Arsenal aiming to build on positive Chelsea win and face struggling Brighton
Arsenal to win 2-0
Arsenal pulled out a surprise win on Boxing Day over their close rivals from London, helping to ease the pressure which has been stacked heavily on Mikel Arteta’s shoulders.
Chelsea succumbed to an impressive performance from the Gunners, going 3-0 down before pulling back a consolation. It doesn’t help Arsenal too much in terms of league position, but it surely helps build confidence after a terrible run of form.
Arsenal fans will not be fooling themselves that their side has completely turned a corner – they’ve shown promise before this season, only to fall flat on their faces once again.
Brighton continue to barely stay afloat just above the relegation zone, picking up enough points to keep their heads above the danger zone. They are relying, as it stands, on teams below them not picking up enough points to overtake them, but that is a dangerous game.
This could tell us much about both sides.
Form Guide (all comps): LLDDD
Reasons to be cheerful:
Avoided defeat in last three matches
Could well have beaten West Ham
Reasons to be fearful:
No wins now in six matches
Just one victory in last 14 matches
Brighton picked up their third draw on the bounce against West Ham, just 48 hours before their next fixture against Arsenal.
Much has been made about Brighton not earning the points which their good play and possession levels have deserved this season, but after just one win within 14 matches, things are starting to get a little desperate.
The Seagulls have the highest number of draws this season, seven in total, something which has probably seen them stay above the relegation zone until now, just picking up enough points to stay afloat.
They were unable to hang on for a win against West Ham 48 hours ago, with the Hammers pegging Brighton back eight minutes before time.
Graham Potter’s side can make it difficult for Arsenal here, but must anticipate a Gunners side high on confidence after beating Chelsea.
Star Man – Neal Maupay
Scored his first Brighton goal in nine matches to give Brighton the lead against West Ham.
Form Guide (all comps): LDLLW
Reasons to be cheerful
Beating Chelsea 3-1 will have restored some confidence
Young players can improve Arsenal’s season
Reasons to be fearful
Have beaten a top side before and followed up with poor results
Still a long way behind where they want to be
Arsenal will be pleased with their win against Chelsea in their first match after Christmas, beating their close rivals from London 3-1. It will be a huge confidence boost for The Gunners, but there is still much to improve.
The sit 15th after that win, six points above the relegation zone but a full 10 points away from the Champions League places. With the league bunched up due to an inconsistent season, Arsenal could quickly climb the table with a string of good form.
Despite the win against Chelsea, there is no guarantee that this will happen. They impressively beat Manchester United earlier in the season, showing promise that they could kick on. Unfortunately for Arsenal fans, it was eight matches before they tasted victory again.
However, you would expect a good performance here.
Star Man – Bukayo Saka
This could be the season where several of Arsenal’s young players become first-team regulars. That seems to be happening with Saka, who scored his 2nd of the season.
Arsenal should be full of confidence following previous win
Brighton can make it difficult, but can they score?
The Gunners are favourites
Arsenal could move as high as 11th with a win in their last game of 2020.
Despite sitting closer to the relegation zone than the top, Arsenal can leapfrog several other bottom half teams with a couple of good results over the festive period. They have the players who can do so, even after poor form this season.
Brighton have the ability to control parts of the game, but have struggled to finish teams off. Arsenal are likely to take the points here.
Arsenal to win 2-0