By Jacob Panons
Neal Maupay looks to haunt former manager: Brighton’s striker will be looking to score against his former manager Dean Smith. Smith signed Maupay for Brentford and has spoken previously about trying to sign the striker in the summer before he joined Albion. Maupay will want to show the manager what he missed out on while also trying to establish himself as one of Brighton’s starting strikers.
Lewis Dunk and Tyrone Mings: Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings has nudged ahead of Lewis Dunk in the pecking order for the England squad. Dunk and Mings have made just one appearance each for the Three Lions, with Mings making his debut last week in Bulgaria. Dunk will no doubt be keen to impress and many Albion fans remain perplexed as to why Dunk continues to be overlooked.
This game has been a long time in the making: Believe it or not, Brighton have only faced Aston Villa twice in the league since 1983 with both games ending in a 1-1 draw. Both encounters came in the 2016-17 Championship season in which Brighton got promoted to the Premier League. It has to be said that the teams did face each other in the League Cup last month though which saw Villa win 3-1 against a very young Albion side.
Potter back in Birmingham: The Brighton manager was born in Solihull and came through the academy at Birmingham City before bouncing around the football league and playing for fellow midlands-club West Brom. No doubt fans at West Brom and Birmingham would love to see Potter do well at Villa Park.
Potter and Smith head-to-head: The two managers have praised each other in the past but with Potter winning just one of his four encounters against Smith, he will be keen to get one over on his midlands-mate. The Aston Villa manager won his first game in charge of the Villans against Potter’s Swansea in a 1-0 victory last year. It was the Villa manager who also won their most recent head-to-head as they won 3-1 in the League Cup at the Amex last month.
Brighton’s young core: Fans will hope to see their young home grown talent Aaron Connolly and Steven Alzate continue their fine form in the Premier League. The Irish striker made his debut for the Republic of Ireland, following an impressive first Premier League start which saw him score twice against Tottenham Hotspur. Alzate, who withdrew from the Colombia under-23 squad with a minor injury, will hope to continue his run in the team. He has started the last three games at Newcastle and Chelsea and the home win against Spurs.