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Match Preview: Brighton vs Arsenal

Arsenal will look to close the gap between them and the top four by securing three points away to Brighton in tomorrow’s boxing day fixture.

The Gunners currently sit in fifth place and level on points with fellow Londoners Chelsea, and five points off third place Tottenham Hotspur.

Chris Houghton’s side won last season’s corresponding fixture 2-1, so Arsenal will feel they have a score to settle come tea time tomorrow.

Arsenal Team News:

Unai Emery’s side come into the game with somewhat of an injury crisis. Hector Bellerin is expected to be out for a further two weeks after injuring his calf against Southampton.

Shkodran Mustafi remains sidelined with a hamstring injury and Henrikh Mkhitaryan has also been ruled out for six weeks with a fractured metatarsal.

With Rob Holding out for the rest of the season and Dinos Mavropanos not available until the new year,  Sokratis Papastathopoulos is arguably the Gunner’s only fit centre-back.

Club captain Laurent Koscielny has only just returned from a ruptured achilles tendon and isn’t yet match sharp and Granit Xhaka, Nacho Monreal and Stephan Lichtsteiner are not naturals in central defence.

The North London side also face a tough trip Anfield on Saturday, which may see Emery rest several key players for tomorrow’s game.

Brighton Team News:

Chris Houghton has confirmed Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Jose Izquierdo are not fit for tomorrow’s game and Lewis dunk, who scored the last time the sides met will also miss out after getting sent off at the weekend.

However, there is some good news for the Seagulls as Shane Duffy returns from three-match suspension.

Form:

Brighton: WWLLL

Arsenal: WDWLW

The Gunners bounced back from their first defeat since August with a win against struggling Burnley last Saturday, so will hope to their first back to back League win since early December.

Brighton have lost thee on the bounce, and picked up four red cards in their last six Premier League games. However, Albion haven’t lost more than 3 successive Premier League games since returning to the top flight in 2017.

Chris Houghton will hope that his side can sort their discipline problem out to break their losing run.

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