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Brighton vs Aston Villa predictions: Villa to bounce back from European setback
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Tom McGarry
Unai Emery is prioritising a top-four finish for Aston Villa
Unai Emery is prioritising a top-four finish for Aston Villa

- Brighton have picked up just two points from their last six Premier League games
- Aston Villa have won five matches on the spin against the Seagulls
- Recommended bet:
Aston Villa to win

Aston Villa will be aiming to bounce back from their midweek setback in the Europa Conference League when they head to the Amex Stadium to take on out-of-form Brighton in the Premier League on Sunday.

Villa's hopes of reaching a first European final in 42 years were dealt a major blow on Thursday night, as they were beaten 4-2 on home soil by Olympiacos in the first leg of their semi-final tie.

With the return fixture to come in Greece next midweek, Villa could be forgiven for taking their eye off the ball domestically, but head coach Unai Emery has already confirmed his side's priority is to cement their position in the top four.

A trip to Brighton could provide Villa with the ideal opportunity to bounce back, with the Seagulls having failed to win any of their last six matches.

Team news

Brighton have nine players currently sidelined through injury, the latest being Adam Lallana, who will miss Sunday's contest with an unspecified problem.

The England international joins Solly March (knee), Jack Hinshelwood (foot), Kaoru Mitoma (back), Pervis Estupinan (ankle), James Milner (thigh), Evan Ferguson (foot), Tariq Lamptey (muscular) and Jan Paul van Hecke (muscular) in the treatment room.

Emery has revealed that Villa will assess several unnamed players ahead of the trip to the south coast, with doubts still surrounding the fitness of goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez (thigh) and midfielder Youri Tielemans (groin).

The stats

Brighton are winless in six league games, picking up just two points during that time, while Roberto De Zerbi's side have registered only three victories in 15 top-flight games since the turn of the year.

Aston Villa have won each of their last five meetings with Brighton, including a 6-1 success at Villa Park in September's reverse fixture.

Ollie Watkins scored a hat-trick in that game and he has six goals in his last four appearances against Brighton.

The England international has 31 goal contributions in the Premier League this season (19 goals and 12 assists), which is more than any other player in the division.

Villa have won seven and lost only two of the 12 domestic matches they have played on the back of a fixture in this season's Europa Conference League.

It has been a tough few weeks for Roberto De Zerbi's Brighton
It has been a tough few weeks for Roberto De Zerbi's Brighton


Villa have no time to feel sorry for themselves after their defeat in Europe and their record in matches immediately after a continental game this season will give them plenty of encouragement.

Emery's team should certainly be confident of getting the better of a Brighton side that have been beaten 4-0 by Manchester City and 3-0 by Bournemouth in their last two games.

The Seagulls have also lost their last five matches against Villa and have only taken four points from the nine previous Premier League meetings between the two sides.

Villa won the reverse meeting 6-1, with Watkins scoring a hat-trick, and he is a candidate to get on the scoresheet again on Sunday.

However, preference is for Villa to leave the south coast with all three points, a result that would further enhance their chances of finishing the season in the top four.

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