Brighton will aim to build on their impressive victory against Tottenham Hotspur as they travel to Aston Villa on Saturday.
It’s rarely easy to prepare your team after the international break but Graham Potter’s men should go to Villa Park full of confidence after their 3-0 triumph last time out.
It was a crucial win for Brighton, not only in terms of points but also for their confidence. Other than their defeat at Chelsea, Albion had been playing well under Potter’s new formation but their points tally remained low despite their displays. Albion are 14th in the Premier League table on nine points from their first eight matches.
Aston Villa have also been in a similar situation and they too could easily have had a few more points on the board. Dean Smith’s men have adapted to life in the Premier League pretty well following their promotion from the Championship. Villa go into the clash on the back of a 5-1 win at injury-hit Norwich City last time out. They are just one place below Brighton in 15th with eight points from the first eight fixtures.
It maybe harsh or too early to call this a relegation battle – both teams have loftier ambitions – but it will certainly be a crucial clash for both at the lower end of the league table. A victory for either side would allow some breathing space between each other and the bottom three.
The two teams met last month in the Carabao Cup at the Amex Stadium and Smith’s men came on top with a 3-1 win. Brighton made numerous changes for the match and their team was predominately made up with players with from their under-23s and under-18s.
What time does Aston Villa vs Brighton kick off?
The match kicks-off at 3pm at Villa Park
Is the game on TV?
No. Highlights of the Aston Villa match will be on Match Of The Day at 10.30pm on Saturday evening.
What’s the team news?
Leandro Trossard is working his way back to fitness after a groin problem but this Saturday could be too soon for the Belgian. Shane Duffy has recovered from a calf injury and played for the Republic of Ireland in the recent European qualifiers. Brighton will also hope to have Davy Propper (hamstring) available. Aaron Connolly will hope to keep his place in the starting XI after his two-goal man of the match display against Spurs.
Villa goalkeeper Tom Heaton, who withdrew from the England squad for Euro 2020 qualifiers in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria through injury, is expected to feature. Jonathan Kodjia has recovered from ankle and cheekbone injuries.
Who is the referee?
Referee: David Coote. Assistants: Stuart Burt, Nicholas Hopton. Fourth official: Geoff Eltringham. VAR: Martin Atkinson. Assistant VAR: Constantine Hatzidakis
What are the odds?
Aston Villa are 11/8 to take all three points, with Albion 19/10. A draw is available at 23/10.
A 1-1 is the favoured scoreline at 6/1, with a 2-1 Villa or 1-0 Villa at 9/1. A 2-1 victory for the Albion is at 11/1 or a 3-1 to Brighton is 22/1.
Jack Grealish to score first for Villa is 14/1 and Pascal Gross is at 12/1. Dan Burn is an outside bet for Brighton at 33-1, while no goalscorer can be had at 10/1.