Burnley vs Brighton & Hove Albion: Preview and Prediction

Burnley must start adding wins to their record if they are to have a slim chance of fighting for survival as they host Brighton & Hove Albion at Turf Moor.

Some neutrals might see the topsy-turvy nature of the Premier League relegation battle, especially with the deducted points for Everton and Nottingham Forest, and feel Burnley might have missed a trick as they get set to take on Brighton & Hove Albion. The Clarets are still languishing in 19th place and in real danger of dropping back to the EFL Championship for next season.

Yet, they still have a slight chance to fight back and make the last seven games of the season count. Vincent Kompany’s charges have certainly improved their form of late, but it has resulted in only one win, which came at home against Brentford.

Last weekend, Burnley went down to ten men, and a horrendous goalkeeping error allowed Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin to capitalise and score a fortunate goal to seal three points for the Toffees. Between that and the Brentford win, Burnley secured two draws against Chelsea and Wolves, which has given them a chance to make a late push for survival.

In terms of the relegation battle, Sheffield United are the clear-cut favourites to go down, while Burnley are next in line. There is still a six-point gap for the Clarets to cover over 18th-placed Luton Town, who are incidentally level on points with Nottingham Forest in 17th. Hence, there is a chance for Kompany’s men to find a way out of this rut, although it does seem difficult on paper.

Burnley’s visitors, Brighton & Hove Albion, still harbour ambitions of European qualification, although they are currently far off from the last continental place on the table. Last weekend, Robert De Zerbi’s side lost for the first time at home since the early part of the season, with Arsenal handing them a stern lesson in how to play with command and control.

Brighton are still five points off West Ham United in seventh. But they have a game in hand over the Hammers. They must start improving their form and put in a concerted effort to take the team over the line to still have the only chance to make it back into Europe, although a place in the Europa League spots might still seem difficult for the Seagulls.

Team News & Tactics


Vincent Kompany would have really hoped to have a full-strength squad at his disposal during this late run-in. But unfortunately, he continues to miss out on a host of players. Aaron Ramsey, Nathan Redmond, Luca Koleosho, Jordan Beyer, Ameen Al-Dakhil, and Han-Noah Massengo are all absent from proceedings.

Additionally, Dara O’Shea is suspended for his red card against Everton, meaning Hannes Delcroix is the ideal replacement in the lineup. Kompany might also make some changes from the last game, with David Datro Fofana one of those eager to stake a claim in the attacking third.

At the same time, the Burnley manager is likely to keep hold of teenager Wilson Odobert in his lineup. Sander Berge and Josh Cullen are primed for the midfield positions, with Jacob Brunn Larsen and Lyle Foster in for the wide areas. Fofana and Odobet will line up in the front two.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Muric; Assignon, Delcroix, Esteve, Taylor; Foster, Cullen, Berge, Larsen; Fofana, Odobert

Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton are also without a host of their critical stars. Solly March, Jack Hinshelwood, Kaoru Mitoma, Billy Gilmour, and James Milner are all still injured, while Adam Webster and Evan Ferguson remain fitness doubts.

Roberto De Zerbi might not make too many tweaks despite losing to Arsenal last weekend. The only change he might see for the weekend would be the re-introduction of Joao Pedro in the attacking third.

Pascal Gross and Carlos Baleba are pencilled in to keep starting in their midfield positions, while Jan Paul van Hecke and Lewis Dunk are Brighton’s best centre-back pairing. De Zerbi might continue to use attacking full-backs Tariq Lamptey and Pervis Estupinan in the wide areas. Julio Enciso did impress in moments against Arsenal, while Simon Adingra could keep his place in the wide areas. Danny Welbeck is the main man who leads the line for the Seagulls.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Verbruggen; Lamptey, Van Hecke, Dunk, Estupinan; Gris, Baleba; Adingra, Pedro, Enciso; Welbeck

Key Stats

  • Burnley have failed to win 13 of their last 14 matches in the Premier League.
  • Burnley are some six points off 18th-placed Nottingham Forest with seven games to play in the season.
  • Burnley are unbeaten in four of their last five matches in the Premier League.
  • Brighton have only one victory in the ir last 5 games agaisnt Burnley.
  • Brighton are five points behind the last European place on the table.

Player to Watch

Joao Pedro

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De Zerbi missed a big presence in the final third and has been experiencing the same since Kaoru Mitoma’s season-ending injury some time ago. Against Arsenal, he did have some presence of his attackers in the final third, albeit nothing to threaten the Gunners’ backline.

In fact, Joao Pedro’s late shot, which Gabriel Magalhaes blocked, was probably their most dangerous chance of the game. The Brazilian will be eager to prove his worth for Burnley and show what they are missing in that zone. Hence, the attacker will have to make a significant impact and help his team out in the final phase of the season.


Burnley 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton & Hove Albion are not in particularly good form coming into this game and hence cannot be seen as favourites to win all three points. Roberto De Zerbi would want a morale-boosting win to kick-start the run-in of the season. But it is not easy to see them get too much against this resilient Burnley side.

Burnley have found this resilience recently, and it showed in their performances in recent games. Vincent Kompany may feel he is finally getting a good feel of his players and how to set up in the top flight, but it may have come too late. Against Brighton, the Clarets can still engineer a point, which would keep them alive in the race for survival heading into the last six games of the season.

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