We look ahead to Sunday’s Premier League action at the Amex Stadium with our Brighton vs Fulham prediction and preview. Can the hosts get back to winning ways?
Brighton vs Fulham: The Quick Hits
- Brighton and Hove Albion are winless in three league games, but the Opta supercomputer gives them a 46.2% chance of ending that run against Fulham on Sunday.
- Brighton have never beaten Fulham in six Premier League meetings (three draws, three defeats), the most they’ve faced any team in the competition without winning.
- The hosts have scored and conceded in all nine of their Premier League games this season. The last top-flight side to do so in their first 10 matches was Tottenham in 1988-89.
A busy Premier League Sunday features a clash of styles at the Amex Stadium as a swashbuckling but open Brighton side host goal-shy Fulham. With Roberto De Zerbi and Marco Silva facing very different problems, who will come out on top?
Serial entertainers Brighton have both scored and conceded in all nine of their Premier League games this season, and could become the first team to do so in their first 10 matches of a top-flight campaign since Tottenham in 1988-89.
Brighton have scored a league-high 19 goals from open play across the first nine matchdays, but they are without a clean sheet in 13 Premier League outings, shipping 66 goals in 41 games under De Zerbi – only Bournemouth (72) and Leeds United (68) have conceded more in the competition since his first game in charge last October.
Brighton’s fragility has slowed their assault on the European places, though a difficult run of fixtures has hardly helped the Seagulls, whose three-game winless run in the league comprises a 6-1 defeat to Aston Villa, a 2-2 draw with Liverpool and a 2-1 loss at Manchester City.
De Zerbi’s team could have folded when they went 2-0 down within 19 minutes at the Etihad Stadium, but they almost staged an improbable fightback with Ansu Fati halving the arrears. Fellow winger Solly March, however, was carried off with a serious-looking injury in stoppage time.
While March’s injury is a real blow, Brighton have plenty of attacking options. Kaoru Mitoma’s tally of 16 carries ending in a shot or chance created over the first nine matchdays of the season is only matched by Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and Tottenham’s Dejan Kulusevski, while just two players have bettered João Pedro’s average of 2.25 open-play chances created per 90 – Kulusevski (2.47) and Brighton’s own Pervis Estupiñán (2.36).
De Zerbi has a few selection dilemmas with Danny Welbeck, Estupiñán and Tariq Lamptey all sidelined, but the Italian can use his bench with confidence if things don’t go to plan. Brighton have had 15 Premier League goals scored by substitutes in 2023, the joint-most in a single calendar year by any team in history, alongside Spurs in 2008 and Arsenal in 2009.
While Brighton need to tighten up, Silva – who signed a three-year contract extension this week – must find a way of making Fulham more prolific if they are to avoid glancing over their shoulders. Fulham enter Matchday 10 seven points clear of the relegation zone despite Monday’s 2-0 defeat at league leaders Tottenham, but their attacking numbers are worrying.
At Matchday 9’s conclusion, only Sheffield United (two), Luton Town (three) and Everton (four) had scored fewer goals from open play than Fulham (five) in the Premier League, with Silva’s team ranking 18th in the division for total shots (96) and shots on target (30).
While Raúl Jiménez’s Premier League goal drought stands at 23 games and Bobby De Cordova-Reid (two goals) remains the only Fulham player to net more than once this season, chance creation has also been an issue.
Andreas Pereira and Willian were two of Fulham’s key performers last season, recording six and five Premier League assists respectively, but they have just one between them in 2023-24 (via Pereira). Of all Fulham players to play at least 90 minutes this campaign, former Everton man Alex Iwobi averages the most open-play chances created per 90 (2.22), so he could come into their lineup on Sunday.
Fulham have selection problems in defence with right-sided centre-backs Issa Diop and Tosin Adarabioyo injured. Calvin Bassey was unconvincing in the role on Monday, so Silva must decide whether to look for another makeshift option.
Brighton vs Fulham Forest Head-to-Head
Brighton are looking to do something they have never done on Sunday – beat Fulham in a Premier League fixture.
The Seagulls have failed to win any of the teams’ six all-time meetings in the competition (three draws, three defeats), the most they have faced any team without winning.
Fulham, meanwhile, have only played more Premier League games against Norwich City (eight) without ever losing than they have against Brighton, doing the double over them in 2022-23.
A Lewis Dunk own goal condemned Brighton to a 2-1 defeat when the teams met at Craven Cottage last August, before Manor Solomon fired Fulham to a 1-0 triumph at the Amex in February.
Silva has won three Premier League games against Brighton overall, overcoming a different Seagulls boss on each occasion, beating Chris Hughton, Graham Potter and De Zerbi.
Brighton’s current three-match winless run is their longest such streak in the Premier League since they failed to win any of their first five under De Zerbi last October.
Indeed, the Seagulls don’t tend to enjoy this time of year, only winning one of their last 15 league games played during the month of October (eight draws, six defeats), though that lone victory was a 4-1 rout of Chelsea exactly one year before Sunday’s game.
They did however get back to winning ways in Europe on Thursday, overcoming struggling Ajax 2-0 in the Europa League.
Fulham are winless in their last four on the road in the league, drawing two and losing two, while they have lost 17 of their last 24 top-flight games played on Sundays (three wins, four draws).
While Brighton may have defensive issues, they have scored in their last 25 Premier League games. There have only been five instances of a team scoring in more consecutive matches, most recently Liverpool between March and December 2021 (28 in a row).
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Brighton vs Fulham Prediction
The Opta supercomputer makes Brighton favourites for this one, with the Seagulls winning 46.2% of our 10,000 match simulations ahead of kick-off. Fulham were victorious in 25.6%, with 28.2% finishing level.
In the supercomputer’s season projections, Brighton are assigned a 52.3% chance of a top-seven finish, which should be enough to secure another season of European football.
Despite their attacking woes, Fulham are only relegated in 1.7% of season simulations, with 14th (17.7%) their most common finishing position.