When David Silva struck the second of Manchester City’s majestic three goals at the Emirates on Thursday evening, Arsenal had conceded more goals in the Premier League this season than Albion.

It would take a lot more than that for Chris Hughton to get carried away by his team’s chances of upsetting the Gunners at the Amex on Sunday.

For all the scrutiny of Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal side, together with the encouraging form of his own team, Hughton knows the odds are still against them.

The Seagulls are longer than 3-1 with many bookmakers to beat them for the first time in 36 years - and that is a profession not prone to offering gifts.

So when Hughton says facing Arsenal after they have just lost 3-0 twice to Manchester City could not be worst timing, he probably has a point.

“I’m very conscious that it is Arsenal v Brighton,” he said.

The Argus:

David Silva scores for Manchester City at the Emirates

“When you have got the big teams against the big teams, they are the sides who can capitalise more if the other isn’t having the best of days.

“It is always going to be more difficult for a lesser side to impose themselves on a team in the top six.

“We will not allow ourselves to get caught up in Arsenal having had a couple of difficult games and we are in good form.

“We can only afford to play the right type of game.”

For many Albion supporters, the expectation levels in this latest clash against one of the Big Six are appreciably higher than in any of the preceding defeats by Chelsea (twice), Manchester City, Manchester United, Spurs, Liverpool and the Gunners at the Emirates.

Pundits have captured the mood. Several have predicted further suffering for Wenger on the south coast. Hughton is not listening to the external noise, nor is he concerned by it.

He told The Argus: “No, because always by far the most important thing is what we think here within the group.

“What other people think or feel you can’t affect that. Every game you play there will be ex-players and pundits that give their opinions.

“That’s their jobs, to give opinions, and some you might agree with, some you don’t. You can’t let any outside influences or thoughts affect how you are.

“We will have a game plan, as always, for Sunday, and if we play well enough and possibly get a little rub of the green then we have a chance, but that is the same as in any game. Our thoughts have to be still of the quality they’ve got.”

Sky Sports summariser Gary Neville was stinging in his criticism of Arsenal in their Carabao Cup final defeat by City at Wembley on Sunday, less so in the League at the Emirates on Thursday night, when Wenger switched the system from 3-4-3 to 4-2-3-1 in a futile attempt to compete.

Hughton said: “A cup final is a cup final. I watched the game (at the Emirates) and Arsenal had chances. On another day it might have been different.

“They just came up against a Man City team that in particular, if you look at the three goals they scored, produced five or six pieces of real quality that can get you a goal and they happened to put three of them away. Three outstanding goals that they would probably have scored against any team.”

Has there been an overreaction then to Arsenal’s woes? “That I don’t know,” Hughton said.

“You have to remember we are in a different position and thought process and league to the top six.

“The top six play under enormous pressure because of the expectations, so any criticisms of the top six generally are because they are the top six and they are used to winning games.

“It comes with the territory. That’s why these clubs have the best players and in most cases the best managers as well.”

Wenger, for all the bullets flying in his direction from elsewhere, is still held in the highest regard by Hughton. “I think sympathy is probably the wrong word,” he said.

“You can’t be a manager that’s managed as long as Arsene without having difficult periods.

“The majority of time he’s been here, there have been pluses and they’ve won things and games.

“There isn’t anybody with more experience to handle any difficult times than Arsene.

“He will want to make sure he puts everything right and to get back to winning ways.

“It’s certainly not for me to tell people what they should think. I can only say what I think about Arsene Wenger and he’s an outstanding manager, has been, still is.

“There isn’t anybody more experienced in the game than him and I have absolute respect for what he’s done and the capabilities he still has.”