Aston Villa have been gradually finding their feet back in the Premier League, culminating in a 5-1 victory at Norwich City last time out.
Dean Smith’s side host Brighton this weekend. The Seagulls are slowly warming to new boss Graham Potter, who masterminded a 3-0 win over Tottenham before the international break.
Those results set up an enticing and unpredictable clash between Villa and Brighton on Saturday. Both sides will be expecting to build on their last outing, but there can be only one winner.
Read on for our preview, predictions, team news, key men and more.
When is Aston Villa vs Brighton and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Villa Park
Date: Saturday, 19 October 2019
Kick-off: 3:00 PM BST
TV coverage (UK): N/A
Last five meetings: Aston Villa vs Brighton
25 September 2019: Brighton 1-3 Aston Villa (League Cup)
7 May 2017: Aston Villa 1-1 Brighton (Championship)
18 November 2016: Brighton 1-1 Aston Villa (Championship)
23 January 2010: Aston Villa 3-2 Brighton (FA Cup)
26 March 1983: Brighton 0-0 Aston Villa (First Division)
Aggregate Score: Aston Villa (WDDWD) 8-5 Brighton (LDDLD)
Ones to watch
Aston Villa: Jack Grealish
Jack Grealish has already scored against Brighton this season, finding the net in Villa’s 3-1 win at the Amex Stadium in the League Cup. The midfielder then scored his first Premier League goal of the campaign against Norwich.
Having watched his teammate Tyrone Mings impress for England on Monday, Grealish will now be determined to take his chance and push for a place in Gareth Southgate’s squad. To do that, he must remain consistent and perform well again this weekend.
Key stat: Grealish has won at least four more fouls than any other player in the Premier League this season (32).
Brighton: Aaron Connolly
Fresh from stunning Tottenham, teenager Aaron Connolly will be determined to continue his goalscoring run by adding to the brace he bagged last time out.
The 19-year-old was excellent against Spurs, reacting quickly for his first goal after initially missing his chance, and turning Toby Alderweireld inside-out for his second. Villa will need to be wary of the threat he poses.
Key stat: Against Tottenham, Connolly became the youngest player (19y, 250d) to score a league goal for Brighton since April 2014.
James Chester was a doubt for Villa’s last outing but there is a chance he will return to the squad here. Dean Smith is otherwise expected to stick with the team that thrashed Norwich given he has no other concerns.
Predicted XI: Heaton; Guilbert, Engels, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Nakamba, Hourihane; El Ghazi, Wesley, Grealish.
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Bernardo and Leandro Trossard appear no closer to a return, but Brighton suffered no new injuries during the break, while Shane Duffy played the full 90 minutes in each of the Republic of Ireland’s two games.
Predicted XI: Ryan; Montoya, Webster, Dunk, Burn; Gross, Alzate, Stephens, Mooy; Maupay, Connolly.
Home advantage could have a big effect on this one. Both teams will be buzzing after excellent wins before the break but Villa will have their fans behind them and should see off the visitors. If Grealish is on his game, they could do so in style.
Scoreline prediction: Aston Villa 3-1 Brighton