Analysis: Brighton offer all the components for a captivating season
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 27: Brighton and Hove Albion fans cheer on their team ahead of the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion at Selhurst Park on September 27, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)

Wilfried Zaha had emphatically dispatched his penalty, Crystal Palace had exhibited their new approach under Patrick Viera - pressurising and forward-thinking, and Brighton & Hove Albion were all but fated to end the heated affair with a first away defeat of the season.

As the evening faded into night, so too did Brighton's prospects, and there was a sense of dejection across the stands housing the away crowd as their side slipped ever closer towards a loss against their rivals to tinge a lauded recent run in the division.

Nonetheless, the Seagulls demonstrated their increasing tenacity and inspiration in offence to capitalise on the opposing goalkeepers mistake, and strike conclusively to rescue an unlikely point in London.

Such determination, such desire is a consequence of head coach Graham Potter's exemplary work in grasping a team and providing a burgeoning rise towards the upper end of the division, establishing a slick, passing mentality capped with clinical prowess in front of goal.

And so heads are turned, and attentions are honed onto the next fixture, one that has been no stranger to animosity and drama on the pitch in recent years.

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Brighton welcome Arsenal to the AMEX Stadium with hopes of returning to winning ways against a team on the cusp of regaining the fray at the top after an excellent month. 

Albion reside in sixth place in the Premier League, with the club's return of 13 points only one behind leaders Liverpool. Arsenal, in contrast, sit in tenth - albeit with a trio of successive victories under the belt. 

A familiar foe to strike thrice?

There are a multitude of players that have warranted a mention for their efforts towards Albion's start to the campaign, but none with contributions more dramatic than the fiery talisman Neal Maupay.

The Frenchman has basked in a resounding upturn in form from last season, scoring four goals across six matches - including the deftly chipped equaliser in the dying embers of the previous outing.

Additionally, and importantly, Maupay has two goals across his past two starts against Arsenal, with both turning out to be the winner.

With an impassioned clash against Arsenal's Matteo Guendouzi last season, fuel is only added to the fire in the build-up to what is projected to be a fantastic match between two exciting teams.

Midfield presence diminished?

The opposing clubs, and their managers, will be incensed by the absence of key midfield components.

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Yves Bissouma and Granit Xhaka - playing for the Albion and Arsenal respectively, are set to miss the encounter after sustaining knee injuries in recent weeks, with the latter's woes detrimental to hopes of playing again before the turn of the year. 

Brighton missed the Malian midfielder's ubiquitous influence against Palace, and struggled in there first half as Viera's side mustered a wealth of openings in and around the Brighton defensive area. 

Xhaka was withdrawn in Arsenal's victory over rivals Tottenham Hotspur and there will now be unease over the potential disruption to a midfield that was beginning to unearth a strong vein of form. 

Unwavering defence

There are a number of compelling statistics to back up  the talk behind Potter's sturdy defence that have become oh-so important to the teams endeavours.

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Shot-stopper Robert Sanchez boasts two clean sheets in the league thus far this term, with the five goals conceded across six outings bettered only be the three teams at the top of the pile.

Furthermore, the Seagulls have only faced 16 shots on target in the league during this time, with only champions Manchester City - cohesive, fluid, and regimented in their defensive play - conceding fewer.

It is crucial to note that Ben White will play against Brighton for the first time since leaving for Arsenal in a high-profile and lucrative transfer deal this summer.  

It is also vital to point out that void left in the formers defence has passed fleetingly, and the resurgence of the veteran Shane Duffy has proved invaluable to Albion after an unsuccessful loan period with Celtic.

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