Martin Odegaard arrives at the Amex Stadium
Arsenal will travel to Brighton and will bid to continue their fine form after thrashing rivals Tottenham and continue their resurgence in the Premier League.
Mikel Arteta banished some of the criticism aimed at him at the start of the season with their 3-1 win last Sunday which was their third league victory on the spin. The boss has now been nominated for Manager of the Month and he said opinions change quickly in football: “It’s the beauty of this sport. We all know that perspective changes quickly in both ways so you always have to be on your toes.”
And Arteta added he is aware of the threat Brighton pose with the Seagulls enjoying a stellar start to their own league campaign. Graham Potter’s side are sixth, four places higher than the Gunners, after four wins, one draw and a loss. Potter is set to go up against one of his former players in the shape of Ben White, who signed for the Gunners in the summer for £50m. “I think that Arsenal, as a team, had a tough game against Brentford as the first game of the season and they had lots of issues in terms of Covid, etcetera. So, not the perfect situation for him, but Ben’s a resilient character,” Potter said. “He’s a fantastic footballer and a great guy – we all love him here. So, apart from obviously this weekend, we wish him well. And I’m sure he will do well.”
Follow live minute-by-minute updates, live score and goal updates, analysis and reaction below:
Potter demands aggressive performance from Brighton
Graham Potter wants Brighton to be aggressive and put Arsenal under pressure this afternoon. Here are the manager’s final words ahead of kick-off:
Partey confident Arsenal have right mentality
Thomas Partey, who’s recovered from a torrid streak of injuries, is confident Arsenal have the right mentality to keep winning after successfully reversing their fortunes in recent weeks.
The teams are out! Bissouma fails a late fitness test and misses out for the Seagulls. Arteta makes just one enforced change from the side that beat Tottenham, with Lokonga coming in for Xhaka.
Brighton XI: Sanchez, Dunk, Duffy, Burn, Cucurella, Groß, Lallana, Veltman, Moder, Trossard, Maupay
Arsenal XI: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Lokonga, Smith Rowe, Odegaard, Saka, Aubameyang
Potter backs White to succeed at Arsenal
This match will see Ben White return to the Amex Stadium after his £50m move to Arsenal this summer. The centre-back is still settling in at his new club and wasn’t included in Gareth Southgate’s England squad. However, Graham Potter is sure the 23-year-old will justify the large fee.
“Whenever you move club, it’s not a straightforward situation, it’s not so easy to hit the ground running,” said Potter, referring to White’s underwhelming Arsenal debut.
“I think Arsenal as a team had a tough game against Brentford, but that was the first game of the season and they had lots of issues in terms of Covid, so it was not the perfect situation for him.
“But Ben’s a resilient character, a fantastic footballer, a great guy, we all love him here, so apart from obviously the weekend we wish him well – and I’m sure he will do well.
“It (the transfer) was one of those things, I think everybody won from that situation: we got a good fee, they got a good player, Ben gets a chance to play at a club that he sees as a progression for him, so everybody wins.”
Arteta’s ‘stomach hurts’ at lack of European football
Arsenal’s failure to qualify for European football last season meant they have enjoyed almost a full week’s preparation for this fixture. While that should come as a benefit to their hopes this afternoon, Mikel Arteta admitted his “stomach hurts” every time he hears the Champions League theme tune.
“Maybe my family and my kids are happy because they see me more, but I want to be playing in Europe, to be competing there,” the Spaniard said.
“Every time I hear the Champions League music, my stomach hurts and it is not where we want to be. It is not something that I enjoy.
“We have to make the most out of it because we have more time during the week to prepare for the game at the weekend, but it is certainly not where we want to be.”
In-form Brighton host resurgent Arsenal
Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage as Brighton welcome Arsenal to the Amex Stadium this afternoon.
Graham Potter’s side have enjoyed a magnificent start to the season, taking 13 points from their opening six games, with Neal Maupay’s last-gasp equaliser salvaging a point against rivals Crystal Palace earlier this week.
Arsenal, meanwhile, have recovered from the disastrous start that briefly left them bottom of the Premier League table. Narrow victories against Norwich and Burnley were followed by an emphatic trouncing of Tottenham in the north London derby, with the pressure easing on Mikel Arteta.
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