MX23RW : Sunday, December 8 07:44:36| >> :600:4410854:4410854:
Oct 19, 2019 at 3pm UK at ​Villa Park
Attendance: 41,826
Aston Villa
BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion
Grealish (45'), Targett (94')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Webster (21')
Mooy (35')

Preview: Aston Villa vs. Brighton & Hove Albion - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Aston Villa's meeting with Brighton & Hove Albion, including predictions, team news and predicted lineups.

Aston Villa welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to the Midlands on Saturday afternoon for what promises to be a tight encounter.

The two sides have almost identical records after eight games, managing two wins and sitting just above the bottom three, meaning that victory would represent an important psychological boost early in the campaign.

Match preview

Wesley Moraes celebrates scoring for Aston Villa on October 5, 2019© Reuters

While many would have been surprised to see Villa come away with a 5-1 win over Norwich City at Carrow Road last time out, Dean Smith's players will strongly feel that the result serves as overdue reward for the work they have put in since August.

Two goals from new signing Wesley, combined with a performance hallmarked by sheer pace, highlighted how this Villa team can look comfortable at this level when all of its moving parts are working.

Having deservedly lost three of their opening four games, Villa's performances contained greater purpose and intensity during the next four, as seen most pertinently in an agonising last-minute 3-2 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates.

However, Villa will need to complement that requisite intensity with cutting edge in the final third if they are to stay up, placing extra importance on Wesley and John McGinn, two signings who have already looked sharp, alongside the captain Jack Grealish.

The Villans have an excellent chance to further boost their confidence in the final third this weekend against a Brighton side which has only managed one win from its last nine away games in the league.

Brighton and Hove Albion's Aaron Connolly celebrates scoring their third goal as Tottenham Hotspur's Paulo Gazzaniga looks dejected on October 5, 2019© Reuters

Brighton's last outing, a convincing 3-0 win over a poor Tottenham Hotspur side, was similar to Villa in the sense that it arrived at a time when results had not been going their way.

Having failed to win since the opening day of the season, the Seagulls went about their business against Mauricio Pochettino's side like a team with nothing to lose, setting in motion a physical, tactically astute performance.

The dynamic will change when they travel to Villa Park for a game which will no doubt contain fewer clear opportunities and one likely to be decided by fine margins.

New boss Graham Potter would have been encouraged by the killer instinct shown by youngster Aaron Connolly against Spurs, with the 19-year-old dovetailing impressively with Neal Maupay and producing two classy finishes.

This partnership up front is likely to be vital if Brighton are to gain a foothold against Villa in a game with a different feel compared to the assault on Spurs.

Recent Aston Villa form: LDLLDW
Recent Brighton & Hove Albion form: LDDLLW

Team News

Brighton and Hove Albion's Leandro Trossard celebrates scoring their first goal against West Ham on August 17, 2019© Reuters

Thomas Heaton, Bjorn Engels and Jonathan Kodjia all look set to make a return to the Brighton squad for this game after the trio resumed training over the international break.

Jose Peleteiro Ramallo, however, will not be back until next month following a hernia operation, while James Chester should return next week when the defender regains full match fitness.

Brighton must wait on the fitness of key forward Leandro Trossard, who picked up a groin injury prior earlier this month, although Davy Propper and Steven Alzate are expected to return to the squad.

Jose Izquierdo and Bernardo are the only long-term absentees, with both players carrying knee injuries. There is no timescale as to when they might return.

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Heaton; Guilbert, Engels, Mings, Targett; Nakamba, McGinn, Hourihane; Grealish, El Ghazi, Wesley

Brighton and Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Ryan; Montoya, Webster, Dunk, Burn; Stephens, Alzate, Mooy, Groß; Connolly, Maupay

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We say: Aston Villa 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

With just one point separating these sides in the table and both teams wary of the consequences of defeat, expect a cagey affair devoid of many opportunities at Villa Park this weekend, with space being minimised wherever it may present itself. A low scoring draw is therefore the most likely outcome.

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Who will win Saturday's Premier League clash between Aston Villa and Brighton & Hove Albion?

Aston Villa
Brighton & Hove Albion
Aston Villa
Brighton & Hove Albion
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Solly March in action for Brighton on August 12, 2019
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