Monday, November 30, 2009

A look ahead to.....Brighton

Another piddly stadium here we come. This time it is the Withdean, and having frequented the ground quite often during my time at University, I can confirm that it is as horrible as its reputation suggests.

Therefore, you would imagine visiting teams would be overawed by its crapness and that the Seagulls would have a pretty good home record. You imagine wrong. Albion - now managed by Gus Poyet - are having a torrid time on their own patch this term, having lost six of their nine home league games.

Things were not easy there in the FA Cup on Saturday either, with only a late winner edging the south-coast outfit past Rushden & Diamonds in a five-goal thriller. Who has that much trouble against a non-league side?

It is not a new turn of events, though, as such derisory home results last season almost cost Albion their League One place and it looks as though they could be in even bigger jeopardy this time around.

Poyet - who would be thoroughly likable if not for the Dennis Wise connection - started his managerial career with a result I think all Addicks enjoyed - a 3-1 win over Alan Pardew's Southampton. That bright beginning was quickly obliterated, however, with heavy losses to Leeds and Norwich, and Albion could slip back into the drop zone if other results conspire against them in midweek.

I usually make long-winded references to our opponents' danger men in these previews but this time I'm going to keep it short. They are not very good at the back but can be a handful up front.

With Richardson and Youga struggling, our defence could be a mix of regulars - Dailly and the suspension-free Sodje - and squad men - Omozusi and Basey - but while probably not a top-notch rearguard, you would hope they could deal with a relegation-threatened team. The possible return of Elliot would give me more confidence, though. Either way I think we'll win, just not that handsomely.

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