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Brighton v Arsenal - Gunners to Shoot Down Gulls?

After the week we’ve had, it would be easy to look to this fixture against Brighton as an easy opportunity to get back into the winning habit.There are a few pointers worth bearing in mind though.Chris Hughton’s team have only lost at the Amex three times in this league season, and the teams who have got those three wins? City, Chelsea and Liverpool.Brighton are also unbeaten in their last six games too. They have a player in Pascal Gross who is keeping up with Kevin DeBruyne, David Silva and Mesut Ozil in regards to chances created, and Glenn Murray already has double figures for the season. Lewis Dunk is another of their leading lights this season, and leads the way for total blocks in the PL. Hughton makes sure his team play to their strengths and they will be fighting tooth and nail to keep their head above the choppy waters of the relegation zone.Then we get to our confidence levels. We’re more than aware that our team are fuelled on confidence, so this game will see our players running on empty and relying on grit to overcome what will no doubt be a congested final third.Arsene Wenger has some painful choices to make too. Granit Xhaka has been quite simply, overwhelmed in the two losses against City, and his continued failings in regards to his defensive duties are overshadowing his passing skills. We need him to have his head on a swivel for runners at both ends of the pitch. So, who does Wenger opt for? Jack Wilshere is a doubt for this game, as is Nacho Monreal. It looks like the only viable choices in midfield to swap out the Swiss midfielder will be Mohamed Elneny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Will Wenger keep Xhaka in the side?Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang will be keen to erase his soft penalty in the city loss - the second one that is - and if Mkhitaryan and Ozil have their eye in, then he could reap the reward. With Alexandre Lacazette out for a few weeks still, the Gabon man is crucial to our fading hopes. We need the man firing.Defensively, Kolasinac should replace Monreal should the Spaniard miss out, Laurent Koscielny may be rested as his tendonitis doesn’t respond well to a lot of matches in close proximity. That would give Calum Chambers or Rob Holding a start alongside the recently shaky Shkodran Mustafi.There are other options too, and the squad will be aware they’ll be vying for a starting spot in the looming Europa League match versus AC Milan on Thursday. The competition represents our last hope of any success and we’ll need our players firing on all cylinders, but winning is a habit and there could be nothing better for our preparations than a win against the Gulls.Our away form is a massive concern, and this game is yet another that will be a worry. The Gulls are strong at home and with their precarious position, a real danger could be they will want the points more than us, given our ambivalent performances of late. Petr Cech has been waiting for his 200th clean sheet for what seems like an age. Will he be able to rely on his defence to give him a shot of earning it in this game? We need to first win the small battles on the pitch, and then we can slowly rebuild our fragile confidence. The matches are two a week for the next fortnight. We need to win all of them in reality.At this moment in time, it seems a leap too far.Predicted lineup - Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Chambers, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Ramsey, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, AubameyangPredicted Scoreline - a very tight 2-1 win to The Arsenal. #UTA