Match Previews

Albion Analytics preview: Aston Villa

Brighton are seeking their first ever Amex-era win against Aston Villa on Saturday.

By Liam Tharme • 21 November 2020

By Paul Hazlewood
Danny Welbeck will be hoping to open his goal-scoring account for Albion this afternoon.

Liam Tharme from Albion Analytics brings the full statistical analysis ahead of today's game against Aston Villa.

You can keep up to date with Albion Analytics by following them on Twitter, which you can do so by clicking here.

Both league games played on the south coast have ended in 1-1 draws, the same scoreline which Brighton and Villa played out on the final day of the 2016-17 Championship season.

A stoppage-time Matt Targett winner prevented a repeat of that score at Villa Park last season, with Villa winning 2-1 and the Amex Carabao Cup tie 3-1.

In the cup match, Graham Potter fielded the youngest team of any Premier League side in the competition, with six players born since the Millennium in a side with an average age of 22 years and 35 days.

This season, Brighton and Aston Villa have the two youngest squads in the division. The Seagulls' starting XI averages 25.3 years, Villa exactly 25.

Not only do they top the charts for youngest sides, but for outside the box goals too. Again, Villa lead the pack, having scored four from such range this season, with the Albion's three ranking them joint-second.

By BHAFC
Yves Bissouma likes hitting the target away from home.

Two of Albion's three outside-the-box goals have come on the road, with Yves Bissouma and Alexis Mac Allister firing in at Goodison and Selhurst Park respectively; all three of the Malian's strikes in the blue and white have been away from home.

Ross Barkley has netted half of Villa's goals in this department, with the former England international among their top two players for shot-creating actions (5.8), yards dribbled (139) and shots taken (3.4) over 90 minutes.

Barkley has 33 appearances (six goals) for England, one fewer than Albion midfielder Adam Lallana. By starting and finishing the last game against Burnley, Lallana clocked back-to-back full 90s for the first time since the 2016-17 season.

Against Burnley, Lallana led the way for passes received (61), touches in the opposition box (9) and shot-creating actions (5), pressing the second most times of any player on the pitch (23).

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PL Highlights: Albion 0 Burnley 0

Skipper Lewis Dunk is back for the trip to Villa Park, after missing three games due to suspension. Dunk will look to maintain his impressive away record at a ground where Brighton have not won since 1910, with the defender unbeaten in nine of his last ten Premier League games on the road, keeping four clean sheets. 

Tariq Lamptey scored Brighton's most recent away goal, sliding in the equaliser at Spurs. The 20-year-old played the full 90 for England U21s in the 3-1 win over Andorra at Molinuex last week, attempting the most dribbles (11) and second most crosses (8) and recovering the ball the third most in times in the opposition half (5); West Brom’s Conor Gallagher was the only player to better both Lamptey’s fouls won (3) and dribbles completed (4).

By BHAFC
Pascal Gross' stats ahead of kick-off at Villa Park.

Pascal Gross assisted Lamptey's first Albion goal at Tottenham and the German also set up Adam Webster to open the scoring and his Albion account in this fixture last season.

Eight of Gross' last ten assists in all competitions have come away from home.

Saturday's hosts rank just as highly in the league as they do in the stats tables this season, having won five of their opening seven league games – three of those wins accompanied by clean sheets. Despite this strong start, Brighton will no doubt be buoyed that both of Villa's losses have come at home.

Southampton were victorious 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller, while Patrick Bamford's hat-trick saw Leeds win 3-0.

Villa's nine goals conceded is a joint league low, while only Chelsea and Tottenham have bettered their 18 goals scored, a ranking that owes plenty to their 7-2 thrashing of Liverpool.

By Paul Hazlewood
Graham Potter believes Jack Grealish is one of the top performers in the Premier League this season.

Skipper Jack Grealish was the hero that night: his two goals and three assists made him the first player to be directly involved in five goals in a Premier League game.

The England international has enjoyed similar success in this fixture with four goals and one assist in five appearances against Albion.

Ollie Watkins helped himself to a hat-trick in the win against Liverpool. The forward joined from Brentford this summer, having topped their scoring charts with 25 goals last season.

That total mirrored Albion's Neal Maupay, who also scored 25 for the Bees in the 2018-19 season.

Watkins' six goals and one assist make for a solid start to Premier League life, slightly edging Maupay, who has scored four and set up one himself.

The Frenchman will be keen to face Villa, having been directly involved in four goals (3 goals, 1 assist) in six appearances against them, including setting up Leandro Trossard in the 1-1 draw at the Amex in January.

Maupay bagged both Brentford's goals in the 2-2 draw at Villa Park in August 2018, assisted for his first by Ollie Watkins.

The Frenchman has been directly involved in six of Brighton's last nine away goals. His assist for Aaron Connolly's winner at Burnley in July was sandwiched between goals at Southampton and Everton, with Maupay involved in all three in the win at Newcastle in September when he netted twice in the first six minutes before once again assisting Connolly to round off the scoring.

That was Maupay's first brace for Albion and only his second since scoring twice at Villa Park for Brentford.

By BHAFC
Danny Welbeck has an outstanding record against Aston Villa.

If not Maupay, Brighton's dangerman on Saturday could be Danny Welbeck who has been victorious in all eight previous Premier League appearances against Villa.

In those games he scored four and assisted another and was involved in a goal on average every 88 minutes.

On his full debut against Burnley, Welbeck took the joint-most shots (4) and created the joint-most chances (3) of any player on the pitch, showing he could have plenty to offer at Villa Park.

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