Brighton & Hove Albion face Southampton in what will be the 34th gameweek of the 2021/22 Premier League season. Both teams have had decent seasons, and will be hoping to sail through the final few gameweeks smoothly as they look to end the season on a high.
Brighton & Hove Albion were last in action in the midweek round of fixtures against league-leaders and defending Champions Manchester City away from home, as the Seagulls saw their 2-game winning streak come to a grinding halt. Graham Potter’s side put up a strong front in the first half of the game, ending the half 0-0, but their resistance was broken down by the Citizens with ruthlessness as they scored 3 goals past Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez. Manager Graham Potter would have rued the manner in which the goals came, with two goals deflected off Brighton players and the third coming as a result of a calamitous mix-up in defence. The Brighton players will be looking to shrug off the loss, and instead, focus on performing as strongly as they did in their wins against Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in the last couple of weeks. The loss left the Seagulls in 10th place, a point behind 9th placed Leicester City as they look set for their highest ever finish in the Premier League.
Southampton were on the end of a damning loss themselves, with the Saints thoroughly beaten by Burnley in the midweek. The Clarets who are in the relegation zone and fighting for survival came out the gates really well on Thursday night, winning 2-0 thanks to two first-half goals. That loss was Southampton’s fifth loss in seven games and enter the match having earned just four points in their last 6 matches in the league. A win on Sunday will do the Saints a world of good, with their aim to finish in the top 10. They sit in 13th place, just one point behind Brighton, and three points on Sunday afternoon would see them move ahead of Brighton & Hove Albion in the standings, and if other results go their way, could end the weekend inside the top 10. Manager Ralph Hasehuttl was less than impressed with the lack of aggression and bravery shown by his side in the midweek defeat. He will be hoping for a much better fight against Brighton & will look to rally his troops in what should be a closely contested game.
WHEN AND WHERE?
Date: Sunday, 24th April 2022.
Time: 2.00 pm BST.
Venue: American Express Stadium, Brighton.
Referee: Robert Jones.
Assistants: Dan Cook, Wade Smith.
Fourth official: Simon Hooper.
VAR: Michael Salisbury.
Assistant VAR: Nick Hopton.
Brighton boss Graham Potter confirmed that attacker Leandro Trossard should be available for selection again after missing out on the loss to Manchester City with an illness. Yves Bissouma was not in the squad in Manchester, and he is expected to be in contention as well. Potter also stated that there are no injury concerns in the Brighton squad as of now, which is very good news for the Seagulls.
Southampton only have one injury concern in goalkeeper Alex McCarthy who is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury. Ralph Hassenhutl may opt to rest a few players, with the Saints having played against Burnley just two days ago.
The Belgian has been a constant presence on the left flank of Brighton’s 3-5-2 formation, and has made himself indispensable. He is a constant menace in the box with his quick feet, as was evident in the win against Tottenham Hotspurs. His quick feet left the Spurs defenders bewildered and he was able to get the winning goal for his team in the last minute. He has 2 goals and one assist in his last two games, and will be looking to build up on that on Sunday. The Seagulls missed his creativity dearly against City in the midweek, and Graham Potter will be glad to see him back fit.
James Ward-Prowse is Southampton’s go-to man in the big games, and has performed when it matters. Ward-Prowse has been one of the finest servants for the Saints and this season as well, the Englishman leads the goal contributions chart for the Saints. The club captain could make his 300th Premier League appearance on Sunday, having scored 27 times in the top tier. He is a big danger from set-pieces, with his ability to score from dead-ball situations, and his superb corner deliveries. If Southampton earns a foul anywhere near the box, Ward-Prowse is sure to step up and try to find the top corner of the goal.
Brighton predicted XI vs Southampton: Robert Sanchez; Adam Webster, Lewis Dunk, Marc Cucurella; Tariq Lamptey, Enock Mwepu, Yves Bissouma, Moises Caicedo, Leandro Trossard; Alexis Mac Allister, Neal Maupay.
Southampton predicted XI vs Brighton: Fraser Forster; Yan Valery, Lyanco, Jan Bednarek; Kyle Walker-Peters, James Ward-Prowse, Oriol Romeu, Tino Livramento; Stuart Armstrong, Armando Broja, Mohamed Elyounoussi.