Brighton & Hove Albion vs Aston Villa: Preview and Prediction

Aston Villa will look to strengthen their position inside the top four when they hit the road to face Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday.

Brighton & Hove Albion have been winless in their last six league games, and they will be eager to return to winning ways when they host Unai Emery’s high-flying Aston Villa.

The home team are currently 12th in the Premier League with 44 points in their 34 outings. They have not been able to reach the heights of last season. But, the Seagulls will still be hoping they finish the season on a high with four games to go.

Brighton are heading into this one on the back of consecutive defeats in the Premier League. They suffered a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City before losing 3-0 to Bournemouth. Things have not been going according to plan for them, and Roberto De Zerbi will look to find a way to help them bounce back.

Meanwhile, Emery’s team are currently fourth in the league, with 67 points in 35 matches. They are seven points ahead of Tottenham, who have a game in hand. Despite their recent dip in form, the Villans have a significant advantage in the race for a top-four finish. But if they keep dropping points, things could get complicated.

The visitors are heading into this fixture on the back of a 2-2 draw in the Premier League against Chelsea, which was followed up by a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Olympiacos in the semi-final of the UEFA Europa Conference League. They will look to bounce back against Brighton who haven’t been in the best of forms of late.

Meanwhile, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams and tries to predict the tactics they could put to use.

Team News & Tactics

Brighton & Hove Albion

Roberto De Zerbi has quite a few injuries to deal with. Solly March, Evan Ferguson, Jack Hinshelwood, Kaoru Mitoma, and Pervis Estupinan are all out for the remainder of the season, while Adam Lallana, Tariq Lamptey, James Milner, and Jan Paul van Hecke are unavailable for this fixture.

The home team will go ahead with the 4-2-3-1 formation, where Bart Verbruggen will be in goal. Joel Veltman and Valentin Barco will be the full-backs, while Lewis Dunk will pair up with Igor Julio in the heart of the defence.

Pascal Gross and Billy Gilmour will form the double pivot in the centre of the park. The duo will look to shield the backline and ensure they do not end up getting dominated by the opposition. Simon Adingra and Joao Pedro will provide the width to their attacks, while Facundo Buonanotte will feature as the attacking midfielder. Danny Welbeck should be leading the line in this fixture from the start.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Verbruggen; Veltman, Dunk, Igor, Barco; Gilmour, Gross; Adingra, Buonanotte, Pedro; Welbeck

Brighton vs Aston Villa Predicted XI

Aston Villa

Unai Emery also has quite a few injuries to deal with. Tyrone Mings, Boubacar Kamara, Emiliano Buendia, and Jacob Ramsey are all out for the remainder of the season. Emiliano Martinez, Youri Tielemans, and Alex Moreno, who missed out in their last outing, might not be risked here with the second leg of the UEFA Europa Conference League in mind.

The visitors could line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, where Robin Olsen will be in goal. Ezri Konsa and Lucas Digne will be the full-backs. In the heart of the defence, Pau Torres could pair up with Diego Carlos.

In front of the backline, Douglas Luiz and John McGinn will form the double pivot with hopes of controlling the tempo of the game. Leon Bailey and Morgan Rogers will provide width to their attacks, while Nicolo Zaniolo will be the attacking midfielder. Ollie Watkins should be leading the line for the visitors.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Olsen; Konsa, Carlos, Torres, Digne; McGinn, Luiz; Bailey, Zaniolo, Rogers; Watkins

Brighton vs Aston Villa Predicted XI

Key Stats

  • Aston Villa have won 18 of their last 32 matches against Brighton & Hove Albion, who have five wins to their name.
  • The visitors are unbeaten in their last six matches against Brighton & Hove Albion, winning the last five. The home team last won against Aston Villa back in November 2020.
  • Brighton are winless in their last six league games.
  • Aston Villa are unbeaten in their last four games.
  • The reverse fixture between the two ended 6-1 in favour of Aston Villa.

Player to Watch

Ollie Watkins

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Watkins has been on fire in the ongoing season. The 28-year-old Aston Villa striker has featured in 34 Premier League games and has contributed towards 31 goals. He has found the back of the net on 19 occasions and also has 12 assists. He has been one of the best players in the league this season, and Unai Emery will hope that his star striker once again helps him claim three important points.


Brighton & Hove Albion 1-3 Aston Villa

Given the kind of form Aston Villa have been in throughout the ongoing season, one will expect them to bounce back and return to winning ways when they face Brighton & Hove Albion, who have been struggling in recent weeks.

The head-to-head stats are in favour of the visitors, and they did manage a massive win in the reverse fixture. So it won’t be a surprise to see them win here. The Hard Tackle predicts a 3-1 win for Aston Villa in this fixture.

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