Aston Villa-Brighton & Hove Albion Preview

Brighton and Hove Albion boss Roberto De Zebri says he would like his team to begin games above and beyond expectation, as they prepare to meet Aston Villa in the Premier League this weekend.

The two teams will play their final match before the international break for the World Cup, with both hoping to see out the first act of the campaign on a winning note after managerial changes already this term.

De Zebri hopes his team will be able to claim three points when Villa come to town, and says he would like to see the Seagulls show they can prove their mettle straight out of the gate.

"I would like my team always to start the game at 150 per cent," he stated. "For one thing, not because the opponent can soften. If you are playing at home and you start the first 15 minutes strong, your fans can play with you, and you play with 12 instead of 11."

On how he can further develop the team after Qatar, he added: "I have some ideas about the next period after the World Cup, but I have to understand how many players can come back before the league starts again.

"Step by step, I am not in a rush. I think I already gave the players some new ideas and they are able to play with new ideas. I don't want to change too many things."

Opposite number Unai Emery meanwhile says his new team's challenge is to prove they can pick up points on the road after they lost in the EFL Cup to Manchester United.

"They are so attentive every day, tactically and in not a lot of days working because we arrive one week ago," he suggested. "They are very open to listen to everything we are giving them about our idea.

"In those two matches there were a lot of things more positive than negative and the next step is clear for us. The challenge is to be competitive away and the consequence will give us three points."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Brighton - Adam Lallana

The Seagulls man opened the scoring in Brighton's 3-2 win against Wolves last time out, ending a run of 42 Premier League games without a goal. He last scored more than once in a single season back in 2016-17 (8), while he last scored in consecutive league games in December 2016.

Aston Villa - Jacob Ramsey

The midfielder got a goal and an assist in Aston Villa's 3-1 win against Manchester United last time out, registering as many goal involvements in that game as he had in his previous 21 Premier League appearances combined (1 goal, 1 assist).

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Brighton have won just one of their six Premier League meetings with Aston Villa (D2 L3), winning 2-1 at Villa Park in November 2020.

- Aston Villa are unbeaten in their last six away league games against Brighton (W2 D4), since a 1-0 loss in their 1980-81 title-winning season. Having won 2-0 in this fixture last term, the Villans are looking to pick up back-to-back away league wins against Brighton for the first time.

- Brighton have won back-to-back Premier League games, having won none of their first five under Roberto De Zerbi (D2 L3). The Seagulls haven't won three consecutive league games since October 2018 under Chris Hughton.

- Aston Villa have won two of their last three Premier League games (L1), as many as they had in their previous 15 (D5 L8). They're looking to pick up back-to-back Premier League victories for the first time since May.

- Both Brighton and Aston Villa have scored a league-high six Premier League goals in the opening 15 minutes of games this season. For Aston Villa, it accounts for 43% of their total goals scored this season, and with five of those six strikes coming in their last three games.