Brighton v Arsenal preview: Jack Wilshere a doubt for Gunners
Last Updated: 04/03/18 1:29pm
Jack Wilshere is a doubt for Arsenal's Nissan Super Sunday showdown with Brighton at the Amex Stadium.
The England midfielder missed Thursday's 3-0 home defeat to Manchester City with a minor ankle issue and could also sit out the game on the south coast.
The scrutiny on Arsene Wenger's future is increasing with his side having lost four of their past six Premier League games, and the Frenchman admits he has a job on to lift his players ahead of their trip to Brighton, which is live on Sky Sports Premier League.
"It has taken out confidence and brought big disappointment," he said. "In football, you lose confidence very quickly and you regain it very slowly and you always have to show strength not to give in.
"When that kind of disappointment comes it divides, it splits and our experience has to help us to stay together and focus on the next games."
Meanwhile, Chris Hughton admits it may well be the worst time for his Brighton side to face Arsenal, despite the Gunners' poor recent form.
"When you are playing a team of the stature of Arsenal, you've got to be wary of a reaction.
"It could arguably be the worst time to play them, so we have to make sure we play to the levels we know we can."
Brighton have no new injury concerns. The Seagulls have a nearly fully-fit squad for the visit of Wenger's side, with midfielder Jiri Skalak in contention having overcome an ankle injury.
Steve Sidwell (ankle) remains a long-term absentee but Hughton has everyone else available.
Arsenal have Nacho Monreal (back) and Alexandre Lacazette (knee) absent with Wenger likely to make changes with the Europa League trip to AC Milan looming.
Brighton have won their last two home league meetings with Arsenal, although this will be the first such match since September 1982 (1-0 to the Seagulls). In all competitions, Arsenal have won their last five games against Brighton, including both visits to the Amex Stadium by a 3-2 scoreline (in FA Cup games in 2013 and 2015).
Brighton have won back-to-back home Premier League games, scoring seven goals in the process. They last won three in a row at home in the top flight in September 1982.
The Gunners are unbeaten in 34 Premier League games against newly-promoted sides (W29 D5) since a 1-2 loss vs QPR in March 2012.
The Amex Stadium will be the 57th ground at which Arsenal have played a Premier League game - they've won at 50 of the previous 56 (89.3%), only Liverpool have won at a higher percentage (93.1% - 54/58).
The Gunners have lost three consecutive away league games for the sixth time under Arsene Wenger - with the most recent run (4 games) occurring last season.
Glenn Murray has scored the most Premier League goals this season without also providing an assist (10).Indeed, Murray has scored five goals in his last five home games for Brighton in all competitions.
Nacho Monreal has scored three goals away from home in all competitions for Arsenal this season - more than any other current player at the club.
Wenger has won five of his seven managerial meetings with Hughton (L2), including the last four in a row. However, Hughton could become only the third manager to beat Wenger in a Premier League game with three different clubs, after Mark Hughes (4) and Sam Allardyce (3).
I think Brighton win this game. It's the Bournemouth game all over again in my opinion.
Brighton are playing well at home and Arsenal have gone. I really worry for Arsenal at the moment and the way they are playing I have to back Brighton for victory. If they can pick up the win it would be an unbelievable result for Hughton and his team
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (12/1 with Sky Bet)