Kick-off: 1500, 26/12/2022
Stadium: St Mary’s Stadium
TV: Amazon Prime
Southampton need to hit the ground running after the international break but past history points to a close encounter with Brighton.
Since the Seagulls secured promotion to the Premier League, four of the five stagings of this fixture at St Mary’s have ended in stalemate.
Albion won the other 2-1, but we’re backing Saints to secure a share of the spoils again here at 12/5 as our first Southampton vs Brighton prediction.
Southampton had become accustomed to mid-table security thanks to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s ability to ride out some horrific results.
However, his charmed life came to an end last month and the appointment of Nathan Jones to his first top-flight job was a gamble with the club in the bottom two.
The former Luton boss just had time to take charge of a 3-1 loss at Liverpool before the World Cup break.
Tuesday’s home debut against Lincoln in the EFL Cup began badly with a Gavin Bazunu own goal inside two minutes but Saints rallied to win 2-1.
Southampton laboured for much of a forgettable fourth-round tie at a sparsely-populated St Mary’s, but Che Adams hit a double to turn things around.
A defiant Jones declared: “We’re trying to build something and we’re trying to win games. We’re not going to suddenly turn into Barcelona overnight.
“With the greatest of respect, we probably haven’t been doing the basics well enough up until now and that’s why we’re in the position we are, so we have to build.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day – and neither was a fantastic Southampton team.”
Jones looks sure to adopt a more pragmatic approach with his tactics than the high-tempo gameplan originally favoured by Hasenhuttl.
With just one Premier League clean sheet kept so far this season, though, Southampton vs Brighton odds.
Last Saints line-up: Bazunu, Lyanco, Salisu, Kotchap, Walker-Peters, Maitland-Niles, Ward-Prowse, Perraud, Elyounoussi, Armstrong, Adams.
Prior to the departure of Graham Potter, Brighton had made a flying start to the season, picking up 13 points out of a possible 18.
The disruption understandably stalled their progress, but Roberto De Zerbi did his best to get things back on track.
Wins over Chelsea and Wolves certainly helped, although signing off for Qatar 2022 with a 2-1 home loss to Aston Villa hurt.
Influential Argentina playmaker Alexis Mac Allister was predictably missing for Wednesday’s EFL Cup tie at Charlton, which Albion lost on penalties after a goalless stalemate.
“We are Brighton, we can lose games,” commented De Zerbi. “We had 10 or 15 chances but didn’t score, so there is the possibility you can lose the game.
“But the mentality of the group is strong and we know our level, so we will be ready for the next game against Southampton.”
A farcical shoot-out began with Pascal Gross and Leandro Trossard hitting the woodwork, while Solly March ballooned his effort over and Ashley Maynard-Brewer saved from Moises Caicedo.
That suggests the Seagulls need to sharpen up their attacking play and 23/4 for a 1-1 draw here is added to our Southampton vs Brighton betting tips.
That was the scoreline in this fixture last term, which was the third time in five seasons!
Last Brighton line-up: Steele, Lamptey, Dunk, Samuels Colwill, Gross, March, Lallana, Encisco, Caicedo, Gilmour, Undav.
|14'||Adam Lallana |
(Assist: Solly March)
|56'||Solly March |
(Assist: Joël Veltman)
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