Brighton put in a pretty impressive performance in parts as they disposed of Arsenal in the Carabao Cup in midweek.
The Italian coach made eight changes for the match with the Premier League leaders and they came out on top against a much-changed Arsenal line-up.
De Zerbi did not go over the top on a performance which in glimpses looked very good. "We can play better," said De Zerbi. "We made stupid mistakes. But I'm happy for this win because we were a bit lucky in the first part of the second half, as Arsenal could have scored from two or three chances." Brighton recovered from Eddie Nketiah's strike to equalise from the spot before Kaoru Mitoma finished off a brilliant move for the second and Tariq Lamptey's direct running led to him scoring a third.
Arsenal did create a number of chances and Brighton looked better going forward than defending. Their recent record shows that, with four scored at home to Chelsea and three at Wolves, they are a team full of confidence.
But they will not have it all their own way against Unai Emery's Villa.
The Spaniard guided the Villans to an impressive home win over Manchester United and they looked set to repeat that win at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup in midweek.
They were ahead twice after a superb start to the second half but United eventually got hold of the game and triumphed 4-2.
Emery made seven changes to his line-up and was, on the whole, pleased with the efforts of his side and admitted it was the last 15 minutes which went wrong against the Red Devils.
They surrendered possession in both games against United, but still carried plenty of threat. And that will likely be the case with only Man City and Liverpool having more home possession than the Seagulls. But Brighton, under De Zerbi, now look more threatening in and around the penalty area and the break for the World Cup has certainly come at the wrong time for them.
They will still take some stopping at home on Sunday, though and should sign off with another win
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Brighton's last three PL games Aston Villa have kept a clean sheet in their last three matches against Brighton in all competitions. There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Aston Villa's last four PL games Aston Villa have failed to win their last eight away PL matches Aston Villa won both games against Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 last season
Brighton to beat Aston Villa and BTTS Brighton vs Aston Villa over 2.5 goals
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