Encouraging teams news for Brighton and Hove Albion ahead of Arsenal

Brighton received a welcome boost this week as they prepare to host Arsenal for the Premier League clash at the Amex Stadium this Saturday.

Alexis Mac Allister will be in the match day squad once more after his brief but encouraging cameo at Wolves
Alexis Mac Allister will be in the match day squad once more after his brief but encouraging cameo at Wolves

Albion head coach Graham Potter reported no fresh injury concerns or illnesses as they continue their battle to maintain their Premier League status against Arsenal this Saturday.

Brighton's hard fought point at Wolves last Saturday places them two points above the drop zone with nine Premier League fixtures remaining.

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Arsenal have won their last three in the league but Brighton will hope to achieve the double against the Gunners, following their 2-1 win at the Emirates Stadium back in December.

It has been an unusual build-up to the match as clubs, the Premier League and the Government try to work out the best strategy for reducing the threat of coronavirus.

Top-flight leagues in Spain and Italy have been postponed, while Wednesday's game between Manchester City and Arsenal was postponed as a "precautionary measure".

Five Arsenal players were in self-isolation after meeting Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis.

As it stands the Premier League match will go ahead and it's a vital one for Brighton as they hope to pull away from the drop zone.

Alexis Mac Allister made his debut as a second half substitute at Wolves. The Argentina international produced an encouraging 10 minute cameo and Potter confirmed he will be included in the match day squad for Arsenal.

"You saw his qualities from set-plays and he looked good," said Potter. "His deliveries were very dangerous. We were happy with him and he’s in the squad for the weekend, we have a lot of good competition for places.

"We had a good point last weekend and defensively we were good. Wolves defended well too and there weren't many chances. We had a good feeling about how we did, but we'd like to get three points this weekend."

Albion have a good recent record against the Gunners and they are unbeaten in their last four Premier League games, winning two and drawing two. Their 2-1 victory at the Emirates, thanks to goals from Adam Webster and Neal Maupay, was one of the highlights of their season so far.

“I always say the past doesn't count too much for the future," Potter said. "We have a good record against them, but it's a new challenge now with their new manager (Mikel Arteta).

"They have a good structure and good individuals. But we're at home so we'll be positive and try to win."

Yves Bissouma will hope to keep his place in midfield ahead of fit again Dale Stephens after impressing at Wolves. Shane Duffy is available once more and Glenn Murray, who was an unused substitute at Wolves, will also hope to force his way into contention.

Long term casualty Jose Izquierdo (knee) is the only absentee for Albion. Arsenal will definitely be without the trio of Calum Chambers, Lucas Torreira and Sead Kolasinac.

The Gunners will wait to hear for news on a shoulder injury for Kieran Tierney, while Cedric Soares and Shkodran Mustafi have knee and thigh injuries respectively and may not be available.