After a much needed break for the boys in claret and blue, Villa take a trip down to the south coast to face an in-form Brighton and Hove Albion.
Both teams come into this game in a good run of form with Aston Villa recently beating Arsenal, while Brighton have only lost once in their last six appearances (3W, 2D, 1L).
Villa will be looking to get revenge on Brighton following a disappointing result against the Seagulls back in November 2020, but what can they expect?
LET’S LOOK AT THE STATS
Brighton are a side who show great attacking intent, however, they seem to be wasteful with the chances they are creating.
This is perfectly shown when comparing their expected goals to their actual goals scored.
Brighton currently have an expected goals return of 30.7, ninth best in the league.
Despite this, they have only managed to score 24 goals this season, 14th best in the Premier League.
This means that Brighton have scored 6.7 less goals than what would be expected of them.
This goals minus expected goals return makes them the third most wasteful team in the Premier League.
If we continue looking into expected goals, the data suggests that Brighton are preventing opposition sides from creating many threatening chances.
Brighton have an expected goals against of only 25.3, which is the thirf best in the Premier League.
Brighton play with two tough central midfielders in front of their back four; most noticeably, Yves Bissouma.
The graph below is a good indication of how strong their back line is, while still being above average for chances created at the other end.
The data shows how Brighton are playing well enough to create good chances and prevent opposition attacks, however, they are not clinical enough in making the most of these good performances.
So why are Brighton struggling to turn these good performances into points?
A big reason for this is their poor shooting statistics.
While Brighton have managed to have an above average, 274 shots this season, they have only managed to have 69 shots on target, making them incredibly wasteful with their chances.
This means that Brighton have a shot on target percentage of just 25.5%, which is the worst in the league.
Looking at Brighton’s build-up play suggests that they like to keep the ball on the ground, but also aim to get the ball into the box as often as they can.
Brighton have completed 225 passes into the opposition penalty area (sixth in the league) and have also completed 66 crosses into the opposition penalty area (second in the league).
All of this data has been frustrating Brighton fans until recently, as they have been able to put an impressive run of form together; climbing up the league table in the process.
Graham Potter has quite a few injury concerns to contemplate ahead of the Aston Villa fixture.
Brighton will be without a number of important players including: Tariq Lamptey, Davy Propper, Jose Izquierdo and most noticeably, Solly March.
Meanwhile, Villa are still without Kourtney Hause and Wesley, but have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the trip down south.
Dean Smith also faces a big question on whether or not to start new signing, Morgan Sanson.
Who do you think should start for Aston Villa against Brighton and Hove Albion? Fill in the form below and we will release a ‘Fans XI’ before the game on Saturday Night.