Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Brighton vs Brentford in the Premier League on Boxing Day; kick-off 8pm.
Brighton striker Danny Welbeck is poised to end a three-month injury-enforced absence against Brentford at 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.
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.
How to follow
Live Renault Super Sunday
Sunday 26th December 7:45pm
Brighton vs Brentford is live on Sky Sports Premier League from 7.45pm; kick-off 8pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.
Last time out
Jones Knows prediction
No Lewis Dunk means it’s hard to fancy Brighton breaking their torrid winless run that is now at 11 Premier League matches.
In the last four seasons, Dunk has missed 11 Premier League games for Brighton and they have only won one of those matches. Incredibly, that was the 3-2 win over Manchester City last season. Despite that odd result, the numbers suggest Brentford will fancy their chances of putting goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, who looks a weak link for Brighton, under significant pressure when given the chance. The draw looks like a big runner at 23/10 with Sky Bet.
I’m expecting Brighton to bring their normal domination levels to the table though, especially with Brentford happy to sit a little deeper away from home and soak up pressure. That is seen by their corner stats on the road. No team have won fewer corners than Brentford away from home (25) and that record should only get worse as the season progresses as they have only played one of the current top six on the road.
I’m expecting Brighton to comfortably win the corner race, so I’m happy to take the 11/8 on Brighton with a -2 handicap in that particular market, meaning we will win as long as Graham Potter’s team win three or more corners than their opponents.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1
BETTING ANGLE: Brighton -2 on the corner handicap (11/8 with Sky Bet)
- Brighton won the reverse fixture against Brentford 1-0, but have done the league double over the Bees in just one of the last 23 campaigns in which they’ve met, doing so in 2010-11 in League One.
- Brentford have won two of their last three away league games against Brighton (L1), more than they had in their previous 12 visits (W1 D4 L7). This is their first league game at the Amex since a 2-0 win in September 2016.
- Brighton have lost just one of their last 12 Premier League games against promoted sides (W5 D6), going down 1-0 at West Brom in February. The Seagulls have conceded just four goals in these games, keeping a clean sheet in seven of their last eight.
- Brighton are winless in their last 11 Boxing Day league games (D4 L7) since beating QPR 1-0 in 2005-06. It’s the longest ongoing run without a Boxing Day league win of any side in the top four tiers of English football.
- Brentford have lost just one of their last 12 Boxing Day league games (W7 D4), losing 4-2 at home to Ipswich in 2014-15. The Bees have never lost on this day in the top-flight (W2 D1), with this their first such game since a 2-1 win over Sheffield United in 1946.