The quality Arsenal have in their squad was not reflected in their performance against Manchester City on Wednesday evening – and Mikel Arteta will be looking to put that right on the trip to south coast relegation battlers Brighton on Saturday.
It wasn’t so much the defeat but the manner of it which most hurt Gunners supporters cheering on their heroes from all corners of the globe as Premier League football returned for the first time after 100 days this week.
While the news that Pablo Mari may miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury he picked up at the Etihad means Arteta’s backline is already threadbare just days into the restart of the league - with Arteta yet to decide whether to include or jettison Mesut Ozil for Saturday’s game.
If you throw in the fact that David Luiz misses the game through a two match suspension after a miserable 25 minute cameo which saw him allow Raheem Sterling space to fire home the opener before the former Chelsea man got himself sent off early in the second half then the absentee list grows daily. Not to mention Granit Xhaka who may also miss out thanks to the ankle injury he sustained in the opening minutes in Manchester.
Zech Medley travels with the squad to bolster numbers.
For Brighton long-term absentee Jose Izquierdo is the only player unavailable to head coach Graham Potter.
Potters' Seagulls are aiming to complete their first league double over the Gunners following their excellent 2-1 victory at the Emirates back in December, over a disjointed side led by Freddie Ljungberg in the weeks before Arteta was appointed.
Arsenal are winless in four away league games against Brighton (D1, L3), last winning in April 1981 – though George Graham’s side did beat them 2-1 in an FA Cup fourth round clash in January 1988 at the long-lost Goldstone Ground in front of more than 10,000 travelling Gooners.
Something has to give as Brighton could equal their top-flight club record of 10 matches without a win on Saturday while Arsenal have won only two of their 14 away league fixtures this season (D8, L4).
Ninth-placed Arsenal have lost only one of their 17 league fixtures against teams currently below them in the table (W8, D8) – however the defeat in question was the 2-1 loss to Brighton in a rare Thursday evening league game on December 5 last year.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is still looking for his 50th Premier League goal, currently standing on 49 in 76 top flight matches.
What time is kick-off?
Brighton vs Arsenal kicks off at 3pm on Saturday.
While the start time is traditional what is new is the fact that it will be broadcast live. For in the history of English football no match has ever been televised at 3pm on a Saturday. The thinking behind that was so as not to disrupt or detract from the majority of matches played at that time at all levels throughout the game. And of course not to adversely affect attendances of other sides, most notably lower league clubs.
With only top flight games being played - behind closed doors - those scenarios have been removed. Hence the live broadcast.
How can I watch it?
There is a match scheduled for every day until July 10 so get set for a feast of (behind closed doors) football with games and kick-off times staggered so you don’t have to miss a second. Unless you want to of course – which judging by Arsenal’s dire performance at City could be no bad thing.
But for the masochists among us Brighton vs Arsenal is on BT Sport 1 from 2.45pm on Saturday, following on from the Watford vs Leicester early kick off beforehand.
If you are watching in North America try fuboTV US.
There are different ways to get BT Sport. If you already have BT Broadband you can add BT TV and Sport to your existing contract from £15pm. Or you can add the ‘Big Sport’ package for £40pm which includes all BT Sport and 11 Sky Sports channels via a NOW TV pass.
How to live stream Brighton vs Arsenal?
You can watch the game at the Amex with a BT Sport monthly pass without signing a contract.
Regular subscribers can also stream games through the BT Sport website or BT Sport app on a variety of devices including laptops, tablets and smartphones.