UPDATE: This match has been called off following the news that Mikel Arteta has contracted Corona Virus.
See the full statement from Arsenal here:
View this post on Instagram
Our London Colney training centre has been closed after head coach Mikel Arteta received a positive COVID-19 result this evening.⠀ ⠀ Arsenal personnel who had recent close contact with Mikel will now self-isolate in line with Government health guidelines. We expect this to be a significant number of people from Colney, including the full first-team squad and coaching staff, as well as a smaller number of people from our Hale End Academy which we have also temporarily closed as a precaution. ⠀ ⠀ We expect those who did not have close contact with Mikel to return to work in the coming days. In the meantime our Colney and Hale End training centres will undergo a deep clean and our other club sites are operating as normal. ⠀ ⠀ Managing director Vinai Venkatesham said: “The health of our people and the wider public is our priority and that is where our focus is. Our thoughts are with Mikel who is disappointed but in good spirits. We are in active dialogue with all the relevant people to manage this situation appropriately, and we look forward to getting back to training and playing as soon as medical advice allows.” ⠀ ⠀ Head of football Raul Sanllehi added: “Mikel and the full first-team squad, players and staff, will be fully supported, and we look forward to getting back to training and playing as soon as medical advice allows. Obviously Mikel’s full recovery is the priority now for us all.” ⠀ ⠀ We will work with Public Health England on the next steps in regard to our facilities and staff, and with the Premier League, Football Association and relevant clubs around our forthcoming matches in the Premier League and Emirates FA Cup. ⠀ ⠀ It is clear we will not be able to play some fixtures on their currently scheduled dates. We will update supporters who have tickets for forthcoming games with more information as soon as possible.⠀ ⠀ We are now working to trace any other people who have had recent close contact with Mikel. We will let them know what has happened and they should follow the NHS guidance which is likely to recommend self-isolation.
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Brighton vs Arsenal prediction: Brighton 1-2 Arsenal
It’s been a weird week for Arsenal.
On Wednesday, they were supposed to take on Manchester City but that was postponed at the 11th hour due to coronavirus fears.
So, assuming this one goes ahead, the Gunners will be looking to continue their unbeaten league run in 2020.
Brighton & Hove Albion, in complete contrast, are yet to win a game in any competition since the turn of the year.
Unsurprisingly, that means Graham Potter’s side have real relegation worries.
Will both records come to an end at the Amex?
Highlights of Arsenal 1-2 Brighton & Hove Albion
Highlights of Arsenal 1-0 West Ham United
Highlights of Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Arsenal: Who will win?
Hosts Brighton & Hove Albion are the underdogs to win this game at 2/1.
Arsenal are 13/10 to win a Premier League game at Brighton for the first time at the third attempt.
A draw is 12/5.
Over 2.5 goals is 5/6.
Both teams to score is 8/13.
Arsenal to win and both teams to score is 3/1.
Neal Maupay is Brighton’s top scorer. The Frenchman is 9/2 to open the scoring and 9/5 to add to his tally.
Glenn Murray could also be a danger man. The 36 year old is 5/1 to score first and 15/8 to net anytime.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang meanwhile has only scored 15 less Premier League goals than Brighton. The Gabonese international is 14/5 to break the deadlock and 21/20 to add to his tally.
Nicolas Pépé will also start. He’s 17/2 to score first and 16/5 to score anytime.
Leandro Trossard and Maupay to both score is 12/1.
Aaron Mooy and Maupay to both score is 20/1.
Eddie Nketiah and Aubameyang to both score is 11/2.
Mesut Özil and Pépé to both score is 33/1.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Arsenal: Match preview
Will Brighton survive?
Last weekend, they drew 0-0 at Wolves.
This should come as no surprise.
Seven of the last nine league meetings between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Brighton & Hove Albion at Molineux have ended as draws.
This now includes back to back goalless draws in the Premier League.
However, that does now mean Graham Potter’s side still have not won in 2020, a run that now includes ten games.
In that time, they have also drawn with Chelsea, Aston Villa, West Ham, Watford and Sheffield United.
But, draws might not be enough to see them survive.
The Seagulls are currently 15th in the table but are only two points above Bournemouth who are in the relegation zone.
Given this, and the fact they’ve won only twice since 2 November, Brighton fans are fearing relegation.
Although, one of those wins was at Arsenal in early December.
That day, Adam Webster and Neal Maupay struck on a famous night in London.
That was one of just seven away wins Brighton have enjoyed in their 53 Premier League away matches.
They are much harder to beat at the Amex with only Southampton, Sheffield United, Leicester and Crystal Palace leaving their victorious.
Will Brighton’s winless 2020 run finally end?
An away win for Arsenal?
As for Arsenal, they are the only side yet to lose a Premier League game in 2020.
Although, they made hard work of last weekend’s win over West Ham.
In the first half of that game they failed to record a single shot on target in the first half of a Premier League game at the Emirates Stadium for the first time since January 2019, attempting only three shots in total in the first 45.
Things did not vastly improve after the break either but they did get that crucial goal.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s deflected shot found Mesut Özil who cushioned a header across to Alexandre Lacazette who smashed home.
Initially, Özil was adjudged to be offside but, after a very long VAR review, goal given.
1-0 it finished.
That actually made it three league wins in a row following home victories over Newcastle and Everton, 4-0 and 3-2 respectively.
Mikel Arteta’s side are down in ninth but only five points adrift of fifth place which could be crucial come the end of the season.
They’re are also still alive in the FA Cup.
Arsenal began the month with a 2-0 win at Portsmouth; Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Eddie Nketiah scoring either side of half time.
Their next game after this one is a quarter-final tie against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
There is still a lot to play for for Arsenal so will they continue their winning run at Brighton?
Brighton & Hove Albion team news vs Arsenal
Despite their underwhelming form, Graham Potter is not likely to make too many changes to his XI.
Mat Ryan, as always, will be in goal.
The back four in front of him is likely to be unchanged too.
Adam Webster, who scored in the reverse fixture, and Lewis Dunk will continue with Shane Duffy left out.
6 ft 7 in (201 cm) Dan Burn will continue at left-back with Martín Montoya likely to keep his place over Ezequiel Schelotto and Steven Alzate on the other flank.
Tariq Lamptey is still awaiting his debut.
In midfield, they have options.
Yves Bissouma and Davy Pröpper are both likely to start as well as Aaron Mooy with the Aussie in a more advances role.
Beram Kayal, Pascal Groß, Dale Stephens and Alexis Mac Allister are the other options.
The latter finally made his Brighton debut off the bench last weekend having spent the first half of the season on loan at Superliga Argentina champions Boca Juniors.
Out-wide, likewise it’s likely to be Leandro Trossard and Solly March again.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh will be left in reserve; José Izquierdo is injured.
Up front, Neal Maupay is likely to lead the line despite having only scored once in his last 12 appearances.
Glenn Murray could be key off the bench though.
Will Brighton get a much needed win?
Arsenal team news vs Brighton & Hove Albion
As for Arsenal, after an unexpected week without a game, Mikel Arteta has, almost, a fully-fit squad to choose from.
Goalkeeper Bernd Leno is one of just two Premier League goalkeepers to have made over 100 saves this season.
In defence is where they have the majority of their absentees.
Cédric is still yet to make his debut, Sead Kolašinac and Kieran Tierney are close to being back and Calum Chambers is unlikely to play in 2020.
Shkodran Mustafi is also a doubt.
So, January arrival Pablo Marí is likely to continue alongside David Luiz at centre-back with highly-promising Bukayo Saka on the left.
The only question mark remains at right-back.
Héctor Bellerín is continuing to nurse a groin injury and his natural deputy, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, is massively out of favour.
So, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, a centre back by trade, is expected to continue at right back.
In midfield, Lucas Torreira is unlikely to play again this season after sustaining an ankle injury at Portsmouth.
Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos look to be the first-choice duo right now with no place for Mattéo Guendouzi or Joe Willock.
Further forward, Nicolas Pépé and Mesut Özil are both off form although the latter did get his second assist of the season last weekend.
Both are likely to keep their place with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the left.
Through the middle, all seven of Alexandre Lacazette’s Premier League goals this season have come at the Emirates, the best 100% home record this season.
His goal came as a substitute and he’s likely to be one again with Eddie Nketiah starting for the fifth domestic game in a row.
Gabriel Martinelli will also be on the bench.
Will this XI be too strong for Brighton?
Predicted Brighton & Hove Albion line-up vs Arsenal
Predicted Arsenal line-up vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Highlights of Sheffield United 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Highlights of Brighton & Hove Albion 1-1 Watford
Highlights of West Ham United 3-3 Brighton & Hove Albion
Highlights of Portsmouth 0-2 Arsenal
Highlights of Arsenal 3-2 Everton
Highlights of Arsenal 4-0 Newcastle United
All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.
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Premier League table:
|15||Brighton & Hove Albion||29||6||11||12||32||40||-8||29|
|16||West Ham United||29||7||6||16||35||50||-15||27|