Brighton and Hove Albion are embarking on a club-record fifth consecutive season in the top flight with plenty of optimism around the AMEX.
Although they've finished 15th, 17th, 15th, and 16th in their four previous Premier League seasons, Graham Potter's side played far better than their results suggested last term. On expected goals, Albion finished fifth, with 20 points more than they actually earned, and with the third meanest defence in the division.
Couple that with six points from their opening three games this term, thanks to wins over Burnley and Watford, there's a real feeling that The Seagulls are set for a positive season ahead.
There wasn't a huge amount of business done in the summer. Enock Mwepu [Red Bull Salzburg], Kjell Scherpen [Ajax], and Marc Cucurella [Getafe] were the main additions while, aside from Ben White moving to Arsenal, it was mainly squad players like Davy Pröpper [PSV Eindhoven], Matt Ryan [Real Sociedad], and Alireza Jahanbakhsh [Feyenoord] who departed.
Perhaps Albion's best bit of business though was keeping hold of midfield linchpin Yves Bissouma (pictured above).
Writing for Hot Off The Press Sussex Live's Richie Mills, expects: "It’ll be a three at the back with wing-backs; Sanchez in goal, Webster, Duffy and Dunk in the back three, Veltman at right wing-back, March on the left if he’s fit, otherwise it could be a debut for Cucurella.
Bissouma will be in a holding role and in the midfield, Potter has done a bit of tinkering, so it could be any of Lallana, Mac Allister, Moder and Gross. I reckon Trossard could be in as a winger/No 10 and then Maupay (pictured above) up front"
Mads Bech (knee) and Josh Dasilva (hip) are out but everyone else is fit and available for selection.
For The Seagulls Tariq Lamptey (hamstring) remains sidelined as does Dan Burn (knee) and Kjell Scherpen (ankle). Graham Potter revealed yesterday that deadline day signing Marc Cucurella will be involved in the squad tomorrow as could Solly March and Aaron Connolly following their recent injury issues.
Graham Potter's path to the Premier League is not one which many managers have followed.
Solihull-born Potter spent a decade in the lower leagues of English football, starting off at home-town Birmingham City before spells with Stoke City, Southampton, where he made eight Premier League appearances, West Bromwich Albion, York City, Boston United, and Macclesfield Town.
After making nearly 400 professional appearances, he retired in 2005 and, shortly after, graduated from the Open University with a degree in Social Sciences. Potter then spent five years working in University football, latterly combining his time as assistant coach at Leeds Metropolitan University with a masters in Leadership and Emotional Intelligence.
In December 2010, he took charge of Östersund, then a fourth-division side in Sweden. He earned back-to-back league titles during his first two-years in charge before taking Östersund to the top flight in 2015. In April 2017, he guided OFK to the Swedish Cup and, later that year, made history with his side becoming the first Swedish club to progress beyond the Europa League group stage. Potter joined Swansea in June 2018 after nearly eight years in Sweden.
He guided Swansea to tenth during his one season in charge before replacing Chris Hughton on the south coast in the summer of 2019.
THE OPPOSITION VIEW
Graham Potter told brightonandhovealbion.com: “I've always found [Brentford] very tough to play and they have made a good start. They have changed a little bit in terms of their formation and how they play, but they still have a lot of the same qualities, like great organisation.
"They have done a fantastic job and are really hard to play and score against, so we know it will be a difficult game."
Referee: Graham Scott
Assistant Referees: Darren Cann and Mark Scholes
Fourth Official: Dean Whitestone
Video Assistant Referee: Lee Mason
Additional Video Assistant Referee: Adrian Holmes
Brighton and Hove Albion 21/22
25 fouls - 14th in Premier League
6 yellow cards - 7th in Premier League
0 red cards - Joint-Fewest in Premier League
My Bees Members can still buy tickets for tomorrow's game via the Ticket Exchange
Premier League Covid Certification: If you’re attending the game tomorrow, we’d like to remind you to arrive early to make your journey and admission to the ground as comfortable as possible. In case you missed it, we will be conducting a Covid-19 status survey of up to 10 per cent of adult fans tomorrow. Find out more about Premier League Covid Certification here.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Our Brighton clash is not being shown live in the UK so the only way for domestic fans to follow all the action live is to listen on iFollow.
Joining Mark Burridge will be Brentford Women's Head Coach Karleigh Osborne and promotion-winning midfielder Jonathan Douglas.
For fans around the world, the game is being shown live through the Premier League's broadcast partners. Click here to see if the game is on where you are.