Match Preview: Fulham vs. Brighton Hove Albion

Fulham can stretch their unbeaten run at Craven Cottage to three consecutive Premier League encounters on Tuesday when they host Brighton & Hove Albion for the first time since the 2020-21 campaign.

Last season’s Championship winners dropped their first encounter of the new top-flight campaign last Saturday, 2-1 versus Arsenal, while Albion are one of only five EPL sides without a defeat this season, beating Leeds United 1-0 over the weekend.

Match preview

Fulham boss Marco Silva during the win over Brentford on August 20, 2022.

The Premier League campaign is still relatively young, but early on, the Cottagers have proven to be no pushovers, claiming five points after four matches, which is one more than they had in their first four games of the 2018-19 and 2020-21 EPL seasons combined.

To this point of the top-flight season, Marco Silva’s men have shown quality, class and maturity, managing to keep every one of their matches close.

They have gone toe-to-toe with two of the Big Six clubs in England, drawing Liverpool in their opener 2-2 and giving the Gunners all they could handle on Saturday.

While their performances thus far have been incredibly encouraging, Fulham have struggled to put a match to bed when given the opportunity, squandering the lead in three of their four fixtures this year and letting five points slip away when holding a second-half advantage.

At the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, the Cottagers held firm along the backline for the opening 45 minutes but became fatigued in the latter stages of the match, as Arsenal eventually made all of their possession (72%) pay off, scoring on two of their eight efforts on target.

Five of the six goals conceded by Fulham in 2022-23 have come in the second half, a sharp contrast from how they ended their Championship-winning season in 2021-22 when the Cottagers did not concede a strike in the final 45 minutes in their last three domestic encounters.

Tuesday will be just the third time that Fulham have faced the side from East Sussex, with the home team unbeaten against them at Craven Cottage, winning 4-2 in this exact fixture in 2018-19, while drawing 0-0 at home in 2020-21.

Brighton & Hove Albion's Pascal Gross celebrates scoring their first goal with Danny Welbeck, Leandro Trossard and Adam Webster on August 7, 2022

There is a lot to be excited about at Brighton right now, as the Seagulls extended their unbeaten run in Premier League play to nine straight matches on Saturday, the longest-ever streak for them without a loss in top-flight football.

Graham Potter’s men have been incredibly resolute on the defensive side this month, failing to concede in four straight matches in all competitions.

Their only goal allowed in the Premier League this season was an own-goal by Alexis Mac Allister in their opening fixture, which they went on to win, 2-1 over Manchester United.

Brighton have points in four consecutive top-flight affairs away from home, and a victory on Tuesday would mark the first time they have ever won three straight road matches in the Premier League.

With 10 points after four EPL fixtures, it is the best beginning to a domestic campaign for the Seagulls, eclipsing their achievement from last season when they claimed nine points at this stage of the competition.

In four previous meetings against Fulham in the top flight, Brighton have never come out on top, squandering a 2-0 lead in their first-ever visit to Craven Cottage in the EPL in 2018-19, allowing four goals in the second half.

Team News

Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates scoring for Fulham on August 27, 2022

Aleksandar Mitrovic notched his fourth Premier League goal for Fulham on Saturday in their defeat to Arsenal, which is already one more than he had in their previous top-flight campaign.

Bobby Decordova-Reid and Joao Palhinha are the other players who have scored goals for the Cottagers so far in this domestic season, each tallying once.

Andreas Pereira is the only Fulham player to have an assist this season, while Bernd Leno stopped six shots against his former team last weekend as he has faced 18 in league play thus far.

Silva introduced one new face in the starting 11 versus the Gunners, who did not feature in their previous EPL fixture against Brentford, as Neeskens Kebano replaced Jay Stansfield in the midfield, while Harry Wilson and Manor Solomon are not expected back until the middle of September with knee injuries.

Pascal Gross has done virtually everything for Brighton in the early portion of the season, scoring three goals domestically, two of which were match-winners.

He set up Leandro Trossard in their 2-0 victory over West Ham, with the only other assist for Brighton in the EPL this year coming courtesy of Danny Welbeck.

Robert Sanchez leads the league with three clean sheets, and Moises Caicedo has played the full 90 minutes in every one of their Premier League encounters so far this season.

Pervis Estupinan made his EPL debut last weekend, and Evan Ferguson was on the bench despite scoring in their 3-0 triumph at Forest Green in the second round of the Carabao Cup.

Jakub Moder will be out long-term with an ACL issue, Jeremy Sarmiento might not be ready until early September with a sprained knee and Adam Lallana missed his first domestic fixture of the season last week due to a calf injury.

Fulham possible starting lineup:
Leno; Robinson, Mbabu, Adarabioyo, Tete; Palhinha, Reed; Cairney, Pereira, Decordova-Reid; Mitrovic

Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Sanchez; Veltman, Webster, Dunk, Lamptey; March, Mac Allister, Caicedo, Trossard; Gros, Welbeck

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