Brighton vs Aston Villa – Pre-game Assessment

Steven Gerrard noted, in his preview of the upcoming trip to Brighton, that both teams find themselves languishing over their most recent games.  Brighton put an exclamation on their problems by losing 3-0 at home to Burnley, the Premier Leagues cellar dweller at the time.  Our Villans were hardly better, losing 1-0 to Watford at Villa Park.

It is interesting to note that this fixture, last year, resulted in a 0-0 draw and it was the last game Jack Grealish played before he went on his extended injury layoff.  Our Villans had been riding high and Brighton’s ability to derail our offense was very frustrating at the time.

Fast-forward to last November 20th, and Brighton were arriving at Villa Park for Gerrard’s inaugural game as Villa manager.  Going into the final ten minutes, this game had all the makings of another 0-0 result with Brighton dominating possession and pinning our Villans back on defense.

An inspired counterattack, with Ashley Young prominent and Ollie Watkins converting with a brilliant goal, led to a 2-0 win.

That now seems eons ago, as our boys have slipped back to our pre-Gerrard level.  Brighton, for their part, have repeatedly failed to convert possession into goals and have accumulated the most ties in the Premier League (12).

I am betting that history will repeat itself.  Brighton 0, Aston Villa 0.

UTV.

Likely Starting xi:

Brighton (4, 4, 2): Sanchez; Lamptey, Dunk, Webster, Cucurella; Lallana, Bissouma, Moder; Gross; Trossard, Maupay

Aston Villa (4, 3, 3): Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne, McGinn, Chambers, Ramsey, Chukwuemeka, Watkins, Coutinho

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