Brighton - Arsenal Preview: Gunners continue search for first trophy in seven years against the Seagulls
Gus Poyet's Championship side will be hopeful of a FA Cup upset after knocking out Premier League Newcastle but know that they face a stern test against Arsene Wenger's men
By Husmukh Kerai
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION
Lopez, Greer, El-Abd, Bridge
Bridcutt, Orlandi, Hammond
Barnes, Mackail-Smith, LuaLua
Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs
Diaby, Wilshere, Ramsey
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Podolski
Defender Bruno (achilles) returned to training this week but the right-back may not be risked on Saturday.
Spanish midfielder Vicente (thigh) played his first game of the season after a long-term injury on Tuesday and could feature against Arsenal at some point.
Arsene Wenger ruled out Thomas Vermaelen (ankle) after picking up an injury midweek, meaning that Laurent Koscielny is likely to partner Per Mertesacker.
Mikel Arteta (calf) and Francis Coquelin (hamstring) are unlikely to be risked for the trip to Brighton but Abou Diaby should return to this side after missing the game against West Ham with illness.
Tomas Rosicky is in contention to be involved in the squad while Lukas Fabianski (ankle) remains sidelined.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Brighton & Hove Albion have not played Arsenal since 1988.
- In 12 meetings since the Second World War, Brighton have only beat Arsenal twice, with the Gunners winning eight times.
The two sides last met in an FA Cup fourth-round tie at the Goldstone Ground, with the Gunners running out 2-1 winners.
- Seagulls manager Gus Poyet (pictured) won the FA Cup as a Chelsea player in 2000.
- The Gunners are yet to lose a game in which they have taken the lead this season, winning seven and drawing two.
Arsenal are 6/4 with Bet365 to be winning at both half-time and ful-time.
- Arsenal are yet to win four games in a row across all competitions this season.
- In 13 matches between the sides, Arsenal have outscored Brighton by 24 goals to five.
- Arsene Wenger has won four FA Cups since taking charge of Arsenal in 1996, the last of which came in 2005, the Gunners' most recent taste of silverware.
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Top 3 Predictions
Brighton & Hove Albion 1-3 Arsenal FC
- 15.13 %
Brighton & Hove Albion 0-3 Arsenal FC
- 15 %
Brighton & Hove Albion 0-2 Arsenal FC
- 8.65 %
|FA Cup (FA)||26 Jan 2013||Brighton & Hove Albion 2 - Arsenal FC 3|
|Brighton & Hove Albion|
|4 May 2013||Brighton & Hove Albion 2 - Wolves 0||ENG2|
|27 Apr 2013||Leeds 1 - Brighton & Hove Albion 2||ENG2|
|20 Apr 2013||Brighton & Hove Albion 6 - Blackpool 1||ENG2|
|16 Apr 2013||Peterborough United 0 - Brighton & Hove Albion 0||ENG2|
|13 Apr 2013||Middlesbrough 0 - Brighton & Hove Albion 2||ENG2|
|Returns:||Brighton £5010.00||Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Returns:||Draw £190.00||Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Returns:||Arsenal £16.70||Sign up today with Coral and get a £50 FREE bet - no strings attached!|
|-||Vicente Rodríguez Guillén||Midfielder|
The Scotland international striker has reportedly caught the attention of one or two Premier League clubs with his 11 goals and three assists for Brighton so far this season. The 28-year-old will be flanked by Ashley Barnes and Kazenga LuaLua, a front three who have worked well for the Seagulls this term and one whom Arsenal should not take lightly.
The Welsh midfielder was deployed in a deeper midfield role against West Ham on Wednesday and enjoyed one of his better performances of the season. Often played out of position on the right flank, the Gunners man forged a good partnership alongside Jack Wilshere, a combination which will have another game to grow thanks to Arsenal's injuries in the centre of the pitch.
With Brighton seeing off Newcastle in the last round and Arsenal already suffering cup humilation at the hands of Bradford in the Capital One Cup, both sides will be ready for the test that awaits them. The Gunners have been guilty of starting slowly in recent weeks and, if they want to win at the Amex with minimum fuss, it is imperative that they begin on the front foot. Expect an open exciting game with Arsenal's quality proving the difference over 90 minutes.
Times In GMT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed