Prediction and odds: Brighton (12/5) vs Arsenal (11/10)
We’re backing Draw/Draw (HT/FT) at 9/2
When: Saturday, 31st December 2022 – 5.30pm KO (GMT)
Where: Amex Stadium
Brighton & Hove Albion will attempt to slow the surge of Premier League leaders Arsenal when they collide this weekend.
Brighton & Hove Albion may no longer have Graham Potter at the helm, but that hasn’t done a whole lot to change their fortunes. The Seagulls are still one of the most intriguing clubs in the Premier League and there’s every chance they could make a genuine push for Europe. Of course, they have to take things one step at a time, but this is – at this stage – a legitimate top half club after years of trying to become one.
The boys from Brighton returned from the winter World Cup break in harsh fashion with a tough League Cup challenge against Charlton Athletic. In the end, they just didn’t want it as much as their lower league foes with Charlton winning it on penalties. On Boxing Day, however, they weren’t about to let themselves endure a slide as they tore through Southampton with a comfortable 3-1 success.
Arsenal fans couldn’t have imagined the start of their season would go quite so well. They’ve only dropped points in two Premier League games and they’re top by five points, with Manchester City being their closest challengers. It may start to go off the side of a cliff but at this point in time, the Gunners are riding a massive wave, and manager Mikel Arteta deserves a great deal of credit for getting them there.
A few frendly games against Juventus, AC Milan and Lyon set Arsenal up for a return in London – at home to West Ham at the Emirates. It was the kind of win they were made to work for as they came from 1-0 down to win 3-1, and although it wasn’t overly convincing, they maintained their advantage at the top of the tree which is all that matters.
Arsenal’s luck surely has to run out at some point and with a difficult test down on the south coast, we think they’ll struggle. After a tentative first half we can see Arsenal taking the lead, and from there, they’ll try and sit back on it. That’ll prove to be a mistake as they welcome pressure from the hosts, who will go on to get an equaliser.
The rest of the game will likely fade away with a few nice chances here and there. Arsenal may feel desperate to go for the win and keep their streak going, but they’re better off playing it safe and living to fight another day. Either way, they’ll still be top when we enter the new year.
Our tips (all taken from bet365): Draw/Draw (HT/FT) at 9/2 + under 2.5 goals at 10/11[geosnippet id=3620]
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