at the Amex Stadium on Saturday, February 13th. Kick-off is at 8pm.