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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 17 August 2018

Brighton manager Chris Hughton expects to face 'a very motivated Arsenal team'

Arsene Wenger's side head to the south coast on the back of an embarrassing Europa League loss at home to Ostersund and on the receiving end of two chastening defeat to Manchester City

Chris Hughton has been nominated for the Premier League manager of the month award for February after Brighton went undefeated for the month. Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images
Chris Hughton has been nominated for the Premier League manager of the month award for February after Brighton went undefeated for the month. Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Chris Hughton says Brighton & Hove Albion's approach to the visit of Arsenal on Sunday has not altered despite a galling week of defeats for the North London club.

Arsene Wenger's side head to the south coast on the back of an embarrassing Europa League loss at home to Ostersund and on the receiving end of two Manchester City masterclasses.

The first came in last weekend's League Cup final as Pep Guardiola lifted his first silverware in England following a 3-0 win, with City then matching that scoreline when the two clubs clashed in the Premier League four days later.

The results, coupled with poor performances, have seen Wenger come under fresh criticism from supporters and pundits alike.

While Arsenal have now lost seven of their 13 games in all competitions since the turn of the year, Brighton, in contrast, are unbeaten since January 20.

Hughton has been nominated for February's Premier League manager of the month award while Glenn Murray and Pascal Gross are both up for the player of the month accolade.

Despite such stark situations at both clubs Hughton is still expecting a tough afternoon against Arsenal and will not relax in his approach to the contest.

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"Any game plan we will have against Arsenal will be no different on Sunday had it been a week ago, two weeks ago," he said.

"We are playing against a team that is full of top individuals that can hurt you. We have to line-up our team and prepare exactly for that.

"They are on the back of a couple of defeats and will be desperate to turn it around so I expect to be playing against a very motivated Arsenal team on Sunday."

Brighton have conceded two goals less than sixth-placed Arsenal this season as Hughton looks to extend their stay in the Premier League beyond a single campaign.

The former Newcastle United and Norwich City manager also said it was key that Brighton concern themselves only with their task on Sunday and not the current plight of their opponents.

"I'm very conscious that it is Arsenal v Brighton," he added.

"When you have got the big teams against the big teams, they are the sides who can capitalise more if the other isn't having the best of days. It is always going to be more difficult for a lesser side to impose themselves on a team in the top six.

"We will not allow ourselves to get caught up in Arsenal having had a couple of difficult games and we are in good form, we can't afford to get caught up it that, we can only afford to play the right type of game."

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