Adam Lallana, a former player for Southampton, made the short trip back to his hometown along the South Coast, but he didn’t overdo it when he scored the game’s first goal at St. Mary’s, perhaps more out of sympathy for Gavin Bazunu than anything else.
Romain Perraud put the ball in his own net before halftime after Lallana’s header slipped through Bazunu’s grasp. Solly March then unleashed a beautiful strike into the top corner before James Ward-Prowse snatched a late consolation for the Saints.
Following their EFL Cup exit at the hands of League One side Charlton Athletic, Roberto De Zerbi had warned Brighton’s newest opponents to be wary of a “angry” Seagulls XI.
However, by returning to form in the Premier League, this weekend’s hosts remain in European contention in seventh place in the table.
After a memorable calendar year under Graham Potter and De Zerbi, Brighton may find themselves in the top six heading into 2023, depending on how Liverpool performs against Leicester City on Friday. However, the latter has already lost two of his four home Premier League games as manager of the Seagulls.
However, Brighton’s defensive fortitude at the Amex is still very much intact. The Seagulls have only allowed six goals in Premier League home games so far in 2022–23, and they have developed a reputation as Arsenal’s bogey team.
Eddie Nketiah, wearing number 14, of Arsenal, who was thriving under the pressure of filling Gabriel Jesus’s shoes, insisted that he did not want to be seen as the injured teammate’s replacement despite leading the Gunners to an impressive comeback against West Ham in the London derby.
After Said Benrahma’s penalty gave the Hammers a lead, the Premier League leaders had work to do in the second half. However, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and Nketiah’s lovely swivel and finish ensured that the Gunners would continue where they left off.
The gap between Newcastle United and Arsenal has been reduced to five points as a result of Manchester City’s victory over Leeds United, but Mikel Arteta’s team will undoubtedly spend New Year’s Eve at the top of the standings thanks to their victory over their capital counterparts.
The critics will point out that Arsenal still has two games left against Man City, but every other team that reached 40 points after its first 15 Premier League games of the season went on to win the championship, and the World Cup break does not seem to have slowed the momentum of the runaway leaders.
While Brighton recently defeated a depleted Arsenal team 3-1 in the EFL Cup and have only ever lost to the capital club in the Premier League in front of the Amex faithful, Arsenal travel to the Amex having picked up 13 points from the last 15 available away from home while only giving up one goal during that hot streak.
1×2 Betting Odds
With Caicedo and Mac Allister both capable of game-changing plays for the hosts, Brighton should be hit hard by midfield absences in this match.
Zinchenko’s reintroduction would further negate Brighton’s strengths in the engine room.
De Zerbi’s team is still tough to beat at home and can feel confident about troubling the Arsenal defence, but Arteta’s ruthless squad should expose a weak Brighton defence to secure their 14th Premier League victory of the year!
And the odds paint a similar picture!
Brighton, who have often caused an upset over Arsenal in recent times, are not the favourites to win this against an Arsenal side that is much better than its previous versions! Their odds of winning stands @ 3.65.
Arsenal who finds themselves top of the table will look to stay ahead of Newcastle and Man City by winning here. Their odds of doing that stands @ 2.20.
The possibility of a stalemate and points shared, stands @ 3.72.
Total goals over/under
The odds that the total number of goals scored will be over 2.5, stands @ 1.91.
While the odds that the total number of goals will be under 2.5, stands @ 2.03.
Arsenal are flying high at the moment, but they face a Brighton side who is not unfamiliar of defeating the London club.
The odds suggest a Victory for the Gunners away from home, but expect Brighton to pack a punch!