Premier League new boys Brighton and Hove Albion face something of a crisis up front when they head to the Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.

Chris Hughton will be without the suspended Tomer Hemed while both Glenn Murray and Sam Baldock are unlikely to be available.

The Israel international begins a three match ban after he was seen to be guilty of violent conduct in the win over Newcastle last week, and that suspension has not come at a good time for the Seagulls.

The former Magpies boss expressed his frustration at being forced to do without his striker when he addressed the media at his pre-match press conference.

“I’m disappointed with Hemed’s suspenion. We know the player very well and still feel that there was no intent, which is the reason why we appealed. The decision has been made and we have to get on with it.” the Brighton official website quotes him as saying.

Two men who may have come in for the big Israeli would be Murray and Baldock, but the Seagulls are likely to be without them both for the clash in the capital, although the former has not been ruled out completely.

Hughton updated the situation with the duo and also confirmed that Brighton would be missing midfielders Steve Sidwell and Beram Kayal for the trip.

“We were light anyway, with Sam Baldock being out and Glenn [Murray] not being available for a good period now. Glenn trained Friday morning, which is a plus, but I’ll have to see how he is tomorrow and make some decisions around that.

“That’s the only area where we’re a little bit light. Sam is back in training but hasn’t done enough. Apart from that, the only other injuries we’ve got are Steve Sidwell and [Beram] Kayal.

“He’s done some good work [Kayal] and we’re hoping that he’ll be with us by the end of the international break.”

Those injuries means there will be a lot of focus on Pascal Gross to provide the firepower to give Brighton a chance of winning the contest.

Hughton’s men go to the Emirates looking for a second successive win, which would be a significant achievement if they can get it, and would give them a real platform from which to survive with.

If they are to get the victory, given the lack of options they have up front the Seagulls may need to rely on their defensive resoluteness to assist them in getting all three points.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here