This isn't something I ever expected to write, but Brighton are coming tomorrow and this is going to be a tough match.
But, if we have learnt anything about this Aston Villa side over the past few months, it's that there isn't a side too good for us and we can surprise.
I think we need to surprise tomorrow because Brighton is a scalp. Again, something I never thought I'd be writing. They currently sit third, three points behind leaders Manchester City. They beat us tomorrow, they could go top.
For the other side of the story, if we win tomorrow we could go third. So things are not that far apart and maybe gives us reason for optimism. I should also write we'd need to win by five to go above Brighton, so winning tomorrow would likely see us fourth but the point I'm trying to make remains, we are not that far away from Brighton. That's it, three things I never thought I'd write, in one post.
So before I write something that pushed me over the edge, I think I'm going to head out for a beer. Back tomorrow.
Match stats from the BBC
- Aston Villa have earned four successive Premier League wins in this fixture, scoring twice in each match.
- Albion's only competitive away victory in 15 attempts against Villa was by 2-1 in the Premier League in November 2020 (D3, L11).
- Villa are vying to win five of their opening seven Premier League games for the third time, having done so in 1998-99 and 2020-21.
- They are on a run of nine consecutive home league wins for the first time since September 1989 to February 1990. Their most recent longer winning streak at Villa Park spanned 13 matches 40 years ago.
- Aston Villa's tally of 55 points in 2023 is bettered only by Manchester City's 71. Arsenal and Liverpool have also accrued 55 points, while Brighton have 53.
- Villa have kept 11 clean sheets in the Premier League since Unai Emery's first game in charge last November - only Manchester United, with 14, have more in that period.
- Douglas Luiz can become the second Villa player to score in five successive Premier League home matches, emulating Dwight Yorke in late 1996.
- Ollie Watkins has scored in each of his last three appearances against Brighton.
Brighton & Hove Albion
- Brighton have won five of their first six top-flight matches in a season for the first time.
- The Seagulls last won six of their opening seven league games in 2015-16 in the Championship.
- They can equal the club top-flight record of four successive victories, set from April to May 1981.
- Roberto De Zerbi's side have scored in 22 consecutive Premier League fixtures, scoring 51 times.
- An Albion goal on Saturday would establish an outright club record of scoring in 17 successive away league games.
- However, Albion have gone 10 consecutive Premier League matches without keeping a clean sheet for only the second time, also doing so between January and April 2018 (13 in a row).
- Danny Welbeck has scored in each of his last three league appearances at Villa Park, for three different clubs: Manchester United, Arsenal, Brighton.