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Brighton & Hove Albion-Aston Villa Preview
Both Brighton & Hove Albion and Aston Villa should be eager to return to the pitch after each recorded an impressive Premier League victory prior to the international break.
These sides look to build on their respective triumphs come Saturday when they meet at Villa Park.
Though still in the bottom-half of the Premier League table, yet arms' length from the relegation zone, Brighton (2-3-3) and Aston Villa (2-2-4) sit one place and one point apart. The Seagulls enter this matchday 14th in the table, with the newcomer Villans 15th.
Both entered the recent international break feeling good about themselves, at least momentarily. Villa halted an 0-2-2 rut with a resounding 5-1 victory over struggling Norwich City on Oct. 5. Brighton, meanwhile, added to the recent misery of Tottenham Hotspur by pulling off a stunning 3-0 home win on the same day to prevail for the first time since opening the campaign with a triumph over lowly Watford by the same scoreline.
"Both teams will be going into it with confidence," Villa manager Dean Smith said at his Thursday's press conference. "It will be a good game of football."
After totaling just two league goals in the previous five matches, Brighton got an eighth-minute goal from Neal Maupay (three goals in 2019-20) and one on either side of half-time from Aaron Connolly to label reeling Spurs.
"I felt the performance against (Spurs) was coming from what I was seeing every day from the group," manager Graham Potter said as posted on Brighton's official Twitter feed.
"It's an exciting time because I think we can still improve and get better."
Looking to win back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since March, the Seagulls move forward with forward Leandro Trossard, midfielder Solly March and defender Shane Duffy all fit and available to feature on Saturday.
Brighton might eye a little pay-back against Aston Villa after falling 3-1 to them in League Cup play on Sept. 25. Hayden Roberts scored the Seagulls' lone goal in that match, whilst Jota, Conor Hourihane and Jack Grealish all tallied for the visiting Villans.
Grealish and Hourihane (four goals over all competitions) each scored and Wesley (four goals Premier League goals) recorded a brace with an assist during Villa's rout of Norwich. The Villans have totaled nine goals whilst earning four points from their last three Premier League matches.
"There's a football team that is evolving here," Smith told Aston Villa's official website. "I think there's a club that's come together. We are all pulling in the same direction. There's a great feel about the place."
Updated October 17, 2019