Albion take on Grimsby Town this Sunday as they battle for a place in the semi-finals of the Emirates FA Cup.
Roberto De Zerbi’s team beat Middlesbrough 5-1, Liverpool 2-1 and Stoke City 1-0 to reach this stage of the competition, putting them within touching distance of the last four which they last achieved in 2019.
Having made their bow in the first round, the Mariners’ run to this stage has been impressive. Plymouth, Cambridge and Burton – all from League One – were beaten before Luton Town were defeated in a fourth round replay 3-0.
This was followed by a historic 2-1 victory over Premier League Southampton at St Mary’s.
Paul Hurst’s team have also been in decent form, suffering only one defeat in their last seven League Two matches and winning their last two – both 1-0 over Rochdale and Sutton United.
We will be aiming to continue a run of form in 2023 that has seen us lose only once in 12 matches in all competitions. Since a 1-0 home defeat to Fulham, we’ve beaten West Ham and Crystal Palace, with a draw with Leeds United sandwiched in-between.
Speaking in his press conference on Friday afternoon, Roberto De Zerbi said, "Tariq isn't available, but the other players are good. I want to wait until tomorrow morning to decide the first XI. I want to pick the best team."
Adam Lallana and Jakub Moder are our other absentees.
Our last meeting
We haven’t taken on Grimsby Town in any competition since February 2004 in a league match, won 2-1 by the Mariners with goals from Isaiah Rankin and Phil Jevons at Blundell Park.
This is the first time we have faced Grimsby in the FA Cup since January 1930 in the third round, which was won by the Seagulls after a replay – at that time, they were in the Third Division South while the Mariners were a top-flight side.
- Brighton are looking to reach an FA Cup semi-final for only a third time, also doing so in 1982-83 and 2018-19. This is only their fifth appearance in the quarter-final and only their second game at this stage against a team from a lower division, knocking out Millwall in 2018-19 on penalties after a 2-2 draw.
- Grimsby Town this season are the first team in FA Cup history to eliminate five teams from a higher division in a single season in the competition (first round onwards). This is their first FA Cup quarter-final since 1938-39, when they beat Chelsea 1-0 as a top-flight side, and will be the biggest gap between quarter-final appearances (84 years), breaking Reading’s 83-year record (1927-2010).
- As a top-flight side, Albion have progressed from 14 of their 16 FA Cup ties against sides from a lower division, failing only against third tier Oxford United in 1981-82 and Championship side Sheffield Wednesday in 2019-20. Their two such ties against League Two teams have seen them progress, against Coventry in 2017-18 and Newport County in 2020-21.
- Since the fourth tier of English league football was created in 1958-59, Grimsby are only the fifth side from that division to feature in an FA Cup quarter-final. All four previous sides have been eliminated: Oxford United in 1964, Colchester United in 1971, Bradford City in 1976 and Cambridge United in 1990.
- This will be the first FA Cup quarter-final to see a Premier League side play at home against a team from outside the top-flight since 2016-17, when two such games were played and won by the home sides – Arsenal 5-0 Lincoln City and Tottenham Hotspur 6-0 Millwall.
- From the first round onwards in this season’s FA Cup, no team has netted more goals than Grimsby Town (15, level with Wrexham). It’s the most by a fourth tier side in a season since Crewe in 1992-93 (also 15), with Colchester the last fourth tier team to net more than 15 (18 in 1970-71). All 15 of their goals have been against teams from a higher division, with only Tottenham in 1900-01 – then a non-league team – scoring more (16) against sides from a higher division in a season from the first round onwards.
- Albion manager Roberto De Zerbi hasn’t managed against a team from the fourth tier of a league system since the 2013-14 campaign, when he managed in Italian Serie D with Darfo Boario. His only previous cup quarter-final was in 2015-16 with Foggia in the Coppa Italia Lega Pro, drawing 1-1 with Akragas before progressing on penalties and going on to win the competition that year.
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- Brighton’s Kaoru Mitoma has been involved in a goal in each of his three FA Cup appearances this season, scoring once and assisting twice for the Seagulls. Among Premier League players in the FA Cup this season, only Fulham’s Manor Solomon has completed more take-ons (14) than Mitoma (8) and only Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (23) has had more touches in the opposition than he has (19).
Referee: Jarred Gillett
Assistant referees: Simon Long & Derek Eaton
Fourth official: Simon Hooper
VAR: Michael Salisbury
AVAR: Simon Bennett