HomePremier LeagueBrighton v Arsenal: Arteta expecting difficult game against De Zerbi's Seagulls

Brighton v Arsenal: Arteta expecting difficult game against De Zerbi’s Seagulls

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Mikel Arteta is anticipating a thorough examination of Arsenal’s title credentials at Brighton tomorrow with the Gunners facing “top manager” Roberto De Zerbi.

De Zerbi’s stock continues to rise with the Seagulls challenging for a European place despite selling many of their key assets last summer.

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The Italian has been linked with the likes of Bayern Munich and Liverpool and Arteta is a fan of Brighton’s attacking philosophy.

He said: “Roberto De Zerbi is a top manager with great staff and I am very impressed.

“What they have done on the pitch deserves credit and the way they have run the club. They are fighting with the top clubs and have done a magnificent job.

“His football makes life very difficult for the opponent and they play attractive football.

“We have to select our best line-up. We have to train and get ready to win again. Brighton will be tough, they play well, but we have to be better than them.”

Arsenal saw off Luton 2-0 on Wednesday night with Emile Smith Rowe playing a starring role with a hand in both goals.

It has been a difficult couple of years for the England international due to injury and a lack of form but Arteta’s decision to rotate his side against the Hatters offered him an opportunity he took with both hands.

“You could see he’s positive. I think Reiss Nelson is a good example as well,” said Arteta.

“The previous game he is not in the squad and the next game he’s ready to start.

“I’m really pleased with that reaction and Emile was really strong in the game and showed he is one great player when he is fit and playing at this level.”

The oft-criticised Kai Havertz is another player to have stood out in recent weeks and Arteta is pleased with the Germany international’s improvement.

“He has incredible qualities both in the attacking phase and in link-up play. His contribution defensively is also outstanding with the work rate he puts in,” said Arteta.

“He has more games to come and he will be trying to improve his numbers. It’s just his first season for us and he has been moving in different positions. He is very intelligent and I am very pleased with him.”

England winger Bukayo Saka missed out against Luton due to a hamstring strain and Arsenal will give him to the last minute to prove his fitness ahead of the trip to the Amex.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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