Arsenal vs Brighton: Preview, team news & prediction

​Arsenal host Brighton on Thursday night in Freddie Ljungberg’s first home game in charge of the Gunners and the first match at the Emirates since Unai Emery’s sacking.The Swede’s debut as interim manager ended in a 2-2 draw away at Norwich as Arsenal came from behind twice to salvage a point but the result left the Gunners eighth in the table and seven points off the Champions League qualifying spots.Meanwhile, the Seagulls make the trip to north London having suffered three successive defeats in the top flight, a run of form which has left the club in 16th position in the standings. Team NewsDani Ceballos remains out of action with a hamstring problem and is aiming to be back training by mid-December but Hector Bellerin will be assessed before Thursday’s game, while Rob Holding has an outside chance of returning from a knee problem.There could be recalls for Lucas Torreira and record signing Nicolas Pépé who both found themselves left out of the starting XI against Norwich, while Kieran Tierney will be pushing for a start after also being left out for the draw at Carrow Road. Brighton will be able to call on Bernardo at the Emirates Stadium as the left-back has not played since August due to a knee injury but is back in training. Solly March (groin) and Jose Izquierdo (knee) miss out.Recent FormArsenal’s recent form has been horrendous and it was no real surprise that it cost Unai Emery his job they’ve not won in six ​Premier League games, with their last league win coming at the start of October against Bournemouth.This form has resulted in them slipping out of the top four all the way down to eighth and they find themselves battling for a Europa League spot they’ve drawn the second most league games this season with seven and you wonder where they’d be if they’d converted these draws into wins.Brighton have experienced a slight dip in form in recent weeks after a promising start. They’ve lost their last three but, to be fair, these games were against Manchester United, Leicester and Liverpool. Prior to these three defeats, they had won back-to-back league games against Everton and Norwich, who are two of the four teams that are currently beneath them.Head to HeadArsenal have beaten Brighton 12 times, drawn four games and lost three matches.However, the Gunners have not won in their last three meetings, with last season’s League meetings both ending 1-1.Arsenal possible starting lineup: Leno; Bellerin, Mustafi, Luiz, Tierney; Xhaka, Torreira; Aubameyang, Willock, Ozil; LacazetteBrighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup: Ryan; Montoya, Webster, Dunk, Burn; Propper, Stephens, Alzate; Gross, Maupay, TrossardScoreline prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Brighton

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