Arsenal manager Unai Emery has told his players to be ready for a strong challenge from Brighton when the teams meet on Wednesday in a Boxing Day Premier League fixture.
The north London side defeated Burnley 3-1 in their last game on Saturday with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Iwobi netting a brace and a goal respectively.
But it was a game the Gabonese thought was feisty and his manager has asked him and the others to expect something similar against Brighton.
“Brighton is the same, a very tough match physically, very organised and, like with Burnley, a very good coach who is working very well,” the Arsenal manager said.
“It is a challenge and I respect those teams a lot because they also have good players. They decide to do a line-up with physical players with a lot of crosses for the strikers for heading in our box. We need to defend very far in our box to defend better against that.”
But the Spaniard has some defensive issues to also worry about.
The Arsenal manager, Concise News understands, could be without as many as five defenders for the trip to the AMEX.
Therefore, Emery, whose side are one spot shy of the Champions League places, will continue to turn to the likes of Granit Xhaka and Stephan Lichtsteiner to fill in at centre-back.