Brighton & Hove Albion open December with a trip to Huddersfield Town on Saturday afternoon, kick-off 3pm, as they look to extend their seven-point gap to the relegation zone.
The Seagulls almost returned to winning ways against Leicester City at the Amex Stadium last weekend, but Jamie Vardy’s late penalty cancelled out Glenn Murray’s opener to earn a share of the spoils.
The draw left Chris Hughton’s team 12th in the Premier League table, five points ahead of the Terriers, who closed the gap with an impressive 2-0 victory away to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The John Smith’s Stadium has proved a difficult place to visit over recent campaigns, but the Seagulls will be desperate to inflict a fifth home defeat on David Wagner’s side this season.
Hughton confirmed that there are no additional injuries leading into this weekend's game, but Alireza Jahanbakhsh remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Dale Stephens will also miss the game, as he serves the second match of his three-game suspension.
The Terriers will have defender Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen back available after being suspended for Sunday’s visit to Wolves, however Chris Lowe remains sidelined with a shoulder injury.
The Seagulls claimed three victories in October before back-to-back defeats in November, but Hughton’s team managed to collect another point before December came around.
Murray’s seventh Premier League goal of the season looked to have won it for Albion against Leicester last weekend, but Vardy’s spot kick denied the Seagulls from claiming maximum points.
Lewis Dunk found the back of the net twice on journeys to Everton and Cardiff City, but Albion were beaten 3-1 at Goodison Park before Sol Bamba’s 90th-minute winner sealed a 2-1 victory for the Bluebirds.
The Terriers managed just one point from their three matches in October, but Wagner’s team remained unbeaten throughout November, taking seven points from a possible nine.
A 1-0 victory was secured at home to Fulham, before West Ham United shared the spoils on their visit. Aaron Mooy’s brace then bagged a 2-0 victory at Molineux last weekend.
LAST TIME WE MET
Albion welcomed the Terriers to the Amex Stadium at the beginning of March and took the lead through Solly March’s low-driven effort, which hit the post and rebounded off goalkeeper Jonas Lossl.
But the narrow advantage lasted just three minutes — as Steve Mounie intercepted a underhit backpass from Shane Duffy to finish past Maty Ryan to make it 1-1.
Davy Propper received a red card towards the end of the match, leaving the Seagulls with ten men for 16 minutes, but Hughton’s men were able to hold on for a point.
LAST TIME OUT: ALBION
LEICESTER CITY 1
Vardy 79 pen
Albion line-up: Ryan; Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo; Knockaert (March 73), Propper, Kayal, Izquierdo; Gross (Andone 82); Murray (Locadia 89).
Subs not used: Steele (GK), Balogun, Bong, Bissouma.
LAST TIME OUT: HUDDERSFIELD TOWN
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 2
Mooy 6, 74
Huddersfield Town line-up: Lossl; Kongolo, Schindler, Smith; Durm, Billing (Williams 90+3), Hogg (Stankovic 90+3), Mooy, Hadergjonaj; Pritchard (Mbenza 90+3); Mounie.
Subs not used: Hamer (GK), Sobhi, Depoitre, Kachunga.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Aaron Mooy
The Australian midfielder has pulled the strings in the middle of the park for the Terriers since reaching the Premier League — the 28-year-old played 36 times in the top flight last season.
Other than missing one match through injury, Mooy has played every minute of Premier League football for Wagner’s side this term, and opened his goalscoring account last weekend.
Mooy proved the match-winner against Molineux, firing two goals to claim victory, which added to the four goals notched by the Socceroo’s midfielder last season.
National team-mate Maty Ryan will especially know of Mooy’s strengths, having played numerous matches together over recent seasons, including matches in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.