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Preview: Brighton & Hove Albion vs Luton Town – prediction, team news, line-ups

Brighton & Hove Albion’s 2023/24 Premier League season kicks off at the Amex Stadium against newly-promoted Luton Town on Saturday. 

Fresh off a historic 2022/23 campaign, the Seagulls have fallen victim to their success, losing standout midfielder Alexis Mac Allister and preparing for the imminent exit of Moises Caicedo. 

Italian manager Roberto De Zerbi wrote his name in the club’s folklore last term, guiding Brighton to their first-ever European qualification, courtesy of an impressive sixth-placed finish. 

However, without their two best midfielders from last season, they will face the uphill task of remaining competitive in the higher reaches in the upcoming campaign

Luton’s visit to the Amex should at least help them get the 2023/24 season off to a decent start, with the visitors bracing themselves for a first top-flight adventure since 1992. 

Rob Edwards’ team defied the odds to secure Premier League promotion via play-offs last season, ousting Coventry City in the Wembley Stadium showpiece in May. 

Despite their utmost effort to go from the National League to the Premier League in only nine years, the Hatters are among the likeliest candidates to return to the Championship next term.

As the first-ever club to advance into England’s top flight, having played non-league football, Luton will enjoy their fairytale over the next nine months, hoping to prevent it from becoming a nightmare. 

Match Preview

Brighton’s stellar run to last season’s Europa League finish derived strength from a free-scoring frontline, with only three Premier League sides bettering their 71-goal tally in 2022/23.

Since a 1-0 loss to Fulham in mid-February, the Seagulls have found the net in eight consecutive home league matches (W5, D2, L1), suggesting Luton’s backline could be in for a long afternoon. 

De Zerbi’s men blew hot and cold in their final three home league outings last term (W1, D1, L1), but their overall 76% unbeaten ratio in top-flight games at the Amex demands respect (W10, D4, L5).

Though this is Brighton’s first home meeting with Luton since 2009, it’s worth noting they haven’t lost any of their four previous home encounters in the 21st century (W2, D2).

Ending their winless run in East Sussex would be a stunning way to kick things off in their first Premier League campaign, but Luton’s pre-season form plays down such lofty ambitions. 

Before a 3-1 win over perennial Bundesliga strugglers Bochum in their final warm-up fixture, the Hatters had only won one of their first five summer friendlies (D3, L1).

History beckons for Luton here as they look to become only the third Premier League debutants to win their matchday-one game after Huddersfield Town and Brentford. 

While the odds remain heavily stacked against them, Edwards’ lads can find courage in their inspiring away form in the Championship last season (W11, D8, L4). 

Team News

In addition to Caicedo, whose future is at a crossroads amid ongoing efforts from Liverpool and Chelsea to prise him away from Brighton, De Zerbi cannot call upon Jakub Moder.

But the newcomers, Igor Julio, Mahmoud Dahoud, James Milner, and Joao Pedro, will make the Italian’s matchday squad, with the latter expected to lead the line. 

As for Luton, Gabriel Osho, Jordan Clark, Reece Burke, and Dan Potts are unavailable for selection due to various fitness problems. 

Marquee summer signing Ross Barkley could mark his first Premier League appearance since May 2022 after spending last season in Ligue 1 with Nice. 

Brighton & Hove Albion potential starting line-up:

(4-2-3-1): Jason Steele; Pascal Gross, Adam Webster, Lewis Dunk, Pervis Estupinan; Billy Gilmour, Mahmoud Dahoud; Solly March, Joao Pedro, Kaoru Mitoma; Danny Welbeck.

Luton Town potential starting line-up:

(3-5-2): Thomas Kaminski; Mads Andersen, Tom Lockyer, Amari’i Bell; Issa Kabore, Pelly Mpanzu, Marvelous Nakamba, Luke Berry, Giles; Elijah Adebayo, Carlton Morris. 

We Say: Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 Luton Town

Even without Caicedo and Mac Allister, Brighton should still have enough scoring potential to break down Luton and start the new campaign on the front foot.

But their proneness to conceding chip goals could help the visitors get off the mark on their top-flight return. 

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