Preview and prediction: here's a look at the numbers behind Southampton vs Brighton

Albion take on Southampton in the early kick-off today (Sunday) - here's a look at both teams' numbers

Saturday, 13th March 2021, 11:42 pm
Updated Saturday, 13th March 2021, 11:46 pm
Vestergaard scored in the reverse fixture

According to WhoScored.com, there hasn't been a Premier League game involving Brighton that has been settled by more than a one-goal margin since the start of December, so expect another close game here.

Form

Neither side are in good form and both probably lacking in confidence.

Brighton are 16th in the form table with one win, two draws and three losses in their last six Premier League fixtures.

Southampton are 18th in the form table with one win, one draw and four losses in their last six.

xG

It wouldn't be a Brighton stats story without mentioning xG.

In the actual table, Brighton sit in 17th position, but in the Expected Points table, which is based on Expected Goals for and against, they are in fifth place.

According to understat.com, Brighton are underperforming by 19.5 points, meaning if they had put their chances away they would be in a Europa League spot.

Southampton on the other hand are achieving what their underlying numbers are saying they should be achieving. The Saints are 14th in the league and 15th in the Expected Points table.

Imagine where Brighton could be with Danny Ings spearheading their attack?

Situation

Brighton have scored the majority of their goals from open play (18) or from the penalty spot (5).

Out of 35 in total, Albion have conceded seven from corners, three from set-pieces and six from the penalty spot.

The Saints have scored 11 goals out of 35 in total from either a set-piece, corner or penalty.

Few things from this: Southampton are dangerous in the air and are good at dead ball situations - the last time these two met James Ward-Prowse tee'd up Jannik Vestergaard from a corner. Brighton games involve penalties, both for and against Albion. And Southampton score from crosses into the box, while Brighton concede from them.

Formation

Brighton's most frequently picked formation is a 3-4-2-1

Southampton have set up in a 4-2-2-2 for the majority of the season, reverting to a 4-4-2 when in defence.

When The Saints played against Chelsea's 3-4-2-1 the game ended in a 1-1 draw. Maybe this is the closer indication as to what we can expect from the two formations tomorrow.

Free-kicks

Southampton's James Ward-Prowse has scored the most direct free-kicks in the league this season (4) and it comes as no surprise to say Brighton should prevent giving away silly fouls in dangerous positions.

Penalties

Brighton have been awarded eight penalties this season, which puts them in fourth place for most penalties received - scoring five and missing three.

Albion have also given away seven penalties, which puts them in joint second in the league for this stat.

Southampton have had four penalties received and five conceded.

I wouldn't be surprised if there's a penalty in the game tomorrow.

Injuries

Both sides have been hit with some major injuries to important players.

The likes of Danny Ings and Theo Walcott are out, and so are Tariq Lamptey, Solly March and Adam Webster for Brighton.

Game State

The Seagulls have scored 33% of their goals when they are a goal down, which indicates they have the ability and fight to comeback after going behind.

When Albion are a goal up, they have conceded nearly 25% of their total goals against, which says to me that they are unable to keep hold of a lead.

When The Saints are a goal ahead, they have scored seven and conceded seven, which indicates they are consistently inconsistent when in front.

This says to me both teams are very hit-and-miss, unable to hold a lead or capitalise when winning.

Timing

Southampton have scored the majority of their goals (11) between the 35th and 45th minute.

Ralph Hassenhuttl's men concede the majority of their goals between the 46th and 60th minute (12), and 76th to the 90th minute (10).

Brighton's timing stats are quite interesting, Albion are good at spreading out the chances and goals throughout the whole 90 minutes.

Albion have conceded the majority of their goals (8) between the 46th and 60th minute, which indicates they are slow out of the blocks after half-time.

Once again, this looks to me like it could go either way.

Goal zones

As you can imagine, most of both teams' goals have come inside of the box.

Southampton have conceded 14% of their goals from outside of the box, so it might be worth Yves Bissouma and co to have a go from range tomorrow.

Prediction

Both teams are lacking in consistency and confidence at the moment, but both have the potential to be top sides on their day.

I'm going for a 1-1 draw with Vestergaard and Adam Lallana to score.