Brighton will be without their two senior strikers as Aston Villa visit for the third round of the Carabao Cup at the Amex on Wednesday (7.45pm).
Neal Maupay (knee) and Glenn Murray (ankle) will both miss the clash with Dean Smith’s men but head coach Graham Potter fully expects to have them both available for Saturday’s Premier League match at Chelsea.
“Neal [Maupay] had a cut on his knee, but he’ll be okay for the weekend,” said Potter. “Glenn [Murray] rolled his ankle last week – we took a chance with him on the bench at the weekend (Newcastle) but whether we do that again we’ll see.”
Defender Leon Balogun and wideman Alireza Jahanbakhsh are also expected to miss out on Wednesday but Bernardo could be set for a return against Villa, while David Button will be between the sticks in place of Mat Ryan. For the Villans, Jonathan Kodjia and James Chester are both expected to miss out through injury.
Another player set to start for Albion is Yves Bissouma. The Mali international came off the bench in the later stages at Newcastle for his first outing in the Premier League this season after a shoulder injury.
Potter added, “He has only been training with us a week but you can already tell he’s that type of footballer, a free player, that can excite and get a crowd off their seats.
“He has worked hard to get back from his injury and we’re looking forward to seeing him on the pitch on Wednesday. It is a good game for him to get some time on the pitch.”
Potter’s side overcame Bristol Rovers in the previous round of the competition, while the Villans beat Crewe Alexandra 6-1 to set up this week’s trip to the Amex Stadium. With injuries taking a toll and with a very tough assignment at Chelsea on Saturday, Potter will use the Carabao Cup as a chance to introduce younger players and give game time to those who have not featured so much.
“It’s an opportunity for us to look at the squad and the group in its entirety,” added the head coach. “And look at those individuals who perhaps haven’t played as much,” he continued.
“We can also look at some younger players as well to see how they cope in that type of environment against a strong side.
“It’s a game we want to win, we know we’re in a heavy period of matches with a few knocks, so we also have to look after the group too and make sure that whoever is selected is the right team to help us be competitive.
“The Bristol Rovers game gave us a chance to look at a few other faces and Steven Alzate benefitted from the experience, as did Aaron Connolly.
“This is another game where we can learn a lot about the group at the start of our process together and the more information we can get about our squad the better.”
If the match ends all square after 90 minutes, there will be no extra time and the game will be decided by a penalty shootout, using the traditional ABAB format. VAR will not be in use at the Amex, and will only be in operation for the semi-finals and final of this year’s competition.