Brighton vs Aston Villa Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Brighton will welcome Aston Villa to the Amex in a game that will pit two out-of-form teams against each other as they look to get back to winning ways.

Graham Potter and Steven Gerrard are two young managers who could go on to achieve great things in the Premier League. Brighton and Aston Villa’s recent run of results, however, has seen them drop down the Premier League table. They now face each other in a bid to get their campaign back on track.

Brighton are currently ninth in the Premier League, but the two losses on the spin have seen them fall behind in the race for a European spot. With Southampton just a point behind them in the league table, the Seagulls could drop to the lower half of the standings should results go against them.

Aston Villa did well after Gerrard took over to claw their way out of the relegation dogfight. Despite enjoying a stellar January transfer window, the Liverpool legend’s side have won just one of their last seven Premier League matches. While they have a seven-point gap over the relegation zone, doubts might creep in should results fail to pick up.

Gerrard has certainly got Villa playing better football, and the side does look more organised. However, it will matter little if they don’t start picking up wins. Given that both sides will be looking for a turnaround in fortunes, it could prove to be an intriguing game at the Amex.

No Premier League side has drawn more matches this season than Brighton. Villa, for their part, have not drawn an away game in the top flight since March 2021.

Team News & Tactics

Brighton and Hove Albion

The Seagulls have performed well for most of the season but have often failed to make their advantage count. They now sit in the ninth spot despite winning just seven of 25 games in the Premier League, thanks to the 12 draws amassed throughout the season.

Brighton have proven difficult to break down and have shown glimpses of dominance even against elite opponents. It could be argued that their current lean spell is the worst that they have looked in some time. While securing European football might prove to be a big ask now, there is every reason to believe that the Seagulls could yet finish in the top half of the Premier League table.

Enock Mwepu and Jeremy Sarmiento will miss the game for Brighton, but Graham Potter will be hoping that Adam Webster makes the cut. The Brighton boss will also be handed a major boost thanks to the return of star defender Lewis Dunk from a one-game suspension.

The south coast outfit is likely to set up in a 3-4-1-2 system to get the ball forward at the first opportunity. Robert Sanchez will start in goal behind a back three of Joel Veltman, Dunk and Shane Duffy. Yves Bissouma and Pascal Gross will be tasked with holding the fort in midfield, protecting the backline and giving wing-backs Tariq Lamptey and Marc Cucurella the license to bomb forward.

Brighton could shift to a 5-3-2 when not in possession, with their wing-backs adopting a more defensive outlook. Jakub Moder will be the man tasked with connecting the midfield to the attack and feeding balls into the path of Leandro Trossard and Neal Maupay.

Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Sanchez; Veltman, Dunk, Duffy; Lamptey, Bissouma, Gross, Cucurella; Moder; Trossard, Maupay


Aston Villa

The honeymoon period at Villa Park under Steven Gerrard is coming to an end, and the English manager has to turn his side’s fortunes around. The Midlands club have won just one of their last seven Premier League games and now find themselves just seven points above the relegation zone.

They have struggled to see out games this season and will be handed a difficult challenge by Brighton thanks to Potter’s tactics. Gerrard, for his part, will look to deploy his side in a familiar 4-2-3-1 system.

Bertrand Traore and Marvelous Nakamba have failed to recover from injuries and will miss the game. Villa will, however, welcome back Ezri Konsa, who missed the last two games thanks to a suspension. Ashley Young also struggled against Watford last time round and might need to drop back to the bench this weekend.

Emiliano Martinez is a sure starter in goal and will line up behind the quartet of Lucas Digne, Tyron Mings, Ezri Konsa and Matty Cash. John McGinn and Douglas Luiz will drop anchor in midfield and try to wrest control of the game. The duo will also need to be industrious and ready to put in the hard work when necessary.

How well they perform could set the stage for the Villa attacking trio of Leon Bailey, Philippe Coutinho and Emi Buendia to shine. Danny Ings started in place of Ollie Watkins last time around and looks likely to hold on to his spot for this game.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Martinez; Digne, Mings, Konsa, Cash; McGinn, Luiz; Bailey, Coutinho, Buendia; Ings


Key Stats

  • Aston Villa and Brighton have drawn their last five league clashes at the Amex Stadium.
  • A win for Aston Villa will see them do the double over Brighton for the first time since 1981/82.
  • Aston Villa limited Brighton to just six shots in the reverse fixture at Villa Park. That was the Seagulls’ second-worst performance in that aspect this season.
  • This season, four of Brighton’s six Premier League defeats have come at home.
  • This season, Brighton have drawn 12 Premier League games, the highest of any team in the English top-flight. Aston Villa, meanwhile, have tied just three, the joint lowest in the competition.

Player to Watch

Philippe Coutinho

PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL - JUNE 07: Philippe Coutinho controls the ball in a training session at the Gremio team training centre on June 07, 2019 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
Philippe Coutinho is a match-winner on his day. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

The Barcelona man is currently on loan at Villa Park until the summer and has the potential to be the silkiest player on the pitch on his day. The Brazilian started off well at Villa but has struggled to influence games the last few gameweeks.

A midfielder with electric movement, an eye for a pass and a sweet long-range strike, Coutinho possesses all the tools to become a match-winner. The stage is set for the 29-year-old to show his magic and help Villa turn things around.


Brighton and Hove Albion 1-1 Aston Villa

While it promises to be an entertaining game with both teams going for it, their lack of good form going into the game could lead to a stalemate. Both sides should be aiming to finish as high as they can in the table and will be keen to get back to winning ways.

Villa have the better players, and the less said about Brighton’s home form, the better. Gerrard has more options on the bench and can adapt to more challenges that Brighton throw at them. However, the Seagulls can be a hard team to break down, and a draw seems like the most likely outcome on Saturday.

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