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First Team

Premier League Preview: Brighton & Hove Albion

The Seagulls looking to break out of the bottom half

19 June 2021

Four straight finishes in the Premier League's bottom six places have seen Brighton keep their heads above water. This season they'll be hoping to break that run and push into the middle of the pack.

2020/21 REPORT

League Position: 16th

Top League Goalscorer: Neal Maupay (8)

Stadium: The American Express Community Stadium, Village Way, Brighton, BN1 9BL

Capacity: 30,650

A poor start to the season saw Brighton only take five points from their opening seven games. They improved as timne went on, winning three of four in January to push higher up the table. Losing only once in eight games moved them closer to safety, which was eventually secured by 13 points after wins against Man City, Leeds and Newcastle in the closing stages of the season.

Their FA Cup run went to the Fifth Round following wins at Newport County and Blackpool. They lost 1-0 to eventual champions Leicester City in February, Kelechi Iheanacho scoring a last-minute winner. The Carabao Cup run also saw them play three games, winning 4-0 against Portsmouth and then 2-0 at Preston North End. Manchester United proved a step too far in the Fourth Round.

Centre-back Ben White was a late call-up to Gareth Southgate's England squad after an injury to Trent Alexander-Arnold. They are also represented at Euro 2020 by four other players; Jakub Moder (Poland), Leandro Trossard (Belgium), Joel Veltman (Netherlands) and Robert Sanchez (Spain).

THE MANAGER

Graham Potter played as a left-back during a 13-year career. He made over 300 appearances in the EFL and played in the Premier League, as well as non-league towards the end of his professional days. He started at Birmingham before playing for Stoke and Southampton. Three years ar West Brom followed, then loan spells at Northampton Town and Reading. He transferred to York City and then Boston United, before ending his career at Macclesfield Town after a loan with Shrewsbury.

Brighton Manager.jpg

He took up coaching at the University of Hull, moving to the international stage with the women's team of Ghana at the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup. He coached the England Universities Squad and also the teams at Leeds University before moving into professional management.

In December 2010, he was made Head Coach of Ostersund, a fourth tier side in Sweden - where he would go on to coach Saman Ghoddos. Three successive promotions followed, before an eighth-place finish in the top-flight. They went on to qualify for the UEFA Europa League, making it to the knockout rounds and losing to Arsenal 4-2 on aggregate.

He joined Swansea City in 2018, only spending a season in Wales before Brighton came calling. His first two seasons with The Seagulls have seen 15th and 16th finishes.

LAST MEETING

Our last game with Brighton was a lively 3-3 draw in the Sky Bet Championship, on 5 February 2017 at Griffin Park. Jota opened the scoring with a cheeky backheel goal before Harlee Dean made it two. Lasse Vibe then had a penalty saved by David Stockdale before an incredible comeback from The Seagulls. Solly March got the first, Shane Duffy levelled things a few minutes later.

Konstantin Kerschbaumer thought he had won the match with a strike from distance in stoppage time but Tomer Hemed nodded home an equaliser in the dying seconds.

Brentford: Bentley; Clarke, Dean, Bjelland, Field (Kerschbaumer 88); Woods, McEachran, Yennaris (McCormack 80); Jota, Vibe, Jozefzoon (Canos 69)

Brighton: Stockdale; Bruno, Duffy, Hunemeier, Pocognoli; Knockaert, Sidwell, Norwood, Skalak (March h/t); Murphy (Akpom 65), Murray (Hemed 71)


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