Graham Potter changes the shape and formation of his team almost every game, although it is not difficult to see that it is the 1-3-5-2 (in many variations) that suits him best. Controlling the width he prefers 1-3-4-2-1, while the center in a 1-4-2-3-1 formation. Using low pressing he often chooses 1-4-4-2 diamond, while narrowing the field of play and reloading the center he does not hesitate to set up 1-3-5-1-1. This requires from his players not only flexibility and versatility, but also the ability to play in different positions in different formations.
Defensively Potter positions the team in a low to medium block, thickens the lines and limits space on the flanks. Regardless of the formation used the distance between the lines is always minimal, the players compact the space and position themselves very close together. The exceptions are moments of high pressure, because then Brighton leaves a lot of free space between the lines. The pressure from the offensive players (Maupay, Trossard, Moder) often forces the rivals into longer passes and they are protected from short ones by a low defensive block.
The Wing-backs then work with the outside central midfielders to prevent the ball from being played freely while Bissouma in the midfield has the task of following the action. High pressing sometimes turns the back five into a back three with the team supporting each other with lines forming more of a 1-3-1-5-1 or 1-5-1-3-1 formation.
They playmake deep. Brighton‘s defenders often start the action with the active involvement of the goalkeeper (Sanchez) creating the first wide triangle or quadrangle of play. The passing options gradually increase when the wingers show up to play not to mention the pivot (Lallana, Bissouma). There is only one goal: to find good passing angles and send the ball forward (Trossard, Maupay).
The way to be outnumbered in the center is relatively simple: given enough protection in the wide areas thanks to the Wing-backs assists by the outside central midfielders, the two strikers go deeper looking for free space between the lines or wide between the wingers and the rival central defenders. In this phase they often line up 1-3-4-2-1 in which they effectively control the width and hold possession. Important: after losing possession the team easily changes the formation to 1-3-5-1-1 or 1-3-5-2 (one of the offensive midfielders moves to the midline) which protects the centre from penetration and gives more chances to recover the ball effectively.
Potter likes to attack in a 1-2-3-5 (back four) or 1-3-2-5 (back three) formation. In these formations they use a deeper positioned playmaker (Lallana) with a box-to-box partner (Bissouma) focused more on movement than ball possession. Characteristic of Brighton in the firts stages of attack is a very compact formation and cautious progress to protect from losing the ball and rivals’ counter-attacks.
Developing the attack in the offensive third they raise the tempo of the game and bring more players into the offensive third trying to overload the wings with a slight advantage on the left (Cucurella, Trossard). Brighton often break the pressure on the left wing with individual actions and dribbling, while the right wing is dominated by speed and passing (Lampteya). Regardless of the chosen side they move in a compact block always having at least one player positioned slightly deeper to assist the action. The side defenders always work with the central midfielder and the striker to create overloads on the wings and ensure progression.