Brighton manager Chris Hughton says Arsenal represent the Seagulls biggest test so far, ahead of the match between the two on Sunday.
Brighton have already faced Manchester City since gaining promotion to the top flight for the current campaign. However, Hughton told talkSPORT that the Arsenal match is an even bigger challenge, explaining: “Arsenal is arguably our biggest test because it is away from home. They don’t come any harder but you have to think you can get something.
“But Arsenal, on their day, are a Champions League team. We will certainly need to be on our game on Sunday.”
Of course right now, Arsenal aren’t a Champions League team, but most of the Gunners’ supporters hope that this year is just a brief break from Europe’s elite competition.
As for being a bigger test than Manchester City, you can see where Hughton is coming from. City are the deserved leaders of the Premier League, and have blown teams away this season, but Brighton played them at home on the opening day, with the fans behind them and nothing to lose.
Now things are different, the season is more established, and Brighton will be playing on Arsenal’s pitch in front of Arsenal’s fans. Plus the Gunners will have some extra confidence from the fact that they’ve beaten the Seagulls in the FA Cup twice in the last four years away from home, so you wouldn’t expect a match at the Emirates to be any more of a problem.
Saying that, Arsenal can make any match into a problem, and given Brighton haven’t conceded more than two goals in any match this season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them frustrate the Gunners.