1 – Brighton’s record against the current top 6
Out of the 8 games Brighton has played against the current top 6 (excluding Brighton of course), they have lost only 1 game, that being the 3-0 defeat at home to Middlesbrough that ended Brighton’s incredible unbeaten run at the beginning of the season.With Brighton’s next two of three games being Derby County at home and Middlesbrough away, you would hope they can take that form and more into those games.
2 – Brighton have “that goalscoring feeling”
Brighton have scored nine goals in their last two games, and back in February, Brighton beat Bristol City away 4-0 and Leeds at home 4-0. Goalscoring has been Brighton’s biggest issue this season, but recently results have brought Brighton back into goal difference contention.
As well as this, Baldock has had an injury in that period as well as long-term injury Zamora who may or may not become eligible for the end of the season. With Baldock back and possibly Zamora, it could spell trouble for Brighton’s opponents.
With Charlton’s wobbly defence and now confirmed relegation, they have a good opportunity to keep that goalscoring up. With the top three as close as it is, it could quite easily come down to goal difference.
3 – Defence wins games
In Brighton’s last 11 games, they have kept 7 clean sheets, and in three of those games, Brighton only conceded 1 goal before winning away from home 2-1.Since Brighton’s promotion into the Championship, Brighton have kept a solid record in the league for goals conceded, and Goldson and Dunk’s partnership has become league-known for it’s resilience. With Bong back and Bruno playing superb football that got him into team of the year, Derby and Middlesbrough will have a tough time breaking them down.
4 – Chris Hughton
Chris has had a wealth of experience as a manager, taking Newcastle up with a record point tally of 102 that only Leicester have equalled back in 2014.Chris also took Birmingham City into the group-stage of the Europa League following a league cup win the season before, and took them to fourth place in the league that season, only to lose 3-2 to Blackpool in the play off semi-finals.
Before his Brighton job, Hughton saved Norwich from relegation at the end of the 11/12 season, before finishing 11th in his first full season there the year after.
5 – Depth of Squad
In the five seasons that Brighton has been in the Championship, they have reached the playoffs three times including this year. Many football experts are noting Brighton’s excellence in the market over the past year, and you would have to think that this is without a doubt the best squad that Brighton has had in those three playoff years.
In Brighton’s last game against QPR, their substitutes bench boasted, Sidwell, Murphy, Lua Lua, Baldock, Bong, Greer and Mäenpää.
Their entire squad hosts a great balance of youth and experience, and the team has more options than it has in previous playoff years.
So perhaps this year is the year….
Feature Image: SkySports