Mohamed Elneny vs Leandro Trossard
In the modern era, it’s imperative that you have midfielders comfortable enough to assume possession in tight areas and evade danger. Given how sides such as Brighton press, as soon as you break that initial surge, the avenues towards goal open up dramatically.
Every form of high press is a risky strategy. Have it beaten and you become horribly exposed.
Sides such as Liverpool and Southampton do so effectively, but while Brighton are cut from the same cloth, their personnel simply aren’t in the same bracket. However, Arsenal don’t have their own players capable of confidently surpassing it.
Being more athletic than Granit Xhaka – and not as injured as Thomas Partey – Mohamed Elneny is the man tasked with collecting the ball from deep and kick-starting Arsenal’s progression up the thirds. There are facets to his game that are lacking, but he rarely cracks under the pressure of onrushing forwards. Granted, his decision-making and passing range do leave a little to be desired.
On Tuesday though, it will be him who is pressed to death by Leandro Trossard, or any combination of the Belgian, Maupay and Danny Welbeck.
Beat that press and Arsenal will have the pace up front to seriously hurt the Seagulls.