Although Tottenham Hotspur just faced Brighton & Hove Albion last month, Spurs will be facing a different team than the one they saw just a month ago.
It was one of several matches postponed for both sides stuffed into the middle of the week and schedule. Neither Tottenham nor Brighton were playing particularly well, and Spurs were coming off a loss to Manchester United and had only won three of their last eight. Things were even worse for Brighton, who had lost five straight by a combined 11-1. However, since their match on 16 March, neither team has last.
Following an excellent start to the season where the team won four of their first five league matches, it has been mostly drawing for Brighton with a few losses here and wins there. Like Spurs, the Seagulls have struggled in 2022 with only three league wins. However, one of the three was last weekend against Arsenal, so Spurs cannot overlook Brighton.
Seagulls looking more like Tottenham
Since their loss to Spurs, one of the biggest changes has been in their formation. Traditionally a four-back team under Graham Potter, in their last two matches, Potter has gone to a three-back system. First a 3-4-1-2 against Norwich, then a 3-5-2 against Arsenal.
The games were vastly different, as Brighton dominated Norwich, taking more than 30 shots and controlling more than 60% of the possession. However, Brighton could not capitalize on the opportunities created and left with just one point.
Last weekend against Arsenal, Potter, and company seemed to take a page out of Antonio Conte‘s playbook. A week after out-possessing Norwich 63/37 and outshooting the Canaries 31/6 but drawing 0-0, the Seagulls were outshot 20/8 and out possessed 65/35, yet won 1-2 over Arsenal.
Brighton stuffed the midfield, making it difficult for Arsenal to pass through the middle of the pitch. And with five across in the midfield, deploying wing-backs, most of Brighton’s opportunities came from the wide areas.
While Tottenham has seemingly found another gear and level since last facing Brighton a month ago, they cannot overlook the Seagulls, who are learning to grind out points at the back-end of the season.