Premier League: Leeds United v Brighton and Hove Albion

The Whites became something of a laughing stock last weekend when they were eliminated from the FA Cup by a Crawley team which even found time to field a left-back more famous for appearing in TOWIE, but will be hoping to pick up a win to restore some confidence.

Bielsa named a much-changed side for that game in fairness, and will welcome back some more familiar faces for the visit of the Seagulls, with Patrick Bamford the main name Leeds fans will be hoping to see on the score sheet again.

The Argentine boss admitted he got some of his substitutions wrong in that game, most notably the one which saw Liam Cooper withdrawn at half-time. The Leeds captain is expected to return to the starting XI when Brighton come to Elland Road though, with Luke Ayling alongside him as Robin Koch and Diego Llorente remain injured. As well as their centre back pair, Leeds are without influential midfielder Kalvin Phillips, who serves a one-game ban for picking up five yellow cards.

Illan Meslier will also return between the sticks, replacing Kiko Casilla, who had a shocker when given the chance to impress against Crawley. It’s hard to believe the Spaniard was one of Real Madrid’s signings to replace Iker Casillas a few years back, given his nightmare stint in England so far.

Brighton have had goalkeeping issues of their own recently, with Robert Sanchez taking the gloves from Mat Ryan after the Aussie’s poor run of form. Sanchez has established himself as the club’s new number one, with Ryan rumoured to be leaving the club in the January transfer window.

Graham Potter will be hoping his side can pick up a much needed win, with the Seagulls verging on the brink of the bottom three, and without a victory in their five league games. Narrow defeats to Arsenal and Manchester City have been complimented by score draws with Sheffield United, West Ham and Wolves, but it’s not been enough to lift Brighton any higher than 17th.

A win on Saturday could take them above Burnley, and they’ll have Yves Bissouma back available after suspension to try and do it. Adam Lallana, Danny Welbeck, Tariq Lamptey, Alireza Jahanbaksh and Aaron Connolly are all out. Percy Tau and Neal Maupay will battle to be named up front.

Leeds take on Brighton on Saturday, January 16th. Kick-off is at 3pm.

Premier League: Manchester City v Brighton

Pep Guardiola enjoyed the luxury of rotating some of his top players in a comfortable win over Birmingham City in the FA Cup at the weekend, but should welcome the likes of Ederson, Raheem Sterling and John Stones back to the starting XI.

Sterling was nursing a slight knock when Birmingham were swept aside, but should make it for the visit of Graham Potter’s Brighton, who Guardiola said were a “joy to watch” in his press conference on Tuesday.

Whether or not Brighton fans would agree or not is debatable, with the club sitting 17th in the table after almost a third of the season, with their possession-based approach clearly not leading to enough results so far.

One of their main issues has been scoring goals, and they struggled again in the FA Cup, needing a 90th minute strike from Solly March against Newport County, before edging a nervy penalty shootout to progress to the fourth round.

Neal Maupay has scored two in his last three Premier League games though, and has declared this week that his confidence is back after a 649-minute goal drought. He’s likely to play in the absence of Danny Welbeck against the league’s most in-form defensive partnership of John Stones and Ruben Dias, fresh from a clean sheet against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup semi-final last week.

Adam Lallana, Tariq Lamptey and Aaron Connolly will all miss the game through injury, while Alireza Jahanbaksh will be assessed closer to kick-off. Polish midfielder Jakub Moder has joined the squad after spending the first half of the season on loan at Lech Poznan, and could make the bench.

Guardiola is without Sergio Aguero once again for the visit of the Seagulls, as he continues to isolate after being in contact with a COVID-positive person recently. Eric Garcia is in the same situation as the Argentine striker, while Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake are both injured.

As this is City’s game in hand left over from the start of the season, a win will see them close the gap on Liverpool to a single point and go above Leicester City in the top four. Brighton need the points to move further away from the relegation zone, having played two games fewer than Fulham, who are three points below them.

Manchester City take on Brighton on Wednesday, January 13th. Kick-off is at 6pm.

Brighton fight back to secure 3-3 thriller at home to Wolves

Both sides showed their best in attack and their worst in defence as Nuno Santo’s visitors threw away a two-goal lead in the second half.

Wolves looked the more inventive in the opening stages but it was Brighton that struck first on 14 minutes as Aaron Connolly turned home Leandro Trossard’s pass.

But Wolves weren’t down for long as the determined visitors struck back just after as Roman Saiss nodded home Nelson Semedo’s corner.

That goal tipped the balance for Wolves before half time, as Seagulls defender Dan Burn suffered a nightmare few minutes.

The giant centre back poked home an own goal form Pedro Neto’s deflected shot before his late lunge on Adama Traore allowed Ruben Neves to make 3-1 from the spot.

But despite a horror show at the end of the first half, Brighton roared back into life in the second period as Neil Maupay tucked home a penalty.

That gave Potter’s side a foothold back in the game, and despite Wolves creating more chances, Brighton carried the bigger threat.

Adam Webster fired a warning comeback shot as his header thumped back off the bar before Lewis Dunk powered home from Trossard’s corner.

Wolves substitute Owen Otasowie almost pinched it in added time for Wolves but his header flashed wide.

Full Time at an action-packed AMEX Stadium it’s Brighton 3 Wolves 3

Premier League Preview: Brighton v Wolves

Midfielder Lallana missed Tuesday’s defeat to Arsenal due to a groin issue, while forward Welbeck was an unused substitute because of a knee problem.

Striker Aaron Connolly (groin) will also be assessed but full-back Tariq Lamptey (hamstring) and midfielder Steven Alzate (illness) remain sidelined.

Leander Dendoncker and Willy Boly remain doubts for the trip to the south coast.

The pair have missed the last three games, including the 1-0 defeat at Manchester United, after picking up injuries in Wolves’ win over Chelsea two weeks ago.

Raul Jimenez remains a long-term absentee after fracturing his skull in November while Jonny (knee) is still sidelined.

Kick off at the Amex is at 5.30 on Saturday.

Graham Potter believes Aaron Connolly will be better for current goal struggles

Republic of Ireland international Connolly has registered just once all season and was guilty of a glaring miss in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with bottom club Sheffield United.

Albion are desperate for greater firepower as they bid to move away from the wrong end of the table having scored only eight times in their past 10 games.

Potter is confident, however, that the 20-year-old can overcome recent struggles.

“He’s a young player that is learning his trade in the toughest league in the world,” said Potter.

“All forwards miss chances, it’s part of the life of a striker.

Danny Welbeck and Solly March are the only Albion players to have found the net from open play in the past seven games, with Pascal Gross contributing two penalties during that period.

Brighton face West Ham at 14:15 on Sunday as The Seagulls look for their first win in 5 league games.

Potter expects a tough test from David Moyes’ Hammers and, despite his side’s unconvincing form, feels his players will approach the game with confidence.

“It will be a difficult game, because David Moyes’ teams are always very well-organised and strong from set-pieces.

“They’ve got the points they have because they can mix the game up well and they’re a strong side.

“We’re looking forward to the challenge.” Said Potter ahead of the clash.

Sheffield United held to frustrating 1-1 Premier League draw at Brighton

But a late goal from substitute Danny Welbeck held the luckless Blades to a 1-1 draw.

Both sides struggled to get into a rhythm in the opening half hour with Aaron Connolly scuffed effort and David McGoldrick’s clever free kick the only real chances.

But a slow burner of a tie drifting to half time, Chris Wilder’s task was made even harder as John Lundstram was sent off for a lunge at Joel Veltman.

United were forced to dig in after restart before Jadon Bogle buried his first Blades goal on the hour.

McGoldrick did brilliantly to hold the ball up and slip in the former Derby man to smash past Robert Sanchez.

The Seagulls were swift in their response with Adam Webster bringing the best from Aaron Ramsdale and Connolly headed a gift-wrapped chance over the bar.

But with all the pressure being applied the Blades goal, they eventually cracked with five minutes left, as Welbeck sharply turned home a loose ball.

Brighton substitute Alireza Jahanbakhsh did almost net a bizarre own goal in added time but the Blades bad luck struck once again.

Full Time at the AMEX Stadium it’s Brighton 1 Sheffield United 1

Premier League Preview: Leicester City v Brighton

Brendan Rodgers’ side returned to winning ways at Sheffield United last weekend and he could stick with an unchanged team against the Seagulls.

James Maddison has shaken off a knock and should be OK to start and despite Timothy Castagne returning to training this week, James Justin should keep his place.

Brighton’s form has dipped in the last month, with Graham Potter’s team winning just once since September.

Potter has experimented with different systems to try and change that run of luck and he is expected to rotate once again against the Foxes.

Neil Maupay, Leandro Trossard and Davy Propper could all come in to start with Aaron Connolly, Danny Welbeck and Solly March potentially dropping out.

And Kick Off is set for 7.15pm tomorrow night at the King Power Stadium

Brighton fightback to secure 1-1 Premier League draw with Liverpool

Graham Potter’s side looked to be heading for defeat in the closing stages before Pascal Gross tucked home a 93rd minute spot kick.

Jurgen Klopp was left incensed by the decision at full time, but in truth, his side struggled to close the game out on the south coast.

The Seagulls were the better side in the opening half hour, with Aaron Connolly wasting a golden opportunity to put them in front.

However, the Irishman made amends on 22 minutes, as his industry inside the box won a penalty from Neco Williams.

But despite being handed another perfect chance to take the lead, Neil Maupay failed to test Alisson, as his poor penalty flew past the post.

Liverpool did shake themselves into life after the break, as Diogo Jota netted his ninth Reds goal to edge them ahead on the hour.

Mo Salah slipped him in on the edge of the box and the former Wolves man slalomed past two Brighton challenges and fired past Mat Ryan.

The game turned scrappy in the final quarter of an hour and with Liverpool unable to find a second, Brighton snatched a late point.

Andrew Robertson appeared to clip Danny Welbeck inside the area and Gross kept his cool to smash home.

Full Time at the AMEX Stadium it’s Brighton 1 Liverpool 1

Premier League: Aston Villa vs Brighton and Hove Albion

Villa have been one of the season’s surprise packages and find themselves sixth in the league after seven games, and full of confidence after beating Arsenal 3-0 in their last Premier League outing.

It’s been less happy at home in recent times though, having lost their only two league games on their own patch this season. Boss Dean Smith has targeted the visit of the Seagulls as a chance to turn that form around, having lost to Leeds and Southampton in their last two games at Villa Park.

Smith will be pleased that he has no new injury concerns ahead of the game, with Tom Heaton and Wesley still out with long-term injuries. Heaton has played some football since returning to training with the under-23’s but isn’t fit enough to return to the squad, while Wesley has started ball work after a similar injury to his knee ligaments.

The Villa boss also confirmed in Thursday’s press conference that Björn Engels and Frédéric Guilbert are unavailable for the weekend, but Kortney Hause returned to training late in the week and could make the squad.

Bertrand Traore had been struggling with a thigh injury, but played 90 minutes for Burkina Faso on Monday and should be involved in the squad. He’s unlikely to start though, as Smith hinted at continuity for the visit of Graham Potter’s side.

Speaking of Potter, Brighton are set to welcome back some faces to their squad. Aaron Connolly and Solly March have both returned to training and will be involved, while Lewis Dunk returns after a three-match suspension.

Leandro Trossard and Davy Propper are doubts though, after the Dutchman had a stomach illness in the week and may be forced to miss out as a result. Trossard isn’t completely ruled out, but Potter has said that the game might come too soon for him after injury.

Alexis Mac Allister, Christian Walton, Florin Andone and Jose Izquierdo are all ruled out.

With just six points on board after eight games, Brighton will be hoping to close the gap on the teams directly above them in the table, as a four point deficit has opened up between them and 15th-placed Leeds United.

Aston Villa take on Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, November 21st. Kick-off is at 3pm.

Premier League Preview: Brighton v West Brom

The visitors have picked up just two points on their return to the top-flight with hard fought draws against Chelsea and Burnley in recent weeks.

Slaven Bilic’s side were unlucky not to beat the Clarets last weekend and the Croatian boss is set for minor changes with Irish international duo Dara O’Shea and Callum Robinson both expected to return to the side.

The hosts are also struggling for form heading into this one with Graham Potter’s side picking up one point in their last three games.

The Seagulls rallied late on at Crystal Palace last weekend and match winner Alexis MacAllister come in to start in this one.

Lewis Dunk misses out through suspension with Joel Veltman set to fill in and Pascal Gross and Aaron Connolly should also come back in.

Kick off is 5.15pm on Monday night at the AMEX Stadium.

Connolly’s availability for Crystal Palace clash uncertain

Brighton will travel to Selhurst Park on Sunday 18th October at the conclusion of the current international break.

Albion boss Graham Potter could be without striker Aaron Connolly, though, after he was withdrawn from the Republic of Ireland’s squad to play Slovakia on Thursday.

Just moments before kick off in Bratislava it was revealed the Brighton man had been in close contact with a member of the Ireland backroom staff who had tested positive for Covid-19.

Connolly, along with Norwich forward Adam Idah, were therefore ineligible to play in the crucial Euro qualifier which ultimately resulted in defeat via a penalty shootout.

It’s not yet known whether Connolly will have to self-isolate, or even if he has coronavirus himself – but certainly if he is to miss the game with Palace due to the circumstances then that will be a blow to Brighton’s preparations.

Brighton seal 3-0 Premier League win at Newcastle

The Seagulls lost to Chelsea on the opening weekend but two early goals for Neil Maupay on Tyneside means that Graham Potter’s side are now up and running.

Brighton were quick out of the blocks at St.James, and Newcastle, who were so impressive at West Ham last weekend, were the architects of their own downfall.

Allan Saint-Maximin’s rash challenge on Tariq Lamptey resulted in penalty on three minutes, and Maupay stepped up to make no mistake from the spot.

And with Newcastle still getting their breath back from that one, Brighton hit them on the counter five minutes later.

The excellent Lamptey was again at the heart of it as he fed in Leandro Trossard, and with the Magpies defence unable to recover in time, Maupay arrived at the far post to fire home.

That rapid start seemed to stun the hosts, with Steve Bruce’s side clinging on until half time.

Newcastle did show signs of improvement after the break, but their day turned on a crucial chance for Callum Wilson on the hour mark.

Miguel Almiron did well to measure a cross deep into the box, but Wilson was unable to get enough purchase on his header and their key moment was wasted.

That goal woke Brighton out of their mid half funk, with Trossard and Aaron Connolly both firing against the post.

Brighton pushed in the closing stages, and as Newcastle all out of ideas in the final minutes, Connolly curled home a delightful third goal.

Potter’s afternoon did end on a sour note, after Yves Bissouma was sent off, but he’s unlikely to be too concerned as this was three big big points for Brighton.

FULL TIME AT ST.JAMES’ PARK IT’S NEWCASTLE 0 BRIGHTON 3