Brighton will be hoping the return of fans can inspire them to a first win at home in the Premier League this season.
When asked, Graham Potter expressed his excitement about the return of 2000 fans against Southampton:
“Just the buzz of having people there. The increase of participation in the game, the noise. They bring another dimension.
“We hope that they have a really positive impact. I am sure the players will look forward to seeing them and playing in front of them. Fans are what makes football ultimately.
“We had games at home after lockdown – Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool spring to mind – where arguably we really needed the supporters, but we had to play those behind closed doors.
“We hope we can use the support, that we play well and get them involved in the game. We hope they provide a good atmosphere that can help us get a positive result against a good opponent.”
Brighton will have a huge boost with the return of Tariq Lamptey from a ban, but Adam Lallana is ruled out after injuring his groin against Liverpool. This game may come too soon for Davy Propper and Alexis Mac Allister.
Neal Maupay faces a late fitness test after he was forced off against Liverpool with a hamstring problem.
Southampton will assess striker Danny Ings, who returned to full training on Thursday after a month out with a knee injury.
Nathan Redmond may also come back into contention following a hamstring issue.
Brighton do not have a good record against Southampton and are winless in their six Premier League meetings (D4, L2). Conceding at least once in all of these games.
Southampton will go into this with confidence as they are unbeaten in their past seven matches against the Seagulls in all competitions (W3, D4).
Southampton will be favourites for this game and rightly so, considering their fantastic start to the season.
However I fancy Brighton to get their first home win of their league campaign. Welbeck has added a new dimension to this Brighton side with his physicality upfront. The performances have been far better over the last couple of games, especially in attack.
The draw against Liverpool last week was a great performance. The Seagulls could even have taken all three points, had it not been for Maupay’s missed penalty.
The return of fans will be fantastic for the team and can hopefully inspire the players to a much needed win.
My prediction: Brighton 2-0 Southampton
How to watch:
Monday the 7th December, 8pm Kick off, Sky Sports Premier League.