The first Saturday of English Premier League action returns this weekend, and a quadruple-header of games awaits. The EPL was also quite smart about scheduling, and staggered the games throughout the day. It really should produce quite the return of soccer to England’s top flight – and with many key games remaining, the stakes are surely higher than ever.
In one of those early fixtures, Brighton & Hove Albion will host Arsenal. And though both sides are separated quite a bit in the table, they’re both very much still craving solid results down the stretch. Brighton are mired in a tight relegation battle, while the Gunners are still pushing for an outside chance at Europe.
Brighton is one side that many pundits have their eyes on as a darkhorse team that could go down. Their schedule remaining is tough, featuring harsh away contests, and they’ll likely need results in games like this against Arsenal. But the Gunners won’t make it easy on them, and though they weren’t sharp against Man City, a better outing has to be expected on Saturday for Mikael Arteta’s side.
With all that is on the line Saturday AM, this clash should produce some fireworks. Both sides are simply desperate for points, and it should make for an exciting encounter. As always, read on below for the posted odds and betting prediction for Brighton v. Arsenal in Matchweek 30 of the Premier League.
Brighton vs. Arsenal Betting Odds:
Over 2.5 (-107)
Under 2.5 (-113)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Brighton vs. Arsenal Pick:
Following a dismal second-half showing on Wednesday against Manchester City, Arsenal knows a bounce-back effort has to be had on Saturday afternoon. The young Gunners actually fared quite well through the first 40 minutes of the contest, before centre-back David Luiz made a couple of poorly-timed errors resulting in goals against. With him out of the lineup, expect Arsenal to be much more solid at the back in this one.
Brighton will be fully fit for this clash, and manager Graham Potter will have the Seagulls line up in their familiar 4-3-3 formation. Neal Maupay will play the role as the central forward, though with his inconsistent scoring record – it will be interesting to see if he can penetrate the Arsenal backline.
Arsenal haven’t had too many issues scoring and generating chances, but they’ve been aloof at the back at times. Expect that to be solidified on Saturday as Arteta will likely select Greek international Sokratis Papastathopoulos to take up the position as centre-back. He’ll also go with more speed on the flanks, with Hector Bellerin and youngster Bukayo Saka providing an attacking threat from the wing-back positions.
While Brighton has earned a recent reputation for being structured and well-organized, expect the flair and creativity of the Gunners to win out here. They’re better than their record indicates, and despite their slip-up vs. Man City, this remains a solid group, with an emerging young core. Brighton will struggle to shake off the rust, and eventually will break down after defending for 90 minutes. A narrow Arsenal victory at a juicy plus-money price seems fitting for this contest.
Pick: Arsenal 2-0