Brighton vs Brentford predictions: Tough to split surprise top-six contenders
Brighton and Brentford are both challenging for surprise top-six finishes this season but they may have to settle for a point apiece on Saturday.
Two of the great overachievers of 2022-23 face off at the Amex Stadium and it is a measure of the progress of both clubs that defeat for either this weekend will be considered a serious setback in their push for European football.
The Seagulls and the Bees are in excellent form, with Brighton losing only one of their last nine league matches and Brentford eclipsing even that with just one defeat in 15.
However, defeat for the eighth-placed visitors would still be seen as a serious body blow in their push for a top-six or seven finish, given Brighton go into the match level on points with Brentford but boast a significantly better goal difference and have two games in hand.
Brighton midfielders Adam Lallana and Jakub Moder are not expected back from injury for several weeks and are joined on the sidelines by Jeremy Sarmiento, who fractured a metatarsal on international duty.
However, right-back Tariq Lamptey could return from a knee injury.
Brentford’s Shandon Baptiste is suspended, while fellow midfielder Vitaly Janelt, centre-back Kristoffer Ajer and forward Keane Lewis-Potter are each expected to miss out through injury.
Aaron Hickey was forced off with a knee issue while on international duty but is expected to feature this weekend. Fellow full-back Mads Roerslev is rated only 50/50.
Brighton lost 2-0 at the Gtech Community Stadium in October but were hugely unlucky, bossing 72% possession, taking 21 shots, with seven on target, compared to Brentford’s seven attempts and just two on target.
Since then, Brighton have lost only four of 16 league matches, including defeats to top two Manchester City and Arsenal and a smash-and-grab by Fulham in a match the Seagulls should have won handsomely.
Brentford have lost just two of their last 17 matches, with their only genuinely poor performance in that time coming against Aston Villa in a 4-0 thrashing.
The Bees' defeat at Everton on March 11 is Brentford’s only loss in seven league away games — a run that takes in victories at Manchester City, West Ham and Southampton, as well as a draw at Arsenal.
It is hard to split two of the most impressive teams of 2022-23 and a draw is certainly not the worst result for either side.
Playing catch-up, Brentford would be the most eager to push forward for all three points and they have the firepower to unsettle the Seagulls’ defence with red-hot Ivan Toney leading a slick Bees attack.
However, Brighton are one of just five teams to have outscored Brentford this season and will expect to trouble a visiting backline that has kept just one clean sheet in their last six league outings.
The best bet could well be to back Brentford to make it seven draws from 14 Premier League away games this season.
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