Sunday’s Premier League action closes out at the Amex Stadium as Brighton & Hove Albion take on the league newcomers Brentford.
Brighton lost 1-0 to Wolverhampton Wanderers before growing positive COVID-19 cases in the Premier League forced the postponement of their clash against Manchester United a week ago.
The Seagulls head into proceedings amid a rough patch, having failed to win any of their last 11 league fixtures (D8, L3) since beating Leicester City 2-1 at home in September.
They are two matches away from equalling their longest winless league streak of 13 games in the 21st century set in 2002 as manager Graham Potters hopes to get his side back on the rails.
Brentford suffered a 2-0 defeat to an understrength Chelsea side in midweek Carabao Cup action, courtesy of Pontus Jansson’s own goal and Jorginho’s penalty.
Encouragingly, the Bees came from a 1-0 half-time deficit to beat fellow newcomers Watford 2-1 at home last time out, halting a run of consecutive Premier League games without a win (D1, L1).
However, they have alternated between winning and losing across their last four Premier League away outings (D2, L2), conceding 2+ goals on each occasion.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Brentford Head-To-Head
Leandro Trossard’s 90th-minute strike fired Brighton to a 1-0 victory over Brentford in the reverse fixture, helping his side win their first-ever Premier League H2H.
However, it’s worth noting that the Seagulls have registered just one league double over the Bees in the last 23 seasons in which they’ve met.
They’ve lost two of their last three home league H2Hs (W1), more defeats than they suffered in their previous 12 such encounters beforehand (W7, D4).
Brighton & Hove Albion Preview
Since securing a narrow 1-0 triumph over QPR in 2005/06, Brighton have gone winless in their last 11 Premier League fixtures on Boxing Day (D4, L7).
Desperate to put an end to the worst-ever winless run on Boxing Day across the top-four tiers of English football, the hosts will fall back on their recent record against newly-promoted sides.
The Seagulls have only lost one of their last 12 Premier League meetings with promoted teams (W5, D6), conceding a mere four goals in that period.
Additionally, they’ve kept a clean sheet seven times across their previous eight such contests, which has been the case in just one of their last four Premier League home matches.
Much of Brighton’s hopes of winning here will hinge on the club’s top-scorer Neal Maupay, who has registered six Premier League goals this term.
Brentford will be looking to become only the fourth-ever Premier League side to win a match on Boxing Day in their maiden top-flight campaign and first since Wigan Athletic in 2005/06.
Despite playing in lower divisions, the Bees have been nothing short of impressive on Boxing Day in recent years, losing just one of their last 12 such games (W7, D4).
Although it’s ancient history, it’s worth noting that Brentford have never lost a top-flight fixture on Boxing Day (W1, D2), last playing such contest in 1946.
However, to keep that record going, Thomas Frank’s men will have to improve defensively after conceding an average of 2.5 goals per game across their last four Premier League travels.
He has not been as prolific as last season in the Championship, but Ivan Toney remains Brentford’s top-scorer in the Premier League this term with four goals.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Brentford
Brighton & Hove Albion (3-5-2): Robert Sanchez; Joel Veltman, Shane Duffy, Dan Burn; Tariq Lamptey, Enock Mwepu, Adam Lallana, Jakub Moder, Marc Cucurella; Neal Maupay, Leandro Trossard.
Brentford (3-5-2): Alvaro Fernandez; Ethan Pinnock, Pontus Jansson, Mads Bech Sorensen; Mads Roerslev, Mathias Jensen, Vitaly Janelt, Shandon Baptiste, Sergi Canos; Bryan Mbeumo, Ivan Toney.
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