Brighton and Hove Albion team news: Expected Premier League line-up vs Leicester City

Brighton will be missing their best defender as they prepare to face the Premier League's best striker.

Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 12:58 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd November 2019, 11:33 pm
Brighton and Hove Albion striker Aaron Connolly will hope to shrug off a groin problem in time for their clash against Leicester City at the Amex Stadium this Saturday

It's an unsettling combination for Albion fans as they resume Premier League action against second placed Leicester City at the Amex Stadium this Saturday following the latest international break.

Albion will be without their skipper Lewis Dunk, who has played every Premier League match so far this season, as he collected his fifth booking of the campaign during the 3-1 loss at Manchester United.

The suspension arrives at just the wrong time as Leicester's Jamie Vardy - at the age of 32 - is in the form of career and tops the PL scoring charts with 11 goals in from 12 league outings.

The striker scored 24 goals in City's title-winning season and he is almost halfway to that total already. Vardy has contributed to 38 per cent of City's goals - no player in the Premier League has had a bigger contribution.

Albion are also without their defender Adam Webster who damaged his ankle ligaments against Norwich City, while strikers Leandro Trossard and Aaron Connolly are both fitness doubts with groin problems.

Brighton are 11th in the league standings and have won their last three matches at the Amex Stadium, with victories against Spurs, Everton and Norwich. So how might Graham Potter set his team up against Brendan Rodger's high-flying foxes?

Defence

Brighton are a little stretched in this area at the moment. Lewis Dunk is suspended and £20m summer signing Adam Webster remains sidelined with ankle ligament damage. Much will depend on whether head coach Graham Potter opts to go with three at the back or stick with a four.

Albion began with a defensive three in the early stages of the season but more recently they have started matches with four at the back. If he goes with a four, it will likely see Martin Montoya on the right and Shane Duffy in at centre back. Dan Burn could easily shuffle across from the left and take up a more central position alongside Duffy. Gaetan Bong or Bernardo - if he has recovered from a knee problem - may well slot in at left back.

Either way, they will be severely tested against the PL's top scorer Jamie Vardy. Ayoze Pérez and Harvey Barnes have also impressed in the Leicester attack this season with James Maddison a threat from a slightly deeper attacking role.

Midfield

Brighton have been at their best this season when dominating possession. They struggled against Chelsea and Manchester United because Albion were pressed very well and denied time when they had possession.

Leicester will likely offer a similar challenge and Brighton's passing will have to be sharp and incisive if they are to control this match. Davy Propper and Dale Stephens will likely form the hub of the midfield but then it starts to get interesting. Leandro Trossard didn't feature for Belgium at the international break as he continues to recover from a groin problem, while striker Aaron Connolly also withdrew from international duty with Ireland, also with a groin injury.

If both are fit, Potter could well stick with four across the middle with Trossard or Pascal Gross offering the width. Steven Alzate played a full 90 minutes for Colombia in the US on Tuesday and his fitness will be assessed closer to kick-off. Solly March and Aaron Mooy will also hope to impress Potter this week as they try to force their way into a midfield that has serious competition for starting places.

Attack

Potter has used Neal Maupay and Aaron Connolly as the attacking focal point in recent matches. Connolly was taken off at halftime in the 3-1 loss at Old Trafford and it was enough to keep him out of Ireland's last two international matches.

Connolly has not scored for Albion since his two-goals against Tottenham but his energy and movement consistently causes problems for opposing defenders. He has the ability to draw fouls and relieve pressure on the midfield and defence. The freekicks he wins in attacking areas are also crucial with Gross and Trossard able to deliver excellent set-pieces, with the likes of Shane Duffy always a threat when quality balls are played into the box. Maupay is Brighton's leading scorer with four goals so far this season.

The Frenchman has not scored since Everton and will be keen to increase his tally on Saturday. Glenn Murray came on for the second 45 at Old Trafford and the 36-year-old, who has been used sparingly this season, provides a different kind of threat to Connolly and Maupay.

Conclusion

Graham Potter often says team selection is about finding solutions to challenges and the head coach certainly has a few head-scratchers for this one. Much will depend on the fitness of Trossard and Connolly but how he reshuffles his defensive options will also also be key against a potent Leicester attack. Brighton are looking for their fourth straight PL win at the Amex and if they are at their best, there is no reason why they can't give an-form Leicester a serious contest.