By George Overhill

30th Sep, 2023 | 9:10am

Aston Villa set for 'high-scoring' Brighton clash as Unai Emery team selection verdict issued after Everton loss

We’re delighted to welcome former Aston Villa full-back Alan Hutton as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Villa Park…

The “crowd will demand” a “top, top performance” from Aston Villa against Brighton and Unai Emery needs to play his “strongest” team for it, says Alan Hutton.

After the 1-0 victory at Chelsea last weekend the manager rotated for the Carabao Cup clash with Everton and again came unstuck with a 2-1 loss, after a similar flop in Europe against Legia Warsaw a week earlier, so against a Seagulls side operating at a “high, high standard” a reversion to the best XI is called for.

And Hutton has tipped the Saturday lunchtime clash (30 September) to be a “high-scoring” affair between two sides willing to go for it.

On keeping the team that beat Chelsea Hutton said, speaking exclusively to Villa News: “Possibly. The game against Everton was an opportunity for a little bit of rotation. 

“But when they go to face Brighton, they’re one of the teams that are playing at a high, high standard. 

“It doesn’t matter where they go, home or away, they play they exact same way and he’s still got them firing on all cylinders, so it’s going to be difficult.

“I think that will be a game where Emery should field his strongest team for a top, top performance at home. The crowd will demand it. 

“That could be a real interesting game. I think it’s two teams that will really go for it so it wouldn’t surprise me if it was a high-scoring game.” 

Both sides lost in the EFL Cup this week, with Brighton suffering a 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge, so will each be looking to rebound and continue their strong Premier League form.

Emery arguably has a few concerns about his squad options after suffering defeat in two different competitions when he has made changes to his best line-up.

That is an issue that will need to be addressed across the season but for now, as long as his top men are fit they are sure to be back in at Villa Park.