Big match near the bottom for struggling Brighton & West Brom
Brighton to win 2-0
Brighton will be disappointed with their results so far this season, especially as they are on the whole a better side than last year.
As has been much discussed, their controversial defeat to Manchester United could have easily gone the other way and they have started to dominate matches in midfield which also gives you a chance to pick up points.
They are certainly better than their current position suggests and it could take a fixture like this to kick them into gear.
West Brom have shown glimpses of quality in matches, such as going 3-0 up before half time in their game against Chelsea.
But overall, they have struggled to find their way to goal and picking up points will be tough for them this season unless they can create more chances.
Both sides are desperate for points.
Form Guide (all comps): WLLLD
Reasons to be cheerful:
Will see this as a big chance for three points
Are better than their position suggests
Reasons to be fearful:
Will be without captain Dunk through suspension
Must become tighter at the back
Brighton could, and perhaps should, be several places higher up the table and are probably a little unfortunate to be lurking down in 16th place.
That said, based on their performances, there is some improvement upon last season and if they can translate that into points, they should see themselves rise up the table.
Neal Maupay is looking sharp in front of goal for them, with four goals and an assist from his five appearances so far. Leandro Trossard always looks lively in midfield.
With West Brom without a win so far this season, Brighton will see this as a big chance to put three extra points on the board.
Star Man – Neal Maupay
Keeps popping up with goals for Brighton – unfortunately, his defence can’t keep a clean sheet
Form Guide (all comps): LLDLD
Reasons to be cheerful
Showed promise without scoring against Burnley
Ivanovic looks to have made a difference
Reasons to be fearful
Haven’t won a game all season
Failed to score in three of their five games
After conceding so many goals already this season, it will have been comforting to have keep a clean sheet in their last game against Burnley, albeit not finding the net themselves.
In truth, West Brom have been poor in their opening five matches, with their first half performance against Chelsea the only real positive in an otherwise disappointing start.
Hal Robson-Kanu being out injured for some time doesn’t help matters either – the Baggies had relied on his ability to impact the game coming off the bench.
Instead, young Diangana Grady, from West Ham, has been left to lead the line. He is energetic and pacey, but lacks the experience to lead a relegation survival.
Securing the transfer of Branislav Ivanovic, once of Chelsea, could be a great signing. He already looks like he’s added a solid presence to the back four.
Star Man – Grady Diangana
Looks most likely to pop up with a goal for West Brom, something which they desperately need
Brighton will be favourites for three points
Their strength in midfield should control the game
West Brom need to improve greatly
West Brom started the weekend just outside of the bottom three, but could well end up there before their match if results don’t go their way.
You feel that a battle for relegation is on the cards for the rest of the season, but it is matches against those around them at the bottom, like Brighton are currently, that will determine their success.
Brighton should have enough quality to press for victory here.
Brighton to win 2-0