Brighton vs Southampton preview: Florin Andone facing late fitness test
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Last Updated: 30/03/19 12:16am
Florin Andone faces a late fitness test ahead of Brighton's south-coast clash with relegation rivals Southampton.
Brighton are looking to maintain the gap between themselves and 18th-placed Cardiff but will have to do so without Romania forward Andone, who pulled out during the warm-up at Crystal Palace on March 9 due to the recurrence of a thigh problem.
Chris Hughton will also be without attacking midfielder Pascal Gross, who has missed the last three Albion matches in all competitions and remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Southampton could welcome back Danny Ings and Mario Lemina for a game manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has described as a "six-pointer".
Striker Ings has been absent for almost two months because of a hamstring injury, while midfielder Lemina has not featured in 2019 due to an abdominal problem.
Shane Long is unavailable after suffering injury against Tottenham three weeks ago, while fellow forward Michael Obafemi (hamstring) is out for the rest of the season.
- Brighton have won just four of their last 30 matches against Southampton in all competitions (D12 L14).
- All three Premier League meetings between Brighton and Southampton have ended as a draw. Only three previous Premier League fixtures have ended as a draw in their first four meetings - Arsenal vs QPR, Southampton vs Stoke and Bournemouth vs Watford.
Premier League questions
With crucial encounters at both ends of the Premier League table this weekend, we look at the key questions...
- Brighton have lost once at home against Southampton this season, losing 0-1 in the EFL Cup; only Derby in 2013-14 have won twice away at the Amex in a single season against the Seagulls.
- Brighton have won their last two Premier League games, more than they had in their previous 12 combined (W1 D3 L8).
- Southampton have lost their last two Premier League away games - they're yet to lose three in a row on the road under Ralph Hasenhüttl.
- Southampton have lost more points from leading positions in the Premier League than any other side this season (20), including dropping five points over their last three away games in the competition.
- After scoring in six of his first seven league appearances at home this season, Brighton's Glenn Murray has failed to score in his last seven at home in the Premier League. His last goal at the Amex Stadium was in December vs Crystal Palace.
- James Ward-Prowse has scored in his last three Premier League games for Southampton - the last player to score in four in a row for Saints was Jay Rodriguez in March 2014.
This is a massive game. Brighton had a huge result at Crystal Palace but if I had to pick someone to win this one it would probably be Southampton as Brighton haven't been great at home.
Paul Merson is back with his latest round of Premier League predictions. Here's who the Magic Man is backing this weekend...
That said, their win at Selhurst Park has given a little bit of breathing room, meaning a draw should be enough, as long as Cardiff don't pull off a shock against Chelsea.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-2