On Sunday Arsenal continue their defence of the FA Cup with a trip to the seaside to face Brighton & Hove Albion.
Here’s everything you need to know about them ahead of the game:
|Brighton & Hove Albion|
|Home Ground||Amex Stadium (22,374)|
|League Position||19th (Championship)|
|Record Signing||Craig Mackail-Smith – £2.5m in 2011|
|Ex Gunners||None known|
|Top Scorer||Lewis Dunk (6)|
|Top Assister||Adrian Colunga (4)|
|Most Yellow Cards||Jake Forster-Caskey (7) Dunk (7)|
|Star Player||Lewis Dunk|
|Player Arsenal Need Most||Errrrrrr…|
|Biggest Liability||Craig Mackail-Smith|
STYLE OF PLAY
Brighton typically like to have a lot of possession, and concentrate on spreading the play to wide areas – evidenced as winger Colunga has the most assists. When they do defend, they can be tempted out to try and intercept the ball in the middle of the park, which will be an opportunity for Arsenal to get in behind.
23-year old Centre back Lewis Dunk is a key player, not only a permanent fixture at the heart of the Seagulls defence, but also their top scorer this season with 6 goals. He was sent off vs Brentford last weekend for a second bookable offence, but having missed the midweek win over Ipswich he’ll likely be installed straight back into the team.
When it comes to set plays, Brighton rarely concede this way, but have scored almost half of their own goals from dead ball situations. This has helped to hide the fact that record signing Craig Mackail-Smith has managed just one goal all season.
The new manager, former Newcastle, Birmingham and Norwich boss Chris Hughton, has also been known to set up with a full-back playing the wing positions to shore up the defence, since taking over at the Amex at the end of December, and this is certainly a possibility against Arsenal.
SEASON SO FAR
Having reached the play-offs in the last two campaigns, Brighton had high hopes for this season, but a run of one win in 19 games saw them drop into the relegation zone in December and cost Sami Hyypia his job.
Three wins from four under new boss Chris Hughton (and the loss came when down to ten men) has seen the Seagulls pull clear of the drop zone – the squad certainly has the quality to climb the table in the final months of the season, but 15 points from the play-odds is likely a bridge too far. In essence, the perfect time for a cup run.
On loan Joao Teixeira (Liverpool) scored a brace against Ipswich, the first an individual goal where we took on a number of defenders and the second converting a cross, and if he plays then he will be a tricky customer for Arsenal to watch out for.
Arsenal’s last 5 results against Brighton: LLWWW
|FA Cup||26/01/2013||(A)||W 3-2||Arsenal: Giroud (15, 56) Walcott (85)Brighton: Barnes (33) Ulloa (62)|
|FA Cup||30/01/1988||(A)||W 2-1||Arsenal: Richardson, GrovesBrighton: Nelson|
In the only recent meeting between the two clubs, at the same stage of the FA Cup two year ago, Arsène rested a handful of first team players but still put out a strong XI. Arsenal twice took the lead through Giroud and Brighton twice equalised through Barnes and Leicester striker Ulloa. Theo Walcott scored the decisive goal late on to put Arsenal through to the 5th Round, albeit via a deflection.
Record for Brighton v Arsenal:
Overall record between the two clubs:
Brighton’s last 5 results: WWWLW
|League||Ipswich||(H)||W 3-2||Baldock, Teixeira (2)|
|FA Cup||Brentford||(A)||W 2-0||Dunk, O’Grady|
|League||Fulham||(A)||W 2-0||Colunga, March|