High-flying Brighton welcome a resurgent Arsenal to the Amex Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
Monday’s 1-1 derby draw with Crystal Palace denied Brighton’s first ever spell at the summit of England’s top tier. However, Graham Potter has obliterated the club’s previous record top flight start by accruing as many points in six games as the Seagulls had scrapped together by New Year’s Day last season.
Here’s the lineup Potter may call upon to prolong their honeymoon opening.
Robert Sanchez (GK) – Now sporting the digit on the back of his shirt that accurately reflects his status among the squad, Sanchez is Brighton’s number one both literally and symbolically.
Shane Duffy (CB) – With more shots (and goals) than Harry Kane this season, Duffy has made an impressive return to Brighton’s setup.
Lewis Dunk (CB) – Potter’s trusted captain would have received an England call up last summer had Gareth Southgate heeded the lavish praise Brighton’s manager heaped on Dunk throughout the previous campaign.
Dan Burn (CB) – Making his first league start of the season against Palace, Brighton’s vertically gifted defender may be turned to once again as Adam Webster continues to watch on from the treatment table.
Joel Veltman (RWB) – Flying under the radar as one of the division’s most creative defenders, Veltman is averaging the same expected assists (xA) tally as Liverpool’s lauded Andy Robertson this season (per Opta).
Adam Lallana (CM) – Having spent the first 45 minutes of the campaign watching his side trail to Burnley, Lallana’s half-time introduction – which sparked a comeback – at Turf Moor is the last time the former England international hasn’t been part of the club’s starting Premier League XI.
Yves Bissouma (CM) – A late fitness test robbed Brighton of their dynamo on Monday but, providing he’s recovered from that knock to the knee, Bissouma will make a warmly received return to a midfield he has so far dominated.
Marc Cucurella (LWB) – Six months after initially targeting him, the wild-haired Cucurella finally became a Brighton player on deadline day and has swiftly settled into his south coast surroundings since.
Leandro Trossard (RW) – Brighton’s most prolific shooter and penetrative passer has scarcely shirked his defensive duties during a fast start to the campaign.
Neal Maupay (ST) – Already halfway to last season’s final tally, Maupay has scored as many goals as every other Brighton player put together so far.
Alexis Mac Allister (LW) – Despite officially signing for Brighton in January 2019, a combination of work permits and COVID-19 have restricted Mac Allister to just four appearances at an Amex Stadium with fans inside. He may well make it five on Saturday.