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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Aston Villa and Brighton & Hove Albion, including predictions, team news and form guide.

Two sides that have experienced contrasting starts to the 2020-21 Premier League campaign meet on Saturday afternoon as Aston Villa play host to Brighton & Hove Albion.

Villa beat Arsenal 3-0 last time out to move within three points of top spot with a game in hand to play, while Brighton have one win from eight and are in relegation danger.


Match preview

Aston Villa's Ross Barkley celebrates scoring against Leicester City in the Premier League on October 18, 2020© Reuters

Two months into the season and Villa have already defeated Liverpool 7-2 at home and Arsenal 3-0 away in what is shaping up to be a truly memorable campaign for the club.

The win at the Emirates Stadium two weeks ago came on the back of successive defeats - to Leeds United and Southampton - with many predicting the wheels had already fallen off.

If that latest famous victory in North London is anything to go by, however, then Dean Smith's men may just be able to challenge for a European spot this season.

To put their form in some context, they have five wins from seven games and have scored 18 goals, whereas last season it took them 19 games to reach five wins and 13 games to score 18 times.

Villa's form is in stark contrast to that of Brighton, who have earned praise for their style of play under Graham Potter but have struggled to find the results to match it.

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Graham Potter watches on during his side's EFL Cup match on September 23, 2020© Reuters

The goalless draw with Burnley last time out sums things up nicely for the Seagulls, who bossed possession and had 19 shots without finding a way past Nick Pope.

Potter is not oblivious to the fact that results are ultimately the most important thing in this game, with Brighton hovering just three points above the dropzone.

Albion are now winless in their last six league outings, drawing three and losing three, but 12 of their last 15 top-flight points have been won in away matches.

That provides them with a bit of hope heading into this weekend's trip to the West Midlands, though they have never managed to beat the Villans in 12 away attempts.

In fact, Brighton have lost all five of their top-flight meetings at Villa Park, including a 2-1 loss when the sides last met there in October 2019.

Aston Villa Premier League form: WWWLLW
Aston Villa form (all competitions): LWWLLW

Brighton & Hove Albion Premier League form: LLDDLD
Brighton & Hove Albion form (all competitions): LLDDLD


Team News

Jack Grealish warms up for Aston Villa on October 18, 2020© Reuters

Smith will be reluctant to make any changes on the back of his side's victory over Arsenal, especially having found his favoured XI - no team has made fewer changes to their starting lineups this term.

A number of players have been away on international duty, with Jack Grealish starting three games for England in a little over a week, but no injuries have been reported.

Incidentally, Grealish has scored in each of his last four appearances against Brighton in all competitions, netting in all three meetings last season.

As for the visitors, skipper Lewis Dunk is back from a three-match suspension and will almost certainly slot into the backline, with Joel Veltman the most likely to make way.

Solly March is pushing to be fit and, if that is the case, he should get the nod over Dan Burn at left wing-back.

In attack, Neal Maupay is back in favour again and will be looking to build on a return of four goals in seven Premier League appearances this season.

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Luiz, McGinn; Trezeguet, Barkley, Grealish; Watkins

Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Sanchez; Webster, Dunk, Burn; Lamptey, White, Bissouma, March; Lallana, Trossard; Maupay


SM words green background

We say: Aston Villa 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

The international break may have come at a good time for Brighton, giving Potter's men a chance to regroup after five games without a win.

Even accounting for back-to-back defeats to Southampton and Leeds, Villa have been superb this campaign and will be looking to pick up from where they left off this weekend.

On the basis of the form book, and Brighton's losing streak at Villa Park, we can only see this game ending one way.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data



Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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

Aston Villa
Draw
Brighton
Aston Villa
76.4%
Draw
14.8%
Brighton
8.8%
411
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Jack Grealish warms up for Aston Villa on October 18, 2020
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Tottenham HotspurSpurs96212191220
2Liverpool96212116520
3Chelsea953122101218
4Leicester CityLeicester96031812618
5Southampton95221713417
6Everton95131916316
7Aston Villa85031911815
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham94231510514
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves9423910-114
10Manchester UnitedMan Utd84131314-113
11Crystal Palace94141213-113
12Arsenal9414910-113
13Manchester CityMan City83321011-112
14Leeds UnitedLeeds93241417-311
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle93241015-511
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton92341315-29
17Burnley8125412-85
18Fulham9117918-94
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom9036618-123
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd9018415-111

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