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Premier League leaders Arsenal begin what promises to be a serious examination of their title credentials on New Year’s Eve, travelling to a ground where they have won just once in their last five top flight trips. Indeed, Brighton will be looking to make it three wins over the Gunners in the calendar year, having won at the Emirates Stadium in the league and EFL Cup.
Perhaps most notably of all if Brighton avoid defeat they will find themselves still members of an exclusive club. Just three teams have beaten Arsenal more often than they have lost to them in Premier League history: Manchester United, Liverpool and the Seagulls. Here is how you can watch the match and what you need to know:
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- Date: Saturday, Dec. 31 | Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Amex Stadium, Falmer, United Kingdom
- TV: NBC | Live stream: fuboTV (free trial)
- Odds: Brighton +240; Draw +250; Arsenal +110 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Arsenal
Brighton: Ahead of his 10th Premier League game in charge there are signs that Roberto De Zerbi has got to grips with things at the Amex after being thrust in at the deep end when Graham Potter left for Chelsea. After going winless in his first five he has seen Brighton win three since and they returned from the lengthy international break in style, thrashing Southampton on Boxing Day. It seems the Seagulls have moved on from their manager in the same way they did Yves Bissouma, Ben White and Marc Cucurella, with ease.
“I still speak to some of the players, and they say it’s been an easy transition, but I knew that would be the case because the club is run like no other really,” said former Brighton midfielder Steve Sidwell. “Everything is aligned and led by great people, who know the club inside out. That has no doubt helped the players hit the ground running, but it will also help the young players hoping to break through as there’s an identity that runs right through the club.”
Arsenal: Mikel Arteta’s side proved once more on Boxing Day that at something approximating full strength — only Gabriel Jesus was missing from their regular Premier League XI — they can dominate their opponents. The question is whether they can keep those players rolling out in a hectic winter schedule. January 3 brings the visit of Newcastle to the Emirates Stadium with Tottenham and Manchester United to come on the other side of the FA Cup third round.
No wonder Arsenal are keen to do business quickly with talks ongoing to sign Mykhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk. “We are going to be active and active means we are looking to strengthen the team,” said Arteta earlier this month. “This squad still doesn’t have the luxury of not maximising every single window. We have to do that because it’s really important. But then we have to get the right profile, it has to be the right player to take us to the next level. We will be in the market always active and we will assess the biggest opportunities that we have.”
Brighton are a tough nut to crack for Arsenal and that may well continue as 2022 comes to a disappointing end for the leaders. PICK: Brighton 1, Arsenal 1