The weekend Premier League action sees Norwich City host Brighton at Carrow Road. The home side remain winless in their opening seven fixtures in the league. Can Brighton continue their strong start to the season?
Norwich ended their run of six successive league defeats just before the international break since the beginning of the season, gaining their first Premier League point of the campaign away at Burnley. The Canaries are at the bottom of the Premier League with one draw and six defeats. Their poor run of form is mirrored in their negative goal difference of -14. They have conceded sixteen times and found the back of the net only twice. Along with Newcastle, they have the joint-worst defensive record. The Canaries have only won one of the previous four fixtures against Brighton, suffering back-to-back defeats during the 2019-20 Premier League. In addition, they have failed to score in each of those matches. Norwich will be desperately looking to open their win account for the season against Brighton, as they travel to Stamford Bridge next week which will be a difficult place for them to secure victory. Sam Byram is expected to miss out, however Todd Cantwell, Christoph Zimmermann and Mathias Normann all stand a chance of recovering in time to feature if selected. Pukki will lead the attacking line-up with support from Joshua Sargent, while Ben Gibson, Grant Hanley and Ozan Kabak should line up as the three central defenders.
In their previous match against Burnley, the Canaries were outmatched in almost every department. The xT timeline is completely dominated by Burnley with Norwich having little to show for. The xG timeline indicates that Norwich fared a little better during the first half, but the home side came out stronger in the second half. Norwich took ten shots just two on target. Normann took the highest number of shots for them, he also had the highest xG among his teammates.
Norwich City’s poor form in front of the goal is replicated in the above chart. They are at the bottom of the league in terms of xG and xG per 90. Their main striker Teemu Pukki has scored just two goals so far this season, the highest in his squad. Although last season he finished the Championship season with twenty-six goals.
Brighton have had a good start to the season, losing just one of their opening seven league games. They are placed sixth in the league table, with four wins and two draws. Graham Potter’s side began with a 2-1 victory away at Burnley, with goals from Neal Maupay and Alexis Mac Allister. Duffy and Maupay then scored in a 2-0 win over Watford, before they lost at home to Everton. They then secured back-to-back wins against Brentford and Leicester City. In their game against Crystal Palace, Neil Maupay rescued them a point with a last-ditch equalizer. Their best performance arguably came in their previous game against Arsenal. Brighton were unlucky not to come away with a win in their 0-0 draw. Midfielder Yves Bissouma has made his return to training in addition to Adam Webster and Enock Mwepu. Danny Welbeck and Steven Alzate are set to remain out from this fixture.
In their previous game against Arsenal, Brighton came out on top in the majority of the attacking metrics. Their xG of 2.93 surpassed that of their opponents, 0.33. They took thrice the number of shots as Arsenal, also having more shots on target. Both Trossard and Maupey took five shots each. Dan Burn made ten passes into the final third.
Brighton’s successful passes and successful passes per 90 puts them at fifth spot in the league. Neil Maupey is their highest scorer so far in the season with four goals.
Norwich City (5-3-2) – Krul; Aarons, Kabak, Hanley, Gibson, Giannoulis; Lees-Melou, Gilmour, McLean; Sargent, Pukki
Brighton (3-5-2) – Sanchez; Duffy, Dunk, Burn; Veltman, Gross, Bissouma, Lallana, Cucurella; Trossard, Maupay
Norwich City will make it tough for Brighton, as they will be searching for a win to motivate themselves ahead of their visit to Stamford Bridge. Although Brighton are in good form they have scored just one goal in their last two fixtures. A draw is a likely scenario for this one.