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Tottenham Hotspur vs. Brighton & Hove Albion Preview: When it all comes together

Spurs are cruising, but the margins remain narrow.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by David Horton - CameraSport via Getty Images

Another weekend, another set of perfect results, as Tottenham Hotspur quickly erased a six-point gap behind Arsenal for fourth place in the two weeks since the international break. No one could have scripted it better, with Arsenal losing its second straight (and third of its last four) as well as West Ham, Manchester United, and Wolves all picking up zero points last weekend.

Adding these opposition results to a fourth straight victory means Spurs own fourth place outright currently with seven matches to go. While the situation is still extremely delicate, this is a drastically better position than how things looked just two weeks ago. Of course, that just shows how fine the margins are right now.

Tottenham has a good chance to keep the momentum up against a Brighton & Hove Albion side that has just one win in its past eight matches. Hilariously that came against Arsenal last Saturday, but while the Seagulls netted a pair of nice goals, analytics say there is not a ton to fear here.

Tottenham Hotspur (4th, 57pts) vs. Brighton & Hove Albion (11th, 37pts)

Date: Saturday, April 16
Time: 7:30 am ET, 12:30 pm UK
Location: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, England
TV: USA Network (USA), BT Sport 1 (UK)

These two clubs are awfully familiar with each other at this point, as this will be their third meeting since the start of February. Spurs advanced from the Fourth Round of the FA Cup with a 3-1 win, then the squads met again at the Amex in March with the visitors winning 0-2 in a makeup from December’s Covid postponement.

Cristian Romero was a huge factor that night, showcasing his signature defensive aggression, but was also plenty active in the box. He nabbed his first Spurs goal by unknowingly deflecting in a shot from Dejan Kulusevski. Tottenham’s second was a little more traditional, with Harry Kane finishing off a perfect counterattack started by Rodrigo Bentancur.

Beginning with that contest, Spurs have won their past four matches 14-2 on aggregate, which is certainly above xGD expectations but really not that shocking to anyone who has watched them play out. Meanwhile, Brighton has been outscored 17-6 since the FA Cup tie; though the Seagulls did Tottenham a big favor last weekend, this one looks like it could be pretty lopsided.

Three themes

  1. There was one negative from last weekend, which was the loss of Matt Doherty for the season. His injury comes from questionable play and terrible refereeing, but nevertheless Tottenham must now deploy some combination of Sergio Reguilon, Ryan Sessegnon, and Emerson Royal at the wingback positions. It would have sounded crazy to say a few months ago, but losing Doherty feels like a big blow with his six goal involvements in 2022.
  2. Brighton are an above-average defensive side and should force Spurs to generate some offense in the box. Antonio Conte’s squad has been lethal on the break, but turning possession into goals is still a bit of a challenge. The home side can afford to bring some bodies forward given the Seagulls’ attacking struggles which will hopefully help keep the goals flowing for Tottenham.
  3. Arsenal travel to a terribly out-of-form Southampton later on Saturday, though all attention is on Wednesday’s derby against Chelsea that will even the rivals on matches played. An Arsenal loss would widen the gap for fourth even further and is certainly the preferred option, though a Chelsea defeat could make things interesting down the stretch given there are only five points between third and fourth place heading into the weekend.