It has been well documented that Albion’s promotion chances could be depleting. Stats suggest not.
Despite losing the last 2 games (Newcastle & Forest), the last time the Seagulls lost consecutive games they went on an 18 game unbeaten run. Although, the 3-0 defeat to Forest is very underwhelming, Albion were unlucky. Britt Assombalonga’s opener was offside in everyone’s eyes except the officials. What surprised everyone was the officials even told the players it was offside, but didn’t know Assombalonga got the final touch. Much to the disgust of Albion fans, but delight to the Forest fans, the goal stood. For once, luck had gone against Brighton. Late on, Forest made it 2-0 and 3-0 swiftly thanks to a David Stockdale mistake and a controversial penalty. Brighton were soundly beaten. For a team that has scored a large volume of goals and has a good away record, it was a very uncharacteristic defeat.
However, Chris Hughton’s side has a good bounce back ability. Shown when 1-0 down away to Fulham with 15 minutes remaining, and the Seagulls eventually won 2-1. The same goes for Birmingham away. Albion’s run in is arguably better than Huddersfield’s and Newcastle. Some say 90 points is enough, and the Seagulls are just 19 points away. There are 33 points available and with favourable games such as Rotherham, Wigan and Blackburn included in the last 11 games, surely the Albion can’t slip up now and blow their best chance of reaching the Premier League in their history.
While Huddersfield are in the form of their life with 8 wins in their last 10 games, they are sure to drop points at sometime along the way. As will a lot of the chasing pack. With a tough game at home to Villa next will they be 3 points behind Brighton or 9? Maybe even 6? Who knows. The Championship is quite the opposite of predictable. Many predicted Newcastle would have ran away with the title. But the Seagulls are still in with a small chance of the winning the trophy come the end of the campaign.
Albion certainly have the firepower with 4 players on 10+ goals. Sam Baldock & Tomer Hemed both have 10, Anthony Knockaert on 11 & Glenn Murray on 17. Albion also have one of the best defensive records in the championship and it is in their hands. According to SofaScore, Lewis Dunk has the highest average rating out of anyone in the league, let alone defenders. He has been outstanding all season but has picked up regular yellow cards. Now 3 games away from a suspension, he will have to be careful as Albion already have defensive injury problems. Gaetan Bong has been missing for a while, Seb Pocognoli felt his groin last Tuesday and Liam Rosenior has only just returned. Put Connor Goldson’s heart surgery and Shane Duffy’s suspected foot injury in the equation and Albion only have 3 recognised full backs and 2 recognised centre backs. Uwe Hunemeier has only played once since his 15-month injury lay off and seems the best choice. In all honesty, the quality of Albion’s squad should shine through and fire them to promotion as they have an injury free midfield and firing strikers. Rewind 20 years and they were on the verge of relegation to non-league football. It is now all about believing, supporting and performing to reach the dream that was so close yet so far away last season, but Hughton’s team are much more well equipped this time round and it is their’s to lose.
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