As we approach the ten game stage in this season’s Football League Championship, it safe to say Brighton fans can still not believe that they are unbeaten. Setting two new club records last week against Bolton, Brighton will be looking to kick on now, and they face a Cardiff side who have had a very nice start to the season, sitting in sixth with just two defeats, both of which came within the last 3 games.
Cardiff had a brilliant start, and were one of six English league teams who were unbeaten after six games. However, after a home defeat against Hull and an away defeat at, then were, rock-bottom Rotherham they sit in the last play-off place, which isn’t a bad thing, but they could really of been coming to Brighton also unbeaten if they had taken their chances in those two games. They have always held one of the best defensive records in recent seasons, mostly due to the heroics of superstar keeper David Marshall, who will subsequently be finishing his suspension against Brighton after his sending off against Rotherham. Basically their low-scoring nature and rock solid defence mostly accumulates to a very low scoring game, until this season where there has been a minimum of two goals in each of their nine league games. Joe Mason will be Cardiff’s threat, with the striker netting four times this season, including last time out against Charlton. Peter Whittingham will be the man pulling the strings over the pitch with four assists so far this season, and will be causing threats all afternoon. Federico Macheda will miss the trip to Brighton after he had his surgery in the week for a back injury, while Lee Peltier is hoping to be fit in time to play after missing last weeks game through a swollen leg.
Brighton’s magical start continues as they broke two long standing club records with last weeks draw with Bolton. However, that will be the least of boss Chris Hughton’s worry, after Jamie Murphy’s red card wasn’t over-turned this week leaving only Elvis Manu and Solly March as the only recognised wingers, but Liam Rosenior is another option if needed. The news that Murphy will miss the next three will come as a blow to Hughton, after the Scot had finally picked up a bit of form after performing well at Wolves, and scoring his first goal against Bolton before his sending off last week. On the brighter side, Tomer Hemed is set to be recalled to the starting line-up, after he recovered from his hamstring injury which made him sit out last weeks draw. Bruno is also set to recover from an ankle knock he picked up last week too. Hemed’s inclusion in the squad will be a big boost, as the five goal man looks to re-kindle the form he had before his injury at Wolves.
Based on recent head-to-heads, its safe to say that the betting men at backing a draw, as the Bluebirds haven’t beaten the Albion in eight games, a record that stretches back to October 2005 (2 wins, 6 draws) accompanied with the last three meetings at the AMEX being draws, your be safe to bet on a score-draw.
Bruno, Greer, Humemeier, Bong
Rosenior, Kayal, Stephens, Manu
Brighton 1-1 Cardiff