Arsenal vs Brighton preview, betting tips and predictions: Lacazette to break down stubborn Seagulls
Arsenal to win with Alexandre Lacazette to score first @ 5/2 on Betfair
Arsenal to win 2-0 @ 11/2 on Betfair
Arsenal to win by exactly two goals @ 11/4 with Betfair
After a rather shaky start to the season, Arsenal seem to have levelled out somewhat in recent weeks. The Gunners narrowly edged an opening day thriller against Leicester 4-3, before losing to Stoke and getting thrashed by Liverpool. But positive results against the likes of Bournemouth and West Brom will have eased the pressure on Arsene Wenger.
His side have rarely had much trouble beating the smaller sides, particularly at home, and that should stand them in good stead for the visit of Brighton on Sunday. The Seagulls may have won back to back games at the Amex Stadium, but they are yet to win on the road and will find the Emirates a daunting place to go. Chris Hughton’s tactics centre on the counter attack, and although there will be space for wingers Solly March and Anthony Knockhaert to play into, getting the ball to them could be tough if Arsenal start quickly.
On Monday night, West Brom found it tough to contain the Gunners, particularly first half. They were perhaps unlucky not to get a penalty, but overall they struggled, just as Bournemouth did too. Alexandre Lacazette is yet to score in an away game, but his brace on Monday took his total to four for the season. Goals are coming easily for him at the Emirates Stadium, and a wincast with the Frenchman as FGS at 5/2 is a surprisingly generous offer from Betfair.
Brighton, as mentioned above, will look to sit deep and frustrate Arsenal. It is hard to see them being completely overrun, particularly if they start well. But this game is a good opportunity for Wenger to get Lacazette, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in the team at the same time. Away at Chelsea, doing this would have left them too open, but with the visitors likely to set their stall out and the emphasis on the home side to attack, it will be a huge benefit to them after Ozil’s recent injury lay off.
They may need to be patient and the game may not be overly comfortable for long periods, but two clear goals are likely given Brighton are not the kind of team to lose organisation easily, neither will they chase the game too much even if losing. Backing 2-0 or two clear goals gives good value at 11/2 and 11/4 respectively.
Key battle: Aaron Ramsey vs Dale Stephens
On Sunday, Dale Stephens looked nervous in possession against Newcastle, particularly in the first half. His lack of conviction allowed Mikel Merino to dominate and supply the wingers with ammunition to create chances. But for poor finishing, it could have been a real issue and Arsenal will look to apply similar pressure on him on Sunday.
Ramsey will pose a different problem than Merino because he will make runs and carry the ball more. This will quicken the pace of Arsenal’s attacks and Stephens will struggle to contain them. The Welshman is also very good at making late runs into the box to get on the end of chances. Ozil, Sanchez and Lacazette will be a real danger, but if Ramsey is free he could be the difference.