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.

West Ham fight back to secure 2-2 draw with Brighton

Neither side covered themselves in defensive glory in the capital as errors at both ends led to an exciting climax.

It was the visitors that dominated the first 45 minutes, with Danny Welbeck lashing an effort past the post, before Neil Maupay edged them in front before the break.

Dan Burn’s low cross caused problems in the Hammers box and Maupay stay alert to fire past Lukasz Fabianksi.

David Moyes threw on Andriy Yarmolenko and Manuel Lanzini after the break and the pair combined superbly to set up Ben Johnson’s first ever senior goal for the club.

Yarmolenko’s clever ball released Lanzini inside the area and his cutback was cushioned home by Johnson.

But despite growing into the ascendency in the final 20, West Ham shot themselves in the foot, as Lewis Dunk hauled Brighton back in front.

Solly March’s whipped cross caught the Hammers defence fast asleep from a corner and Dunk wriggled free to blast home.

But in the spirit of the season Potter’s team returned the favour to Moyes with another defensive clanger as Tomas Soucek powered home for a point.

Full Time at the London Stadium it’s West Ham 2 Brighton 2

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.

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

Unflappable Danny Ings downs Seagulls in Southampton Win.

Southampton extended their unbeaten run against their south-coast rivals to eight games after a 2-1 victory at the Amex Stadium.

2000 Seagulls fans were welcomed back to the ground following a nine-month absence and would have been delighted to see their team take the lead with a Pascal Gross penalty that sent Alex McCarthy the wrong way after James Ward Prowse handled the ball in the area.

It was just reward for a first 25mins that saw Brighton on the front foot, calling the Southampton keeper off his line to gather on two previous occasions.

Brighton continued to press after the goal with Southampton struggling to find any real rhythm in their game and it was against the run of play that the Saints found their breakthrough with James Ward-Prowse continuing his impressive record from set-pieces with a pinpoint corner that found the head of Jan Vestergaard.

Brighton started the second half equally brightly with Tariq Tamptey looking threatening down the right but it was Southampton who would have the final say on proceedings.

Kyle Walker-Peters was bought down by Solly March on the edge of the area on 79 minutes with the referee initially awarding a free-kick. A lengthy VAR review duly followed with David Coote finally awarding the penalty which substitute Danny Ings dispatched to notch his 7th of the season.

Southampton in the European places and Brighton left wondering what might have been.

Brighton fight back to secure 2-1 Premier League win at Aston Villa

Goals in either half from Danny Welbeck and Solly March secured a vital three points for the Seagulls as Dean Smith’s Villa slip to a third defeat of the season.

Neither side created much in a busy opening quarter of an hour before Welbeck showed an ice cool calmness to put the visitors ahead.

Villa’s attempt to play a high offside trap were exposed by Adam Lallana’s through ball and Welbeck strode on an confidently chipped past Emiliano Martinez.

That early breakthrough opened the game up at both ends, with Bertrand Traore firing a brilliant chance against the post and Neil Maupay bringing the best from Martinez.

Villa worked hard to turn the tide after the restart, and Ezri Konsa deserved edged them level on 47 minutes.

Traore’s deep free kick evaded a line of Brighton defenders and Konsa bravely slid home at the back post.

But just as Villa looked on course to wrestle control of the game away from Brighton, March produced a brilliant strike on the hour.

Pascal Gross switched play to him on the edge of the box and with Villa unable to recover in time, he whipped a fantastic effort past Martinez.

But just as the game seemed to be drifting to a quiet end, referee Michael Oliver put himself right at the centre of the action in added time.

Firstly, he sent off Tariq Lamptey for two tired tackles on Jack Grealish before controversially awarding Villa a 93rd minute spot kick.

He originally awarded a penalty for March’s late challenge on Trezeuget inside the box, but in yet another VAR talking point this season, he opted to overturn the decision and hand Brighton all three points.
Full Time at Villa Park it’s Aston Villa 1 Brighton 2

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.

Gareth Bale seals Tottenham 2-1 win over Brighton

The Welsh international came off the bench to clinch all three points as Spurs move up to second in the table.

Mourinho’s team were on top from the start in this one as Harry Kane and Sergio Reguilon forced early stops from Robert Sanchez.

And with Spurs coming in waves against the under pressure Seagulls defence, Kane edged them in front on 10 minutes.

The England skipper was fouled right on the edge of the box by Adam Lallana and after a long VAR check he confidently fired home from the spot.

Brighton looked to wrestle themselves back into it after the break as highly rated full back Tariq Lamptey netted his first ever Premier League goal.

Solly March stretched the Spurs defence in behind to pull back for Pascal Gross and he unselfishly fed in Lamptey to sidefoot past Hugo Lloris.

Mourinho threw on Bale in the closing stages to try and turn the tide and the Real Madrid loanee provided the vital impetus.

Toby Alderweireld’s pass sent Reguilon free in behind Lamptey and the Spaniard arrowed cross found Bale inside the box and the returning made no mistake to power past Sanchez.

Full Time at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium it’s Tottenham 2 Brighton 1

Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes rescues 3-2 Premier League win at Brighton

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side rode their luck on the south coast, as Brighton hit the woodwork five times, but fortune was on their side as Fernandes sealed a dramatic three points.

The Seagulls bossed the first half right from kick off, as Leandro Trossard cracked an early effort off the post.

But the hosts coming in waves is was only a matter of time before Graham Potter’s side found a breakthrough, with Neil Maupay edging them in front on 40 minutes.

Fernandes bundled over man of the moment Tariq Lamptey inside the box, and the Frenchman dinked home from the spot.

Despite failing to make any inroads, United levelled things up just before the break, as Lewis Dunk diverted Harry Maguire’s flick into his own net.

That slice of luck tipped the game in United’s favour as Marcus Rashford fired them in front after the restart.

The England star was quiet in the first half, but he showed a burst of pace to get away from Ben White, before rocketing past Matt Ryan.

But Brighton were not about to roll over in the second half, as Solly March tested the post and David De Gea produced a fine stop from Maupay.

However, as the game ticked into added time, there was drama at both ends.

March thought he had secured a late point for Brighton with a brave header, but after a whopping ten minutes of added time, penalty king Fernandes fired home the winner.

FULL TIME AT THE END OF A MENTAL AFTERNOON AT THE AMEX STADIUM IT’S BRIGHTON 2 MANCHESTER UNITED 3