Southampton will be hoping to bounce back from their disappointing start to the 2019/20 season, as they prepare to face Brighton on Saturday.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side have lost their opening two fixtures against Burnley and Liverpool respectively and will be aiming to get some points on the board at the Amex.
Saints ran out 1-0 victors in Sussex last season in the early days of Hasenhuttl’s reign. A tidy finish from skipper Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was the difference on the day, with another impressive display desired this weekend.
Brighton have had a good start to the new season, taking many by surprise. A 3-0 away demolition of Watford got their campaign off to a flyer before a hard-fought 1-1 draw against West Ham followed.
After bringing the likes of Aaron Mooy and Neal Maupay in from Huddersfield and Brentford respectively during the summer, Brighton will certainly be no pushovers.
Have Saints got what it takes to record back-to-back victories at the Amex? I take a look at the key battles…
Che Adams v Lewis Dunk
Che Adams remains without a Premier League goal so far, but he’s certainly looked sharp and threatening in the final third.
Hasenhuttl has recently praised the forward, saying he will be given time to adapt to life in the top flight.
With that being said, he is likely to lead the line for Saints tomorrow, so could open his goalscoring account. He won’t have an easy time against Lewis Dunk, however.
Oriol Romeu vs Pascal Gross
Pascal Gross has been one of Brighton’s bright sparks over recent seasons, with his vision and technical ability causing defences problems.
Oriol Romeu put in a sterling performance against Liverpool, earning high praise from his manager and supporters alike.
If he starts, he will need to be wary of Gross and aim to stop him from playing passes through to the strikers.
Kevin Danso vs Neal Maupay
Kevin Danso could make his highly-anticipated debut on Saturday after joining Saints very late on Deadline Day.
The youngster will be keen to showcase his talent and is likely to be up against Brighton’s new frontman Neal Maupay.
The former Brentford man scored for the Seagulls on the opening day against Watford, and Danso will need to keep him quiet.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg v Davy Propper
Hojbjerg scored the winner on this ground last season, so he will be a known dangerman for Brighton.
He is likely to match up against Davy Propper, who similarly to Pascal Gross, has been at the heart of the Brighton midfield in recent seasons and can cause problems.
With that being said, Hojbjerg can do just as much damage, as he has already shown, so it should be a good battle in midfield.
Jan Bednarek vs Leandro Trossard
Leandro Trossard arrived at Brighton from Genk, for a fee in the region of £15 million.
He didn’t feature in the game against Watford, but made his first appearance against West Ham last weekend, scoring their only goal in the 1-1 draw.
He played on the left side of a front three against West Ham, so if Bednarek begins in his usual position on the right side of a back three, then he will be tasked with keeping Trossard out of the game.
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