Brighton v Arsenal: Martinelli, Auba and Saka all to start!

by Bulldog Drummond.

And so the predictions sally forth…

Sports Mole offer us


Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney;

Xhaka, Ceballos;

Pepe, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang;



I can see that one working with Martinelli replacing Auba on the hour, as Auba tires or continues to look out of sorts.

The Evening Standard tell us that “The match will not be shown on TV in the UK” which I think is a rather pedantic definition of the phrase “on TV”.   They don’t give us a team prediction, but they do have this wonderful sentence: “Only time will tell whether they are or not, but they certainly deserve the chance to prove they can be.”

And I am sure we all agree with that.

The Sun, going one further, or perhaps two back, come up with “Brighton vs Arsenal FREE”.  So this must be a new team I suppose, Arsenal Federated Reserves and Excitable Enfants.   Although they do say a little later, “The game is available on Amazon Prime Video for FREE, so long as you sign up to their 30-day free trial.”  So that’s ok then.

The Sun’s line up is


Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney;

Elneny, Xhaka,

Smith Rowe, Lacazette, Saka


WhoScored has managed to put together an Arsenal team for this match which is in every statistical regard inferior to the Brighton team that they select.  Which is quite an achievement.  But then they don’t separate out home and away games, so they do get funny numbers.  Here is their Arsenal team


Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney;

Ceballos, Xhaka,

Saka, Smith Rowe, Martinelli


That most certainly is exciting in that it includes Martinelli, Saka and Auba all starting, which is quite something.

But they then do a statistical comparison with Brighton, using of course their own statistics (as I say, not taking home and away differences into account) and they reach the conclusion that Brighton will score twice as many goals as Arsenal.  Even though as we showed yesterday, Arsenal away, score more and concede fewer than Brighton at home.

They go on to suggest that Brighton’s player ratings, goals, average age, average height, aerial duel success, dribbling ability and tackling ability are all superior to Arsenal’s!

The one thing they omit to say is that up to last weekend Brighton had committed 35 more fouls than Arsenal.  Funny they don’t mention that.   They do however say that “Brighton will be shown a high number of cards,” which is interesting because the stats show that they get far fewer cards per foul than Arsenal.  Arsenal commit 6.31 fouls to get a yellow card.  Brighton take 8.75 fouls to get a yellow.  (Those are Untold  statistics based on official figures, not WhoScored figures.)

Their two top tips for man of the match are both Brighton players: Bissouma and Webster, and the most likely score is a 3-1 home win.  Again it will be interesting  to see.

Moving on Squawaka offer us a team of


Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney;

Xhaka, Elneny;

Saka, Smith Rowe, Martinelli;



So what it comes down to, is picking a front four out of Smith Rowe, Lacazette, Saka, Aubameyang, Martinelli, Pepe.

A win won’t take us into the top half of the table – but it will edge us a bit further forward.  A defeat against a team that has not won at home all season, and which is worse than any other club at home except Sheffield United, will make life rather difficult for Mr Arteta.

14 Replies to “Brighton v Arsenal: Martinelli, Auba and Saka all to start!”

  1. Leno;

    Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney;

    Xhaka, Elneny;

    Saka, Smith Rowe, Martinelli


  2. From the Arsenal FC starting lineup vs Brighton & HA PL match taking place at the Amex Stadium today, I can see that Mikel Arteta has returned the Gunners captain PE Aubameyang to the Arsenal starting XI for the match.

    Since Auba is the Arsenal skipper and an automatic starter, but when he’s fit, in-form and not facing any match suspensions, it’s therefore the correct decision taken by the Arsenal manager to return him to the team after he has recovered from his injury to start the match. But unfortunately though, Auba’s return to start has led to the Arsenal highest goals scorer of the season so far (6) Lacazette being benched for the match. A kind of one man’s food has become another man’s poison for Laca today. But all the same, Arteta could introduce him into the match at anytime in the game.

    Arsenal should be careful to not fall to N Maupay’s trouble making instigation antics today. A trouble making instigation that he did last season to Arsenal outcast Mateo Guendouzi, which further heightened his already ill-manner behaviour at Arsenal that finally saw him temporarily got exiled from the club last summer.

    The perception within us the Gooners are having is, the Gunners will build on the match win gain that they deservingly got on Boxing Day against Chelsea at the Ems in the PL by obtaining another PL match win against the Seagull tonight.

  3. Atkinson is totally blatant. I hate the professional anti Arsenal Northern Bastard

    Someone mentioned that could have been Red for Xhaka Roles reversed and I agree.

  4. Selective vision from a PGMOL cheat and a commentator that is yet to pass kinder garten let alone language lessons is not doing much for the game.

    VAR not doing a thing as far as penalty box incident, because Atkinson couldn’t see clear & obvious if it bit his arse.

    THe stamp on Xhaka was a revist for a red if ever there was one but not in this game!!!

    ElNeney is wasted in defense if he is not allowed to pass long. He gets passed the ball when it should go forward to the wing and is put under undue pressure.

  5. Goal made by Saka…on another point…welcome to the big leagues, Emile!! Brighton are taking turns wacking him.

  6. Atkionson gets a bonus for not red carding some nasty fouls on Arsenal players. Xhaka gets 2 red card offences on his spine but that is selective not seen. Saka gets a kick or a stamp in the Arsenal box and that is not seen nor is it ‘looked at’ by VAR.

    The rushed kick to Lacazette at the corner flag is a certain red card to any other player but not an issue for VAR.

    0-1 to the Arsenal but more importantly it is 3 more points.

  7. Well done lads. Much better second half. I’m always nervous but really we were never in trouble that 2nd half and should of scored another.

    Why that 1st half though?

    never mind, I’m going to crack another and enjoy the win.


  8. important win to get us a bit higher op the table. Let us hope we can build on this and start a decent run from now on. But please Mikel stop playing that slow football at the back. It could have cost us today.

  9. The referee is supposed to be responsible for the safety of the players during the game and yet Atkinson, regarded as the most experienced and competent of the PGMOL crop, appears completely incapable of recognizing and dealing with dangerous tackles and serious foul play. One day his incompetence will result in serious injury to some poor player, if it hasn’t happened already.
    Today he failed to act and punish a nasty challenge on Xhaka which could have broken his ankle and he failed to protect Saka who was subjected to rotational fouling throughout the game. I fear he is going to end up like Jack Wilshere unless he gets more protection from the cloggers.
    Atkinson is an embarrassment to his profession.
    Anyway a well deserved win and Brighton got what they deserved. Nothing.

  10. WOO HOO , HOO ! A great win , and a clean sheet to boot. Hope we maintain this to win again this weekend and move up the table.

    Hope the Leeds battering of WBA , works for us too !

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