Brighton and Tottenham are resuming their Premier League action following Christmas breaks, with Spurs enjoying five days since their last game on December 23, while Brighton had a week off after a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace. The festive schedule has been favorable for Brighton, allowing them five days before their next match against West Ham on January 2.
Brighton’s manager, Roberto De Zerbi, welcomes the rest period due to recent injuries impacting their form, with only two wins in their last 12 league matches. Despite this, Brighton has been tough to beat, having lost just two of their last nine Premier League games, both away to Chelsea (3-2) and Arsenal (1-0).
Their loss at Arsenal was the only time in their last 34 Premier League games where Brighton failed to score. At home, they’ve scored in each of their last 17 Premier League games since their loss to Fulham in February, but they’ve also conceded in their last 12 home games since beating Manchester United in May.
Facing an in-form Tottenham, who have scored in 19 of their last 20 Premier League away games in 2023, including the last 15, suggests that goals might be expected in this fixture.
Both teams have had mixed seasons but remain within reach of their league objectives. A win would be crucial for either side. Brighton has performed well at home recently, while Tottenham boasts a strong away record, setting the stage for an intriguing clash at the Amex Stadium.
Brighton is unbeaten in their last seven Premier League home games, while Tottenham holds the best points-per-game away record since Ange Postecoglou took over in the summer. Notably, three of Brighton’s last four home defeats have been against London-based sides (Arsenal, Fulham, West Ham).
Postecoglou faces a challenge with several absentees, including Cristian Romero’s recent hamstring strain sidelining him for four to five weeks. With Micky van de Ven still out, Emerson Royal is likely to return at centre-back, possibly partnering with Ben Davies. Additionally, Yves Bissouma remains suspended, although Destiny Udogie returns after serving a one-match suspension against Everton.
Positive updates start with Spurs as Richarlison appears to have recovered from the injury that forced him off in the previous Everton game. The Brazilian has been on a goal-scoring streak, netting four times in his last three Premier League matches for Tottenham, a significant shift from his earlier record of two goals in 39 games for the team.
Tottenham’s reliance for goals rests on both Richarlison and captain Son Heung-min. Son has contributed to eight goals in his last seven Premier League away games, scoring seven and assisting one. His seven away goals surpass any other player in the team, accounting for 35% of Spurs’ goals on the road this season (7 out of 20).
Brighton, on the other hand, might face a setback with Kaoru Mitoma’s fitness due to an ankle injury, pending a late fitness evaluation. De Zerbi’s squad continues to miss key players like Ansu Fati, Julio Encsio, Joël Veltman, Pervis Estupiñán, Adam Webster, Tariq Lamptey, and Solly March. The manager has expressed concerns about squad depth, eagerly anticipating the upcoming January transfer window.
Although Brighton initially performed well against Tottenham at home, winning two and drawing one of their first four Premier League encounters and scoring in all those games, they’ve suffered losses in their last two meetings without finding the net. Despite a tough season for Spurs previously, they managed to secure wins against Brighton in both encounters. It marks the fifth time they’ve won consecutive games against Brighton but haven’t secured three in a row against them yet.