Aiming to avoid losing three matches on the bounce for the first time since March 2022, Brighton & Hove Albion return to the Amex Stadium to meet Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday in the Premier League. On the back of their FA Cup semi-final heartbreak, the Seagulls’ misery was compounded in a 3-1 loss to Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, prior to which Julen Lopetegui’s side defeated Crystal Palace 2-0.
Brighton striker Danny Welbeck was able to come on as a substitute in the loss to Forest following an injury scare in the FA Cup, but it remains to be seen if Evan Ferguson’s ankle problem will clear up in time for the Irish starlet – who has just signed a new long-term contract at the Amex – to feature.
Adam Lallana (thigh), Jakub Moder (knee), Tariq Lamptey (knee) and Jeremy Sarmiento (ankle) all remain sidelined for the hosts, who could make a defensive alteration with Joel Veltman coming in at right-back, allowing Gross to push further forward.
Buonanotte’s reward for his opener at the City Ground could therefore be a demotion to the bench, while a fit-again Welbeck is poised to displace Julio Enciso at the tip of the forward line.
As for the visitors, Lopetegui is still coping without long-term knee victims Chiquinho and Sasa Kalajdzic, while Boubacar Traore is still building up his match fitness and is not being considered for selection just yet either.
Wolves are otherwise in good shape for the long journey south, and Lopetegui would ideally keep changes to a minimum given the manner of his side’s win at Palace, although Joao Gomes is a strong candidate to come in for Hwang Hee-chan.
Despite failing to add to his one-goal tally in the current Premier League season on Tuesday night, Diego Costa unsurprisingly made a nuisance of himself – in a good way – and should link up with Matheus Cunha in the final third again.
Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Steele; Veltman, Dunk, Webster, Estupinan; Caicedo, Gross; March, Mac Allister, Mitoma; Welbeck
Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Sa; Semedo, Dawson, Kilman, Bueno; Gomes, Neves, Lemina, Nunes; Cunha, Costa
Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Without the Molineux faithful spurring them on, Wolves have consistently struggled to perform away from their headquarters, and their hopes of a first clean sheet on their travels since August are wafer-thin.
Although Brighton’s performance this month has not been impressive, De Zerbi’s team has shown resilience after setbacks throughout the season. We believe in the Seagulls’ ability to bounce back and maintain their chances of qualifying for Europe.