Boxing day 2018 takes Arsenal on a collision course with Brighton & Hove Albion. 5th placed Gunners go against 13th placed Brighton in this match of redemption after Arsenal recovered their form in their match against Burnley. Though both teams will complain of tight schedules, it is Arsenal that seems to have taken the worst as they are still without their preferred defenders at the back due mostly to injuries.
Unai Emery will take pride in the resurgence of Mesut Ozil after some days away from the starting XI. Another point of reference is the scoring form of Alexandre Lacazatte and partner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who have scored a total of 18 goals together. If the manager does start these two then the gunners will be assured of goals. Somehow Unai will also have in mind that his team visits league leaders Liverpool on the weekend.
Players still on the nursing table are; defenders Rob Holding (knee injury), Konstantinos Mavropanos (groin injury), Nacho Monreal (muscular issue) and Hector Bellerin (calf injury). While doubtful cases are Shkodran Mustafi with a hamstring issue and playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan has an ankle problem (out for six weeks). striker Danny Welbeck is a long-term absentee.
Chris Hughton will look to recreate that 2-1 his team enjoyed over the gunners last season exploiting the fact that the Londoners are having so many injuries at the back. Chris will look to avoid a fourth loss in a row. However Hughton will be without defender Lewis Dunk due to suspension. The other absentees are wingers Alireza Jahanbakhsh (hamstring injury) and Jose Izquierdo (knee injury).
The Seagulls will look to striker Glen Murray for inspiration after the striker secured the 3 points for Brighton last time around. Although they are not in the Premier League top 10, the Seagulls know very well that if they don’t pick up points, they may fall into the relegation battle.
Three golden points are up for grabs during this mid-week match. For Arsenal it will represent a step towards top four and for Brighton,it will be a consolidation of their survival in the Premier League.