LCFC v BHAFC (19/8/17) | Match Preview

Brighton travel to 2016 Premier League champions Leicester City for their first away Premier League match, and hoping to collect their first points.

Leicester Team News;

Leicester will be without Danny Drinkwater, Vicente Iborra, Robert Huth and Nampalys Mendy, while new signing Kelechi Iheanacho has visited a specialist for his toe injury, but could still feature.

Last Time Out; AFC 4-3 LCFC

Leicester fell to an opening day 4-3 defeat to Arsenal. After going behind from Alex Lacazette’s early opener, Shinji Okazaki and Jamie Vardy put the Foxes ahead. Danny Welbeck scored on the stroke of half-time to level the scores; but after the break Vardy restored the lead. 2 goals in 2 minutes at the end of the game from Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud saw the Gunners to victory.

Top Scorer; Jamie Vardy (2)

Form; L

FACT; Jamie Vardy has provided 19 assists since the start of the 2014/15 season, second to only James Milner among English players.

Brighton Team News;

Brighton will be without Izzy Brown, after the winger picked up a hamstring injury during last weekend’s defeat against Man City. Jose Izquierdo wont feature after signing for a club record fee, with Sam Baldock and Beram Kayal still sidelined.

Last Time Out; BHAFC 0-2 MCFC

Brighton were defeated in their opening game in the Premier League by Manchester City. After holding out the title favourites for 70 minutes, Sergio Aguero pounced on a defensive error to break the deadlock, before Lewis Dunk turned into his own net 5 minutes later

Top Scorer; N/A

Form; L

FACT; Midfielder Pascal Gross covered the most ground by any player during opening weekend (12.8km).

Last Time We Met: LCFC [1]-[4] BHAFC (8/4/14);

Brighton won comfortably last time the two sides met; goals from Stephen Ward, Jesse Lingard and a brace from current Foxes player Leo Ulloa put the Seagulls 4-0 up, with Gary Taylor-Fletcher netting a consolation goal.

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 13 of the 29 games played between the 2 sides, with the Foxes winning 11. Brighton have lost just once in the last 5 games and both have scored in the previous 3 meetings. Brighton’s record at Leicester isn’t too impressive though, winning just 5 of 15 games

Likely Line-Up;

Schmeichel;

Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs;

Albrighton, Ndidi, Amartey, Mahrez;

Vardy, Slimani;

Brighton Likely Line-Up;

Ryan,

Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Suttner;

Knockaert, Stephens, Propper, Murphy;

Gross;

Murray;

Prediction;

Leicester 1-1 Brighton

 

BHAFC v MCFC (12/8/17) | Match Review

It was spirited, it was gallant and it was all to play for until the closing stages of the game, but Brighton's Premier League debut ended in defeat at the hands of Manchester City. Pitted against the title favourites, who boast an array of world-class talent, it says much for the Seagulls’ endeavour that it took 70 minutes for the visitors to break the deadlock through Sergio Aguero, with a Lewis Dunk own goal putting the game out of reach soon after.

The pre-game statistics certainly made for interesting reading; the City starting line-up boasting 1,199 Premier League games between them, the Albion just seven. It really was a case of Chris Hughton’s men entering the unknown against a side who lived up to their pre-match billing, dominating possession and dictating the pace of the game. Inevitably, they created the first chance when Kyle Walker got to the byline, but his low cross was, uncharacteristically, miscued by Aguero. Gabriel Jesus also had joy down the right flank moments later, but Shane Duffy made a vital interception. Maty Ryan would have gained confidence having held on to a dipping Kevin de Bruyne free-kick, but with 77 per cent of the possession in the opening quarter of an hour, the tone was set: defence versus attack, and a test of how the Albion rearguard could handle whatever came their way. Chris Hughton was forced into a change in the 24th minute when Izzy Brown suffered a hamstring injury – to be replaced by Jamie Murphy – and although it was frustrating to see the Chelsea loanee leave the pitch after his promising start, it gave everyone in blue and white a chance to catch their breath. The pattern of play was restored soon after, however, and the ball was in the back of the Albion net on 27 minutes when Gabriel Jesus got in behind Lewis Dunk, only to use his hand to guide the ball past the Ryan. A collision with the Albion keeper left the Brazilian needing attention and to rub further salt into the wounds, he was cautioned by referee Michael Oliver for his actions. Jesus then had a guilt-edged chance to break the deadlock on 33 minutes when he connected with Aguero’s dinked cross, but Ryan pulled off a superb reflex save and the City striker then hit his rebound against the post. Yet Albion stood strong, stayed organised, and with Solly March willing to carry the ball from deep and Dale Stephens’ searching balls looking to hit the pace of runners Pascal Gross and Murphy, the game was scoreless at the break. Duffy, alongside Dunk, had a heroic opening half but an under-hit backpass by the Irishman shortly after the break let in Aguero, only for the City striker to screw his effort wide with just Ryan to beat. Albion immediately broke forward and a superb, pin-point cross from Markus Suttner was met by Davy Propper, but Danilo sent the ball out for a corner. The resulting centre ended with Duffy’s shot on the turn deflecting away for a corner, while Dunk’s low effort skimmed narrowly wide after Ederson had flapped at another ball into his six-yard box. City had appeals for a penalty waved away when De Bruyne’s shot struck the arm of Dunk; but the visitors were all smiles in the 70th minute when a sweeping move involving the Belgian and David Silva saw the ball fall into the path of Aguero, who swept home from close range. It was two soon after when Fernandinho crossed from the right for Jesus, only for Dunk to unfortunately steer his header past Ryan. It effectively ended the game as a contest but Albion would have taken plenty from the 90 minutes; they were in the game for long periods and will head to Leicester next weekend with plenty of heart.

Subs;                                                                          Subs;

Murphy —> Brown (24)                                         Sane —> Danilo (68)

Murray —> Hemed (60)                                          Sterling —> Jesus (78)

Knockaert —> March (77)                                      Bernardo Silva —> Aguero (83)

BHAFC [0]-[2] MCFC; Aguero (70), Dunk (75 O.G);

Att; 30,415 (3,025 Man City)

Albion MOTM; March

BHAFC v MCFC (12/8/17) | Match Preview

Brighton begin life in the Premier League with a home game against hot title favourites Manchester City.

Man City Team News;

Man City will be without new signing Benjamin Mendy and Ilkay Gundogan, but will have new signings Kyle Walker, Ederson, Bernardo Silva and Danilo all poised to make their competitive debuts. Pep Guardiola has spent over £133 million on full-backs alone this transfer window; more than Brighton paid for their stadium and training ground put together, stating the financial power of playing in the Premier League.

Last Time Out;

Man City 3-0 West Ham; Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling were all on the score sheet as City closed their pre-season with a comfortable win against the Hammers

Form; L, W, W, W

FACT; City have bought 5 of the 10 most expensive defenders (Walker, Mendy, John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi & Eliaquim Mangala)

Brighton Team News;

Brighton will be without Beram Kayal and Sam Baldock, but received a big boost with Solly March declaring himself fit for the match; Anthony Knockaert and Glenn Murray both played 45 minutes mid-week to boost their pre-season minutes. New signings Davy Propper, Maty Ryan, Izzy Brown, Markus Suttner and Pascal Gross are all expected to make their competitive Albion debuts, but new record signing Jose Izquierdo is unavailable due to work permit issues.

Last Time Out;

Brighton 2-3 Atletico Madrid; Brighton were narrowly beaten by Madrid after pegging the Spanish side back twice. Gross and Steve Sidwell were on the scoresheet for the Seagulls, while Nicolas Gaetan, Fernando Torres and Lucas Hernandez scored for Atleti.

Form; W, W, W, D, D, L

FACT; Brighton have broken their club record transfer amount 3 times this summer thus far.

Last Time We Met: BHAFC [2]-[2] MCFC (24/9/08) – BHAFC won 5-3 on penalties;

Brighton pulled off the shock of the competition back in 2008, after they beat Man City in the 2nd round of the League Cup; a team which consisted of Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, Daniel Sturridge and Kasper Schmeichel. Murray and Joe Anyinsah scored for Albion, while Gelson Fernandes and Stephen Ireland were on target in the 120 minutes for City. Brighton won 5-3 on penalties.

H-2-H;

Brighton have won 5 of the 17 meetings between the 2 sides, while City have secured victory 8 times. Brighton have won the last 2 games between the sides, including the last league game back in 1989. The home side has scored in each of the matches bar 2 games, while 10 of the 13 wins have been via the home team.

Man City Likely Line-Up;

Ederson;

Walker, Kompany, Otamendi, Stones, Danilo;

Fernandinho, Yaya Toure;

Sterling, de Bruyne, D.Silva;

Aguero

Brighton Likely Line-Up;

Ryan;

Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Suttner;

Knockaert, Stephens, Propper, Brown;

Gross;

Murray;

Prediction;

Brighton 1-2 Man City

 

Build-Up To The New Season – West Ham

Team: West Ham

Nickname: The Hammers

Founded: 1895

Manager: Slaven Bilic

Stadium Name: London Stadium

Stadium Capacity:

Major Honours:

Main Rivals: Millwall, Chelsea, Tottenham

Biggest Win v Brighton: 6-0 (April 2012)

Biggest Defeat v Brighton: 3-0 (December 1909, September 1989)

Last Meeting: West Ham 6-0 Brighton (14/4/12)

When Do They Play Brighton: Saturday 21st October (London Stadium), Saturday 3rd February (AMEX Stadium)

 

Players To Watch:

Goalkeeper: Joe Hart

Defender: Pablo Zabaleta

Midfielder: Marko Arnautovic

Striker: Javier Hernandez

 

After a superb season prior to last, West Ham's fortunes turned sour after a disappointing season. 5 defeats in their first 6 games, and just 3 wins in their first 15 saw them a couple point above the relegation places with fans booing players and manager throughout home games. A 3 game win streak saw them move up the table, but the second half of the season was much the same with bruising defeats to rivals Chelsea, Bournmouth, Arsenal and Man City in the F.A Cup. They did have a good end to the season, losing just once in the final 6, and finished a respectable 11th considering they were around the bottom 3 for much of the season. With some shrewd signing this summer, West Ham will be looking to head back to Europe, and become a driving force once again, and with signings like Hernandez, Zabaleta and Arnautovic WEst Ham will be a tough nut to crack.

 

Last Season’s Finish: 11th

Predicted Finish 11th

Build-Up To The New Season – West Brom

Team: West Bromwich Albion

Nickname: The Baggies

Founded: 1878

Manager: Tony Pulis

Stadium Name: The Hawthorns

Stadium Capacity: 26,852

Major Honours: (1) First Division, (3) Second Division, (5) F.A Cup, (1) League Cup, (2) Community Shield

Main Rivals: Wolves, Aston Villa, Birmingham

Biggest Win v Brighton: 5-0 (September 1982)

Biggest Defeat v Brighton: 3-1 (March 1993)

Last Meeting: West Brom 3-1 Brighton (3/4/93)

When Do They Play Brighton: Saturday 9th September (AMEX Stadium), Saturday 13th January (The Hawthorns)

 

Players To Watch:

Goalkeeper: Ben Foster

Defender: Gareth McAuley

Midfielder: Claudio Yacob

Striker: Jay Rodriguez

 

West Brom are one of those teams in the Premier League who wont battle for Europe and wont be in a relegation scrap, they are happy to sit in mid-table. It was much of the same last season too, finishing 10th after a long period of being inside the top 8 (18 games). Much like most team sin the Premier, they pick most of their points up at home, but fair pretty badly on the road, and that was no exception last year; 9 home wins compared to 3 away. Had they not gone on their 8 game winless run in their final 8 games of the season, they could have finished much higher. You would expect them this season to be in the same position as previous campaigns and another top 10 finish is the most likely outcome.

 

Last Season’s Finish: 10th

Predicted Finish 9th

Build-Up To The New Season – Watford

Team: Watford

Nickname: Hornets

Founded: 1881

Manager: Marco Silva

Stadium Name: Vicarage Road

Stadium Capacity: 21,438

Major Honours: (2) Third Division, (1) Fourth Division

Main Rivals: Luton

Biggest Win v Brighton: 5-0 (March 1931)

Biggest Defeat v Brighton: 6-0 (April 1958)

Last Meeting:

When Do They Play Brighton: Saturday 26th August (Vicarage Road), Saturday 23rd December (AMEX Stadium)

 

Players To Watch:

Goalkeeper: Costal Pantilimon

Defender: Sebastian Prodl

Midfielder: Will Hughes

Striker: Troy Deeney

 

Watford will be hoping to do much better than last year when this season kicks-off. They had one of the toughest starts to the season; playing Chelsea, Arsenal and Man United all inside their first 5 games, although they did beat United. Throughout the season they were winning games and losing games back to back near enough, and got to the 'magical 40 point mark' with 6 games to spare, however they fell from a promising 10th place to 17th after losing all of their last 6 including a last day 5-0 hammering against Man City. Marco Silva couldn't keep up Hull last season much to his best efforts, but this could arguably be a tougher task. When Watford are good they can beat anyone, but they have been off more than on in recent seasons, and dicing too close with danger could ultimately cost them their Premier League status.

 

Last Season’s Finish: 17th

Predicted Finish 18th

Build-Up To The New Season – Tottenham

Team: Tottenham Hotspur

Nickname: Spurs, Lilywhites

Founded: 1882

Manager: Mauricio Pochettino

Stadium Name: Wembley Stadium (new stadium under construction)

Stadium Capacity: 90,000

Major Honours: (2) First Division, (2) Second Division, (8) F.A Cup, (4) League Cup, (7) Community Shield, (2) Europa League

Main Rivals: Arsenal, Chelsea, West Ham

Biggest Win v Brighton: 3-0 (March 1907)

Biggest Defeat v Brighton: 3-1 (April 1978)

Last Meeting: Tottenham 2-0 Brighton (29/10/14)

When Do They Play Brighton: Wednesday 13th December (Wembley Stadium), Saturday 21st April (AMEX Stadium)

 

Players To Watch:

Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris

Defender: Jan Vertonghen

Midfielder: Dele Alli

Striker: Harry Kane

 

After the disappointment of the season before, Spurs fans were confident they could go one step further and win the league title; however they just fell short once again, although they did give champions Chelsea a good run for their money. Tottenham never went lower than 6th throughout the whole season, but were never top, and occupied 2nd place for half the season. They had a near perfect home record where they won 17 of their 19 home games, drawing the other 2 games to Liverpool and Leicester. However, their struggles away from home were evident with poor performances against Chelsea, Man United and West Ham ultimately cost them the title. With them moving to their temporary home at Wembley, where they haven't faired well, it seems likely that they will struggle to mount another title challenge, until they move back to White Hart Lane next season.

 

Last Season’s Finish: 2nd 

Predicted Finish 5th

Build-Up To The New Season – Swansea

Team: Swansea City

Nickname: The Swans

Founded: 1912

Manager: Paul Clement

Stadium Name: Liberty Stadium

Stadium Capacity: 21,088

Major Honours: (3) Third Division, (1) Fourth Division, (1) League Cup, (2) Football League Trophy, (10) Welsh Cup

Main Rivals: Cardiff, Bristol Rovers, Bristol City, Newport County

Biggest Win v Brighton: 4-2 (April 1959)

Biggest Defeat v Brighton: 4-1 (November 1923, April 1994)

Last Meeting: Swansea 3-0 Brighton (11/8/09)

When Do They Play Brighton: Saturday 4th November (Liberty Stadium), Saturday 24th February (AMEX Stadium)

 

Players To Watch:

Goalkeeper: Lukasz Fabianski

Defender: Alfie Mawson

Midfielder: Gylfi Sigurdsson

Striker: Tammy Abraham

 

It was a tough season to be a Swans fan last year, spending much of the season in or just above the relegation places, and only a end of season miracle kept them up. After winning their first game away at Burnley, they then went 11 games without a win, before the goalfest against Crystal Palace where they won 5-4. They had credible wins midway through the season against Liverpool, Leicester and Southampton but defeats to the likes of Hull, Watford, Bournmouth and Middlesbrough were hindering their relegation survival, until the final 5 games where they secured 13 points which included wins against Everton and Stoke as well as a draw away at Man United, meaning they survived by 7 points, after Hull had lost 5 of their last 7 games. This season looks to be very different indeed with a decent manager in charge, the Swans could be back up the table in no time.

 

Last Season’s Finish: 15th

Predicted Finish 12th

Build-Up To The New Season – Stoke

Team: Stoke City

Nickname: The Potters

Founded: 1863

Manager: Mark Hughes

Stadium Name: bet365 Stadium

Stadium Capacity: 27,902

Major Honours: (2) Second Division, (2) Third Division, (1) League Cup, (2) Football League Trophy

Main Rivals: Wolves, West Brom, Port Vale

Biggest Win v Brighton: 5-1 (April 2006)

Biggest Defeat v Brighton: 3-1 (September 1959)

Last Meeting: Stoke 3-0 Brighton (19/2/11)

When Do They Play Brighton: Saturday 18th November (AMEX Stadium), Saturday 10th February (bet365 Stadium)

 

Players To Watch:

Goalkeeper: Jack Butland

Defender: Ryan Shawcross

Midfielder: Xherdan Shaqiri

Striker: Bojan

 

Stoke started the season winless in their first 7 games, losing 4, before a run of 3 straight wins. 2 wins in their next 9 saw them looking over their shoulders. They only won 6 of their 19 second half of the season games, but yet finished in a reletivly decent position for a team who had lost 16 games during the season. This season might be a stretch too far for the Potters, who have sold arguably their best player in Marko Arnautovic, and are yet to make wavelengths in the transfer market to replace the influential midfielder. Supporters are worried that anything similar to last season's performances, which in some cases were beyond poor, they could be in a relegation scrap. They are favourites to be bottom of the table by Matchday 3, with away games at Everton and West Brom and a tough home game against Arsenal, and coming away from those games with nothing on the board could leave them worrying very early on.

 

Last Season’s Finish: 13th

Predicted Finish 17th

Build-Up To The New Season – Southampton

Team: Southampton

Nickname: The Saints

Founded: 1885

Manager: Mauricio Pellegrino

Stadium Name: St Mary's

Stadium Capacity: 32,505

Major Honours: (1) Third Division, (1) Third Division South, (1) F.A Cup, (1) Football League Trophy

Main Rivals: Portsmouth, Brighton, Bournmouth

Biggest Win v Brighton: 6-1 (October 1961)

Biggest Defeat v Brighton: 5-0 (September 1955, October 1911)

Last Meeting: Brighton 3-0 Southampton (2/1/12)

When Do They Play Brighton: Saturday 28th October (AMEX Stadium), Wednesday 31st January (St Mary's)

 

Players To Watch:

Goalkeeper: Fraser Forster

Defender: Virgil van Dijk

Midfielder: Dusan Tadic

Striker: Manila Gabbiadini

 

Southampton weren't expecting a great deal at the start of the season, and that's what they got. The appointment of Claude Puel at the start of the season was one which they hoped would shoot them up the table and challenge for a top 6 place, but it never went according to plan. In the relegation places after matchday 4, things were looking bleak for the Saints already, but after 3 wins in their next 5, they were soon up the table. By the halfway point they had lost 7 of their games, and were dumped out the Europa League by Hapoel Be'er Sheva. 6 wins in the second half of the season along with 9 defeats saw them scrap 8th, 15 points behind 7th place Everton, ahead of rivals Bournmouth on goal difference, and it wasn't soon after that Puel was given the boot. With the money being spent this season within last years top 7, its hard to see Southampton breaking in to it, and another 8th place finish seems about right.

 

Last Season’s Finish: 8th 

Predicted Finish 8th