Good morning all. A very quick Brighton preview for you as we play our final game of 2022.
There’s no significant injury news, although Takehiro Tomiyasu is available according to Mikel Arteta. I don’t really expect much different from the side that beat West Ham a few days ago, although if Kieran Tierney was replaced by Oleksandr Zinchenko I wouldn’t be at all surprised. It’s not that he played poorly last time, just that the manager does like the Ukraine international in his side when he’s fit enough.
Beyond that, it’s gonna be the same. Eddie starts up top, flanked by Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka, and hopefully that front three can deliver the way they did on Monday night. Brighton, as we know, are a tough side, Arteta says:
They are a really good team. They are playing at a really high level. They are a team that dominate almost every phase of play that is relevant to dominate a football match. They have a lot of confidence and play with their own personality. I know the coach really well – he’s someone I’ve followed for a period and he’s doing really well.
They are 7th in the table for good reason, and while I’m not saying there’s a good time to play them, they do have some players out of action this evening which might make them a little less effective. Irishman Alexis Mac Allister is missing after his World Cup exploits, while fellow midfielder Moises Caicedo is absent through suspension. Those two players have made more tackles than any other Brighton players in the league this season, so it’s possible their midfield might be missing some of its usual bite. They’re also without former Gunner Danny Welbeck up front, and Adam Webster.
As ever, Arteta is taking nothing for granted, choosing to answer a question about being top of the table with a call for his players to do better:
My feeling is about tomorrow, playing well and performing at the level that we’re going to need to win the game against a really good side. That’s the focus. We are really happy with where we are but as I’ve always said, there are a lot of things we can still do better and improve – and we have to show that in the coming games.
We know how difficult it can be at Brighton. They beat us at home last season, and it’s generally been pretty tight when we’ve gone to their place. By the time we play, Man City will have demolished Everton, so the lead at the top will be cut to just 2 points. Before the break we had this scenario a couple of times and responded well, so hopefully we can do the same again tonight.
As ever, we’ll have live blog coverage for you, and all the post-game stuff on Arseblog News.
Beyond that, I’d just like to take a moment to wish you and yours a very happy New Year. Thank you from all of us here at Arseblog for your continued support throughout the last 12 months, it means the world to us, and here’s to good health and happiness for everyone in 2023.
See you on the far side.