As we approach the quarter stage of the season, it looks quite promising for Brighton; sitting top of the Championship, and the only unbeaten side left in England’s top 5 divisions going into the game at Elland Road, where hosts Leeds have struggled.
Leeds have not taken away three points from home since their 2-1 victory over Ipswich back on the 4th of March, highlighting their woeful home form. Leeds had been unbeaten in their first six games, drawing five of them however, before three defeats in four between the two international breaks, leaving them with only two victories so far this season. The loan signing of former Seagull Will Buckley, who is unlikely to feature against his former club, is a clear statement that they need some variety in their game, with a majority of their goal-making chances have come from Mirco Antenucci, and with him being constantly being hassled by defenders, he hasn’t had the freedom he would of liked. Another former Seagull, Chris Wood, is the Peacocks top goal-scorer this season with four goals, but has struggled to hit the ground running, something Uwe Rosler would of been hoping for when he signed him back in August. Defensively, Leeds are pretty good, with left-back Chris Taylor one of their main threats on the attack, and central defender Giuseppe Bellusci provides solid cover, not to mention goalkeeper Marco Silvestri who was not only one of the best keepers last season, but has played his part so far this season as well.
Brighton are a different side of the coin, with the Seagulls enjoying a fine run of ten unbeaten league games. Last week’s home draw against Cardiff was the first points the Seagulls had dropped at home so far, and will also be looking to break a unwanted ‘hoodoo’ of no league wins in October since 2010, with victory against Leeds after three straight draws. Chris Hughton has pretty much a full squad to select from with the exception of suspended Jamie Murphy and injured Kazenga LuaLua, who isn’t going to be risked for this game, with the hope he might be fit enough for the visit of Bristol City on Tuesday. Tomer Hemed has hit a bit of a drought after a quick fire start to the season, hitting five goals in the first seven games, but hasn’t found the net since. Dale Stephens has taken up Hemed’s goal-scoring role, with his three goals coming in the last four games, and Chris Hughton will be hoping the midfielder can work some more magic in Yorkshire. Lewis Dunk is set to be benched again, which will mean Uwe Hunemeier will be recalled to the starting XI. Whether Hughton takes a gamble on Kayal, who is one booking away from a suspension, remains to be seen but it looks as if he will start the Israeli midfielder.
Recent results suggest Brighton will break their October ‘hoodoo’, with the last three contests being in favour of the Seagulls, with the last two being 2-0 wins. Leeds have only beaten Brighton once in nine attempts, and it looks like with the current form, that run might continue. If I was a betting man, the 2-0 win looks quite promising, and a third 2-0 success against Leeds isn’t a long shot, considering their dreadful home form and Brighton’s unbeaten start.
Bruno, Greer, Hunemeier, Bong
Rosenior, Kayal, Stephens, March
Leeds 0-2 Brighton