Brighton entered Saturday's contest against Chelsea in buoyant mood after back-to-back wins in their previous two matches over AEK Athens and Nottingham Forest helped the Seagulls extend their unbeaten run to seven games in all competitions.
However, De Zerbi's depleted squad was unable to register a third win on the bounce as they suffered a 3-2 defeat at Stamford Bridge, despite boasting 68% possession, nine shots on target and playing the entire second half with an extra man following Conor Gallagher's first-half dismissal.
Brighton, who remain eighth in the Premier League table and seven points adrift of the top four, have now scored in each of their last 30 top-flight matches, while they have both scored and conceded in each of their previous 18 league fixtures – their longest such run in the competition.
A run of three successive home games is up next for Brighton, with an important Europa League group-stage encounter with Marseille taking place after back-to-back Premier League clashes with Brentford and Burnley, fixtures that De Zerbi and co will be targeting maximum points from in their quest to climb back into the top seven.
Success on Wednesday is not a given, though, as Brighton have drawn each of their last three home matches during an unbeaten five-game run on the South coast, while they failed to win both home and away fixtures with Brentford last season, playing out an entertaining 3-3 draw on home soil in April.
Following back-to-back defeats without scoring against Liverpool and Arsenal, Brentford returned to winning ways when they beat Luton Town 3-1 on home soil last weekend – their fifth Premier League win of the season.
After an uneventful first half, Neal Maupay and Ben Mee put the Bees two goals in front in the first 11 minutes of the second half, before Jacob Brown pulled one back for the visitors 15 minutes from time to set up a nervy finish. However, substitute Shandon Baptiste restored Brentford's two-goal cushion on the 81-minute mark and the hosts held on for maximum points.
Thomas Frank has heaped praise on his side's "very complete performance" in a "well-deserved" victory, and although Brentford remain 11th in the Premier League table, level on points with Chelsea in 10th, they are only five points adrift of the European positions and three behind Brighton in eighth heading into the festive period.
Brentford enter Wednesday's clash having only won one of their last five Premier League matches – a 2-0 triumph at Chelsea in October – but it is worth noting that the three games that they lost during this run were against Newcastle United, Manchester United and Liverpool, while they also played out a 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest who have turned the City Ground into somewhat of a fortress since their promotion to the top flight two seasons ago.
The Bees have also won only one of their previous five midweek fixtures in the Premier League as well as just two of their last nine visits to Brighton, but the aforementioned draw with the Seagulls last season should provide them with confidence of claiming another positive result on Wednesday.
Brighton duo Lewis Dunk and Mahmoud Dahoud will serve the final game of their respective two and three-match suspensions in midweek, while Ansu Fati, Tariq Lamptey, Pervis Estupinan (all thigh), Solly March (knee), Julio Enciso (both knee) and Danny Welbeck (muscle) all remain in the treatment room.
Wednesday's game will likely come too soon for Adam Webster (knock), so Igor Julio and Jan Paul van Hecke are set to continue at centre-back, while James Milner could replace Jack Hinshelwood at left-back.
Joao Pedro - who scored his 10th goal of the season against Chelsea last weekend - Kaoru Mitoma and Pascal Gross all began on the substitutes' bench against Chelsea, but the Seagulls trio will be pushing to start against Brentford and could replace Adam Lallana, Buonanotte and Carlos Baleba respectively.
As for Brentford, Rico Henry (knee), Aaron Hickey (thigh), Kevin Schade (groin) and Nathan Collins (ankle) all remain sidelined along with suspended duo Ivan Toney and Christian Norgaard, the latter of whom will serve a one-match ban due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
Mathias Jensen, Josh Dasilva (both thigh) and Mikkel Damsgaard (knee) are all closing in on a return, but Wednesday's game may come too soon for the trio, while Kristoffer Ajer will be assessed after pulling out of the first XI shortly before kickoff in the win over Luton due to a foot problem.
Saman Ghoddos could continue as a makeshift right-back if Ajer is not deemed fit to start, with midfielder Vitaly Janelt set to operate on the left side of defence once again, while Baptiste will be pushing to start in the engine room ahead of the suspended Norgaard.
Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Verbruggen; Veltman, Van Hecke, Igor, Milner; Gilmour, Gross; Adingra, Pedro, Mitoma; Ferguson
Brentford possible starting lineup:
Flekken; Ajer, Mee, Pinnock, Janelt; Onyeka, Baptiste, Yarmolyuk; Mbeumo, Maupay, Wissa
We say: Brighton & Hove Albion 2-2 Brentford
Although both Brighton and Brentford are having to cope without a number of first-team regulars, the two teams will be confident in their own abilities to navigate their way towards maximum points on Wednesday.
The Seagulls will be regarded as slight favourites, but there is little to separate these two sides and we believe that they will ultimately cancel each other out in an entertaining score draw.
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