By 90Min
January 30, 2018

We're treated to a double billing of Premier League football this week with a a full set of midweek fixtures on top of this weekends games. Brighton will be making the trip across the South Coast to Southampton on Wednesday evening, and with only one point separating them in the Premier League table, it could be a close encounter.

Brighton will be looking to bounce back from their 4-0 hammering against league leaders Chelsea, in the last round of Premier League fixtures. While The Saints will have some confidence after gaining a point against Tottenham and a win could see them climb out of the relegation zone, depending on the result of the Stoke v Watford game. 

Here is everything you need to know ahead of the encounter at St Mary's.


 Classic Encounter

Henry Browne/GettyImages

Brighton's promotion to the Premier League this season marked the first time these two sides would match up in the league since 2012 in the Championship. The reverse fixture this season ended in a 1-1 draw. 

Looking back on their time in the Championship and League One, Southampton have come out on top of the majority of the clashes between these two sides, having won five and only lost two of their last 10 meetings. One of those losses did come at St Mary's but the Seagulls have not managed to score there in their last two visits, leaving on the end of a 3-0 defeat the last time these teams lined up in Southampton. 


Key Battle

Wesley Hoedt v Leonardo Ulloa

The Dutch central defender is likely to pair up with Jack Stephens in defence and could be up against Brighton's new signing Leonardo Ulloa. 

Ulloa has returned to Brighton after a previous 18month spell with the Seagulls in 2013. The last time he wore the blue and white stripes he rallied up 26 goals in 58 appearances. The Argentine then made the move to Leicester where he scored 20 goals in his time there. 

A clear goal threat, Hoedt will have to be prepared to mark his man and limit Brighton's chances of getting through the Southampton defence, preventing a dream return for Leonardo Ulloa. 

Team News
Southampton v Watford - The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round

Mauricio Pellegrino didn't make too many changes for their clash against Watford, however we can expect Ward-Prowse and Gabbiadini to return to the starting 11. Southampton could be facing a big blow with Ryan Bertrand (hamstring) a doubt after limping off against Watford.

Chris Hughton is likely to bring players back into the starting line-up after making seven changes for the FA cup fixture last weekend.

Brighton's signing of Leonardo Ulloa could see the striker brought straight into the team.


Potential Southampton Starting Lineup: McCarthy; Soares, Stephens, Hoedt, Pied; Romeu, Lemina, Ward-Prowse, Højbjerg; Tadic, Gabbiadini

Potential Brighton Starting Lineup: Ryan; Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk, Suttner; Knockaert, Stephens, Pröpper, Groß; Ulloa, Murray

Prediction
Brighton and Hove Albion v Chelsea - Premier League

This could be a very tight game. Neither team have won in their last four league fixtures. The Saints' are coming off the back of two draws in the league and the Seagulls have just suffered consecutive defeats.

Both teams struggle with a clean sheet and neither are high scorers.


However both teams are entering the game after a win in the FA Cup which will have lifted spirits. 

Prediction: Southampton 2 - 1 Brighton

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