Chris Hughton’s Brighton welcome table-topping Liverpool to the Amex on Saturday in the Premier League, with the hosts looking to extend their recent unbeaten run to four games.
The visitors, having lost successive games in the past week will be eager to return to winning ways, knowing that any points dropped will open up the title race further.
The Seagulls have shown a new found solidity in recent weeks with draws against Arsenal and West Ham and a victory over Everton; results that should give Brighton fans cause for optimism in the second half of the season.
Here’s how Brighton are likely to lineup for Liverpool‘s visit.
1. Goalkeeper and Defenders
David Button (GK) – With first choice goalkeeper Mathew Ryan absent on international duty in the Asia Cup, the 29-year-old will continue to deputise for the Australian.
Martin Montoya (RB) – Following his arrival in the summer, the Spaniard has been a mainstay at the back for the Seagulls, keeping Ezequiel Schelotto out of the side.
Shane Duffy (CB) – The big Irishman’s influence on Hughton’s side cannot be underestimated. When Duffy served a three match suspension Brighton lost three on the bounce, though have gone unbeaten since his return to the starting XI.
Lewis Dunk (CB) – Has an excellent understanding with Duffy at the heart of Brighton’s defence and has the passing ability to set up attacks from the back.
Gaetan Bong (LB) – Bernardo has made the left back spot his own after a slow start to life in the Premier League. Bong is the more likely inclusion for Saturday however with the Brazilian limping off last week against West Ham.
Dale Stephens (DM) – Mr. Reliable in the Brighton midfield. Provides balance and screens the back four well while possessing the ball-playing attributes to dictate play.
Davy Propper (DM) – Signed originally to play further forward, Propper has dropped into a deeper role over the past year. The Netherlands midfielder certainly has goals in him though Brighton fans are yet to see that aspect of his game, and can expect more from the former PSV man in the future.
Solly March (RM) – Blessed with natural pace and a wicked cross, March will be disappointed with his goal return this term, though his consistent playing time suggests Hughton trusts him over the unpredictable Anthony Knockaert.
Jurgen Locadia (LM) – With crucial goals against Arsenal and Everton in his last three appearances, the physically imposing forward will be hard to leave out for Hughton.
Pascal Gross (CAM) – After a stellar breakthrough season last term, the German has struggled for fitness this time around. Two trademark assists against West Ham last week should give Brighton fans hope that their talisman is finding his feet again after a lengthy lay-off.
Glenn Murray (ST) – While Murray has shown he can trouble defences if given the right service, the veteran forward has struggled to find goals this term with Brighton using him less as a target man. Hughton may soon be tempted to use Locadia or Florin Andone in a striking role if Murray’s goal return doesn’t improve.