Michael Owen makes bold Brighton prediction ahead of Boxing Day clash against Brentford

Former Liverpool and England striker Michael Owen gives his verdict on Brighton's Boxing Day Premier League clash against Brentford at the Amex Stadium tonight
Michael Owen is not expecting a classic against BrentfordMichael Owen is not expecting a classic against Brentford
Michael Owen is not expecting a classic against Brentford

Albion are on a winless run of 11 matches and will hope to get back to winning ways against Thomas Frank's Brentford team who have impressed since their promotion to the Premier League.

Graham Potter's team secured a narrow 1-0 win in the reverse fixture earlier this season thanks to a late strike from Leo Trossard.

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Albion have been boosted by the return to fitness of striker Danny Welbeck who has been out since September with a hamstring injury and Owen feels Brighton could have just enough to sneak a win at the Amex.

"After such a promising start, Brighton are now without a league win since the middle of September," wrote Owen in his Bet Victor predictions blog.

"There’s only been a few defeats in that time, but they can’t keep drawing games. I think Graham Potter is an excellent coach and he organises them brilliantly at the back, but they are beginning to resemble Brighton of last season.

"Last season, too many draws almost got them relegated. They are in a good position now, but it’s still a concern.

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"Four points from their last two games has given Brentford some breathing space after a difficult run of fixtures. Considering the high-pressing style they play, a rest for a couple of weeks will have done what is a relatively small squad some good.

"I’m not expecting a classic here that’s for sure! I think Brighton will finally get back to winning ways with a 1-0 win."

Team news

Welbeck is poised to end a three-month injury-enforced absence when Brighton welcome Brentford to the Amex Stadium on Boxing Day.

Pascal Gross and Neal Maupay are expected to be available after missing the defeat against Wolves last week but club captain Lewis Dunk will be out until the middle of January at the earliest.

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Adam Webster has returned to training after injury and could be in contention if he does not suffer a setback and, while Shane Duffy returns after serving a one-match ban, Yves Bissouma is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Wolves.

Brentford striker Ivan Toney is pushing to return to the starting line-up.

Toney returned to action as a second-half substitute in the Carabao Cup quarter-final loss to Chelsea in midweek after a spell out with coronavirus.

Manager Thomas Frank expects to have much the same squad as Wednesday available with Mathias Jorgensen, Kristoffer Ajer, David Raya and Josh Dasilva still out injured.

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Brighton provisional squad: Sanchez, Scherpen, Lamptey, Cucurella, Webster, Duffy, Roberts, Gross, Moder, Lallana, Trossard, Steele, Burn, Veltman, Mac Allister, March, Richards, Maupay, Welbeck, Locadia, Mwepu, Connolly, Alzate, Leonard, Turns, Ferguson.

Brentford provisional squad: Fernandez, Henry, Pinnock, Jansson, Norgaard, Jensen, Mbeumo, Janelt, Canos, Toney, Cox, Thompson, Goode, Roerslev, Stevens, Onyeka, Bidstrup, Forss, Ghoddos, Baptiste, Wissa, Bech Sorenson, Peart-Harris.