All the signs are pointing towards a draw in Brighton’s Premier League opener against Burnley. In the past 11 meetings, Brighton and Burnley have cancelled each other out in eight of them.
Graham Potter vs Sean Dyche
Graham Potter has yet to taste defeat at the hands of Sean Dyche, winning one and drawing his other three Premier League games against the Turf Moor side.
Brighton’s only win in that run came in Potter’s first season as the Seagulls’ manager away at Turf Moor, on the last day of the 2019/20 Premier League campaign.
Yves Bissouma’s powerful long-range strike opened the scoring before Aaron Connolly got the winner after former Brighton striker Chris Wood’s equaliser just before half-time.
This also secured Brighton’s best-ever Premier League points tally of 41, which they equalled last season when they finished two points and two places ahead of Burnley who finished up in 17th.
This coming from a Burnley side that broke a run of 458 minutes in which Brighton hadn’t conceded a goal in February this year in a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor.
The worry for Burnley is that they only scored 33 goals last term, the fewest in the Premier League, when you exclude relegated Fulham and Sheffield United.
Bissouma, 24, was a hugely impressive performer in the Premier League last season and was widely expected to depart this summer, with Liverpool, Man City and Real Madrid all said to be keen.
The Mali international has however enjoyed a full pre-season and featured in all the friendly matches against Rangers, Luton Town and Getafe.
“I seem to have been speaking about Yves Bissouma for quite sometime,” said Potter, when asked if his key man will be an Albion player by the end of the transfer window.
“But he’s still here. I can’t control the future. Yves is with us, he’s happy and smiling, he wants to play and keep on improving his career. He’s our player and while he’s here we will do our best to help him.”
Brighton team news
Danny Welbeck (hamstring), Tariq Lamptey (hamstring), Dan Burn (knee) and Moises Caicedo (knee) are all set to miss the trip to Turf Moor.
Lamptey has been out since last December and is expected to return after the first international break in September. South African striker Percy Tau, who didn’t play in the final pre-season against Getafe, is also expected to miss Burnley as he continues to be linked with a move away.
Shane Duffy, who had a tough time on loan at Celtic last season, will be in the matchday squad at Burnley, as Potter looks to fill the defensive void after Ben White’s £50m exit to Arsenal.
Brighton's main signing this summer is Zambia international midfielder Enock Mwepu who joined from Red Bull Salzburg for £20m.
The athletic six-foot midfielder is coming off the back of an impressive season, in which he made 45 appearances, scoring 10 and assisting seven. Excellent attacking contributions from a player more revered for his ball-winning abilities.
Nicknamed ‘The Computer’ for his skill in reading the game, Mwepu combines brains with brawn, displaying tenacity and a high work rate, making him adept in winning back possession for his side.
Alongside his good defensive qualities, fast feet and composure means Brighton’s new man isn’t easily flustered by opposition pressing, standing him in good stead when the Seagulls face off against the bigger sides in the league, who will look to press high to win the ball back quickly.
Mwepu gave Seagulls fans a glimpse into his tireless work rate and willingness to get forward in their pre-season friendly against Luton Town, finding the net in a 3-1 win. A hard-working box-to-box midfielder with experience in the Champions League, Enock Mwepu looks to have the tools to leave a mark in the Premier League.
Burnley's main threat
They have a clear way of playing and have done it to great success in pre-season, albeit against lower-league opposition (writes Ryan Moran). With a striking unit of Jay Rodriguez, Wood and Ashley Barnes especially. They thrive in wide areas where players like Dwight McNeil lift the ball for their obvious aerial threat.
McNeil has looked in fine form, notching two assists in pre-season. He has looked confident at taking on the full back, delivering a dangerous cross and even adding a goal against Tranmere to his armoury.
The Clarets have added defender Nathan Collins from Stoke City and Wayne Hennessey joined on a free transfer having left Crystal Palace at the end of last season.
Nick Pope made his first pre-season appearance after knee surgery in their 2-0 defeat to Cadiz on August 7.
Burnley’s top scorer last term was Wood with 12 goals in 33 appearances. He only returned from the Olympics with New Zealand in time for the Cadiz game and will likely play a part in their final pre-season game, a training ground friendly on August 10, ready for Saturday.
How to watch Brighton vs Burnley
Burnley v Brighton will kick off at 3pm. The game has not been selected for broadcast in the UK as not every match will be shown live on TV now that fans are allowed into stadiums. Match highlights will be available to watch on Match of the Day every Saturday night. Albion's opening fixture will not be shown on any live streaming platforms in the UK.
Check out Match of the Day and Match of the Day 2 on iPlayer as well as teams’ official YouTube channels.