For a couple of hours at least, Albion could go joint top of the Premier League if we can win at Aston Villa on Saturday, kick-off 12.30pm.
With five wins from six, Roberto De Zerbi’s team are just three points behind leaders Manchester City, although it would need to win by a three-goal margin or more to go above them at this very early stage in the campaign.
Roberto De Zerbi said in his press conference on Friday, "Pascal [Gross] is not available, he might be able to play in the Europa League [on Thursday]. James Milner doesn't play tomorrow. Evan Ferguson is good, he worked yesterday very well. Adam Lallana can't play, it's not a big injury though."
How to follow the game
Our Live Match Centre will bring you all the news in the build-up, during the game and post-match.
TNT Sports are showing the game live.
You can also listen to live commentary on MyAlbion TV and there will be coverage across all our social media channels.
Player to watch
Ollie Watkins is off the mark this season ✅ pic.twitter.com/I5oCwS0SCb— Premier League (@premierleague) September 27, 2023
Ollie Watkins has been Villa’s top scorer each season since he joined the club from Brentford in 2020. His impressive form looks set to be rewarded a new contract, according to media reports.
The 27-year-old has scored 47 goals and provided 15 assists in 126 appearances and during his time at Villa Park he has won seven England caps and scored two goals for his country. Three of those Premier League goals have come against Albion, in just five appearances.
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Villa have been a bogey side for us since our promotion to the Premier League. Of our eight meetings, we’ve lost five, winning only once. Our 2-1 defeat to Unai Emery’s team on the final day of last season was our fourth consecutive loss to them.
Both sides go into the game on the back of midweek defeats in the Carabao Cup. While Albion were losing 1-0 to Chelsea, Villa went down 2-1 at home to Everton.
Stats and facts
Albion have lost three of their four Premier League away games against Aston Villa, with the exception being a 2-1 victory in November 2020.
Aston Villa have started a season with four wins in their opening six Premier League games (L2) for a seventh time. They’ve only won five of their opening seven games twice before, in 1998-99 under John Gregory and 2020-21 under Dean Smith.
Albion have won five of their first six Premier League games this season (L1), reaching that total in half as many games as last season (12th game). The Seagulls last won six of their first seven league games in a season in 2015-16 in the Championship (W6 D1).
Aston Villa are on a run of nine consecutive home Premier League wins, their best home winning league run since a 13-game spell between February and October 1983. Villa could also become the ninth different team to have had a run of 10 or more consecutive home wins in the Premier League.
Brighton have scored in 22 consecutive Premier League games, scoring 51 times across this run. However, they’ve only kept six clean sheets in this time, conceding in all six games this season. Only five teams have both scored and conceded in their opening seven games of a season, most recently Bournemouth in 2019-20.
Since a three-game losing run against Leicester, Manchester City and Arsenal in February, Aston Villa have won 14 of their last 21 Premier League games (D3 L4). In this timeframe (February 25 onwards), only Manchester City (55) and Liverpool (48) have won more points in the division than Villa (45).
Only five players have more Premier League assists in 2023 than Brighton full-back Pervis Estupinan (8), who has three in five games this season. The Ecuadorian has created 47 chances in open play this year, second only to Bruno Fernandes (74).
Kaoru Mitoma scored two goals as a substitute in Brighton’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth in the Premier League on MD6, taking his total to ten in the competition. He’s only the second Japanese player to reach double figures for goals, along with Shinji Okazaki (14 for Leicester, 2015-19).
Ollie Watkins netted his first Premier League goal of the season for Aston Villa last time out in a 1-0 win over Chelsea. He’s scored in each of his last three appearances against Brighton, with only Sergio Agüero, Jamie Vardy and Phil Foden scoring in four in a row against Albion in the competition.
Referee: Andy Madley.
Assistants: Ian Hussin, Nick Hopton.
Fourth official: Tim Robinson.
VAR: Stuart Attwell.
Assistant VAR: Derek Eaton.