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    Brighton & Hove Albion vs Fulham *** Official Match Thread ***


    8 Not allowed!



    Brighton v Fulham


    PREMIER LEAGUE

    Venue: The American Express Community Stadium
    Date: Saturday 1st September 2018
    Kick-off: 15:00 BST
    Referee: Lee Probert
    Assistants: Simon Beck, Andy Garratt
    Fourth official: Tony Harrington



    TEAM NEWS

    Brighton captain Bruno is available after recovering from the ankle injury he suffered against Watford.

    Lewis Dunk faces a fitness test, while Florin Andone and Jose Izquierdo are definitely out.

    Fulham are without Tom Cairney because of a foot injury he sustained in last week's win over Burnley.

    Floyd Ayite, Neeskens Kebano and Tim Ream are also absent, but Alfie Mawson could make his first league appearance for the Cottagers.


    MOTD COMMENTATOR'S NOTES

    Mark Scott: Brighton are a tough nut to crack at the Amex, as Manchester United have discovered on a couple of occasions recently, and the enthusiasm generated from their latest victory over Mourinho's men won't have been dampened by their narrow defeat at Anfield.

    Having seriously shuffled his pack last time out, Slavisa Jokanovic came up with a winning formula as Fulham impressed against Burnley.

    I was at that game and while Aleksandar Mitrovic understandably grabbed the headlines, there were a number of strong performances, with Andre Schurrle and Jean Michael Seri in particular catching the eye.

    But while Brighton will be wary of Fulham's fine free-flowing football going forwards, they'll also be encouraged by the Cottagers continual defensive frailties as well.


    WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

    Brighton manager Chris Hughton: "I think this will be, if anything, perhaps an even more challenging season than last season.

    "I think you're always very wary and always very conscious because two [of the promoted teams] in particular have spent big money.

    "I think everybody's more conscious and wary of how difficult this league is."

    Fulham head coach Slavisa Jokanovic on his squad: "They need to push themselves harder. I have tried to make it some kind of a competition in my team, they need to compete first of all with each other for the opportunity to compete with the opposition team.

    "I believe this is healthy for the team and players. It is my job to make the choice which is best for the game ahead of us. I will choose what I believe is the best option."

    MATCH FACTS

    Head-to-head
    • This is the first top-flight meeting between these sides.
    • Brighton have won their last five matches against Fulham, all of which were in the Championship.
    • There have been only three draws in the 40 league fixtures between them.

    Brighton
    • Brighton's only two victories in their last 12 Premier League games have been at home against Manchester United.
    • The only teams to win at the Amex Stadium in the league last season were Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Leicester City.
    • The Seagulls have won the most tackles (67) and made the most interceptions (52) of any top-flight team so far.

    Fulham
    • They could set a top-flight club record of 20 consecutive away matches without a clean sheet on Saturday.
    • Only Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool have had a higher average possession in the Premier League than Fulham's 58% after three games.
    • Their Premier League matches this season have produced the most shots (99) and shots on target (44).
    • Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored 15 league goals since his debut for the Cottagers in February, the joint most of any player in the top four tiers of English football in that time, along with Liverpool's Mo Salah.
    ● A 21-year-old man from Shoreham was arrested at the Amex stadium on suspicion of throwing a pie at Wilfried Zaha ●

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