Arsenal travel to Brighton on Boxing Day with the intention of building from their 3-1 win over Burnley on Saturday.
Two goals from Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and another from Alex Iwobi helped them to three more points at the Emirates following back-to-back defeats against Southampton and Tottenham, the latter coming in the Carabao Cup .
Although home boss Unai Emery may have one eye on Saturday’s trip to Liverpool, he will appreciate this encounter requires vigilance, despite the Seagulls’ current three-match losing streak.
|Game||Brighton vs Arsenal|
|Date||Wednesday, December 26|
|Time||5:30pm GMT / 12:30pm ET|
|Stream (US)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|NBCSN||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be shown live on Sky Sports Main Event and can be streamed on the Sky Go app.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Sky Sports Premier League||Sky Go|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Ryan, Steele, Button|
|Defenders||Bruno, Bong, Duffy, Balogun, Schelotto, Montoya, Suttner, Bernardo|
|Midfielders||Stephens, Kayal, Bissouma, Knockaert, Gross, March, Propper|
|Forwards||Locadia, Andone, Jahanbakhsh, Murray, Izquierdo, Andone|
Lewis Dunk is banned for the home side but on the whole they will have a strong squad to select from for this clash.
Brighton starting XI: Ryan; Montoya, Balogun, Duffy, Bernardo; Stephens; Locadia, Gross, Propper, March; Murray
|Goalkeepers||Leno, Cech, Martinez|
|Defenders||Bellerin, Lichtsteiner, Koscielny, Monreal, Kolasinac, Jenkinson, Mustafi, Sokratis|
|Midfielders||Mkhitaryan, Torreira, Xhaka, Iwobi, Guendouzi, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Ozil|
|Forwards||Aubameyang, Smith Rowe, Nketiah, Lacazette|
Arsenal have numerous defensive headaches, with Nacho Monreal forced off at the weekend with what head coach Unai Emery has classed as a “precautionary” measure. The full-back will miss this encounter.
Laurent Koscielny returns, but Shkodran Mustafi misses out with a hamstring problem.
Rob Holding (knee), Konstantinos Mavropanos (groin), and Hector Bellerin (calf) are all out.
Arsenal starting XI: Leno; Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Koscielny, Kolasinac; Torreira, Xhaka, Guendouzi; Aubameyang, Ozil, Lacazette
Betting & Match Odds
Aresnal are strong 13/20 favourites at bet365 . Brighton are at 9/2 while a draw is 13/5.
Unai Emery was forced to defend his Arsenal players on Saturday following claims made by Burnley boss Sean Dyche that they had persistently dived , but the crucial thing for the Spaniard was that his side won three points .
Following losses against Southampton and Tottenham, the Gunners responded with a victory over the Clarets, but it was not easy to come by in what was a physical encounter.
“It was a tough match like we expected, and we are happy with this victory,” he reflected.
“Physicality is part of football and you need to be physically strong. Both teams needed to impose themselves physically and with quality. We imposed our game plan in our moment and this victory is a consequence of this and we are pleased with this.”
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang proved to be the difference between the teams, with the Gabon international scoring twice to take him to the summit of the Premier League scoring charts.
Once again, though, it was Mesut Ozil who caught the headlines , with the playmaker handed the captain’s armband, despite his inability to hold down a regular starting berth.
“He played very well, very well,” Emery said but refused to confirm whether the German will start on Boxing Day.
“We want a result like today. Today we won, tomorrow we have off, Monday we will prepare for the match on Wednesday at Brighton.”
The Seagulls have lost their last three in the Premier League but sit nine points clear of the drop zone as the halfway point of the season approaches so there is little need for panic.
Despite the 2-0 loss against Bournemouth on Saturday , manager Chris Hughton was more than satisfied with what he saw.
“I was really pleased with our performance, particularly in the first half. It was tough to come in at the break 1-0 down but it's about making sure you take your chances,” he said.
Indeed, he was keen to look ahead to the Boxing Day clash with a sense of optimism.
“These are the types of games we have worked incredibly hard to be involved in,” he said, speaking of his team’s tough festive programme.
“When they come about you can't fear them. It's very difficult as manager to look forward to those type of games, because you know the magnitude of them, but we have proved we can get a result in any game.
“They are the challenges we have and we'll continue to have those challenges.”