Talking Tactics

Bissouma can give Brighton cutting edge against Leeds

By Adrian Clarke 29 Apr 2021

Adrian Clarke says midfielder is striving to make Seagulls more efficient in front of goal

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Adrian Clarke looks at key tactical points in Matchweek 34.

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Being more ruthless on turnovers will be Brighton & Hove Albion's top priority when they host Leeds United on Saturday.

Graham Potter's Seagulls are outstanding at putting pressure on their opponents high up the pitch.

Only leaders Manchester City and Liverpool have won more high turnovers than Brighton in 2020/21.

Indeed, Brighton almost scored twice at Chelsea in Matchweek 32 after robbing them of the ball close to their own goal.

Brighton v Chelsea highlights

They will look to replicate this tactic against Marcelo Bielsa's men, another side who like to play out from the back.

Pressure points

No matter which formation Potter selects, his team close down in an efficient and well-organised manner.

Brighton have players who are adept at regaining the ball from a press.

Best pressing teams 2020/21
High turnovers High turnovers ending with a shot
Man City 338 Man City 74
Liverpool 316 Liverpool 55
Brighton 282 Brighton 50
Fulham 247 Leicester 40
Leeds 246 Man Utd 38

Adam Lallana and Leandro Trossard are hard-working attacking midfielders. They win possession back inside the final third 1.03 and 0.98 times per 90 minutes respectively.

Both are both ranked inside the top 12 Premier League players in this department, so Potter will hope Lallana can recover from a tight calf for Saturday's match.

Striker Neal Maupay is also effective at closing down defenders, earning 18 high turnovers this campaign.

The next step in this team's development is to make rivals pay from those situations.

Indeed, Brighton have scored only twice from a total of 282 high turnovers.

Brighton v most efficient pressing teams
High turnovers ending with goal Success rate
Man City 10 2.96%
Aston Villa 7 3.14%
Leicester City 6 2.45%
Burnley 5 2.06%
Brighton 2 0.71%

The Seagulls have potential to score far more goals if they develop a missing clinical edge.

It has, in many respects, been the story of their season.

Brighton have created 320 chances, the seventh-highest total in the Premier League, but their goal tally of 33 ranks 15th.

Key midfield battle

Two of the best defensive midfielders outside the current top six will go head-to-head at Amex Stadium.

Yves Bissouma and Kalvin Phillips have both enjoyed terrific individual campaigns.

In recent matches Brighton's Bissouma has shone as an all-action box-to-box player, so Phillips must keep an eye on his forward bursts.

Bissouma registered a total of 10 shots against Sheffield United, Chelsea and Everton, breaking into the box on a consistent basis.

Two great Bissouma goals

The 24-year-old Malian also pushed forward to create five chances.

In Brighton's search for more goals, Bissouma is striving to improve their attacking threat.

It will be fascinating to see if he can provide unlock a Leeds defence who have let in only four goals in their last six matches.

If he does, it could help 17th-placed Brighton to a win that would take them 10 points clear of the relegation zone.

Also in this series

Part 1: How Iheanacho is thriving in new Leicester attack
Part 3: West Brom loan duo have pace to trouble Wolves

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