Arsenal vs Brighton preview: Gunners look to keep title dream alive

By on May 11, 2023

Arsenal will be looking to keep themselves in the title race and maintain the pressure on Man City with a win over Brighton & Hove Albion at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Gunners have enjoyed a sensational campaign and were the surprise Premier League leaders for the vast majority of the season. A top four finish was expected to be the best they could hope for before the season began back in August 2022, but Mikel Arteta’s men have shocked everyone to mount an unexpected title charge.

Arsenal opened up an eight point lead over City at one stage and they were installed as the bookies favourites to win the title back in late March. However, they hit a sticky patch in April that saw them fail to win in four consecutive games to derail their title bid. It started at Anfield when Arsenal blew a two-goal lead and had to hold on to claim a 2-2 draw against a resurgent Reds team. That result was clearly still in the players minds when they went to the London Stadium the following week. Once again, Arsenal raced into an early two-goal lead but for the second game running, they blew it and had to settle for a 2-2 draw against West Ham.

Perhaps the most frustrating result came at home to Southampton. The league’s bottom club should have been no match for the leaders at the Emirates Stadium but a number of individual errors allowed the Saints to race into a 3-1 lead. With less than 10 minutes remaining, Arsenal staged a late comeback and managed to get back to 3-3 but they couldn’t find a dramatic winner so it was another two points dropped. This handed the initiative to Man City and the defending champions put the title firmly in their hands after thrashing Arsenal 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium in late April.

However, Arsenal have fought back in recent games and got back to winning ways with an impressive 3-1 win over Chelsea. This was followed by an excellent 2-0 win at Newcastle United last weekend which has kept their title dreams alive. It was one of their best performances of the season at St James’ Park and Arteta will be hoping for a repeat display against Brighton this weekend.

The Gunners head into the weekend action sitting just one point behind City but Pep Guardiola’s men have a game in hand so Arsenal cannot afford to slip up in north London. City face a tricky trip to Everton just before Arsenal kick-off at 4-30pm on Sunday, so the Gunners will be ready to take advantage of any slip-up.

However, it’s not going to be easy against an impressive Brighton side. The Seagulls have enjoyed an excellent season and are still in with a chance of qualifying for Europe next season despite a shock defeat at home to Everton last time out. Brighton were heavily beaten 5-1 by the relegation-threatened Toffees so De Zebri will be demanding a response from his players on Sunday.

How to watch

Getting tickets at the Emirates Stadium is always tough as Arsenal have a long waiting list for season tickets. You can sometimes get lucky on the ticket exchange but with the Gunners still battling for the title, it’s going to be difficult to get hold of tickets through the official websites. Fans who still want to attend the game could get hold of Arsenal tickets on reselling sites but make sure you use a reputable website such as seatsnet.

Alternatively, for those who can’t get their hands on a ticket, the game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports on Sunday afternoon, kicking off at 4.30pm, so subscribers can still follow all the action as it happens.

Team news

Arsenal are expected to once again be without the services of William Saliba as the Frenchman is still recovering from a back injury. The issue has kept him out since mid-March when he limped off against Sporting Lisbon and it’s no coincidence Arsenal’s poor form has coincided with his absence as Saliba has been sorely missed.

Takehiro Tomiyasu is also still on the sidelines after undergoing knee surgery on an injury that he also picked up during the Europa League clash with Sporting in March. Mohamed Elneny is the only other absentee for the Gunners. The midfielder is back on the training pitch after recovering from a knee injury but he isn’t available for selection just yet.

As for Brighton, they have a number of injury concerns to worry about ahead of the trip to London. Adam Lallana and Joel Veltman are both out with thigh injuries while Jakub Moder is still struggling with a knee injury.

Jeremy Sarmiento and Enock Mwepu are also out of the trip to Arsenal with ankle and chest issues, while Tariq Lamptey isn’t expected to play again this season due to a knee injury. Solomon March could also miss the game this weekend with a thigh problem.


Arsenal will be tempted to stick with the same team that performed so well against Newcastle United last weekend. Aaron Ramsdale, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel and Ben White are all certain to keep their places. Jacub Kiwior should also retain his place in defence after impressing recently so Rob Holding will miss out.

Jorginho was Man of the Match at St James’ Park so he could retain his place at the expense of Thomas Partey. Gabriel Martinelli could also start once again alongside Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Jesus in attack meaning Leandro Trossard has to settle for a place on the bench.

Arsenal XI: Ramsdale, Zinchenko, Gabriel, Kiwior, White, Jorginho, Odegaard, Xhaka, Saka, Martinelli, Jesus

As for Brighton, De Zebri is expected to make changes following their defeat to Everton with the likes of Levi Colwill, Enciso and Evan Ferguson pushing for recalls.

Brighton XI: Steele, Estupinan, Dunk, Webster, Colwill, Caicedo, Mac Allister, Mitoma, Enciso, Buonanotte, Ferguson


Arsenal have won just one of their last five home games against Brighton in all competitions so they’ll need to improve upon that record if they want to remain in the title race. All they can do is keep winning their games, keep the pressure on City and hope the defending champions slip-up.

Brighton will provide a real test for Arsenal as they are a top side with quality players and the Gunners have struggled to keep clean sheets at home, so we should see plenty of goal-mouth action. However, Arsenal were hugely impressive against Newcastle and they’ll be desperate to maintain the pressure on City, so we think they’ll edge this game to keep their title hopes alive. Arsenal 3-2 Brighton