Brighton & Hove Albion vs Burnley
Venue: The Amex
Referee: Stuart Attwell
TV: BT Sport
Brighton welcome Burnley to the Amex for Saturday’s tea-time game. The Seagulls are on a poor run of form having only picked up one win in ten league matches. They did beat West Brom 3-1 in their FA Cup replay during the week, however, and Chris Hughton will be hoping that this will give his players a much-needed boost.
Burnley have had a large turnaround in fortunes lately. From looking certain to go down, they are now on a six-game unbeaten run and are actually be 5th in the form table from points gained in the last six gameweeks.
This run does involve three draws but that will not be a huge worry for Sean Dyche. The fact that they are taking points off their relegation rivals and, at the other end of the table, Manchester United, will always be welcome. Likewise, Dyche will be relieved that his team seem organised and willing once more.
Brighton’s form at home has been solid, and will have to use this to their advantage if they want to get anything out of the game. They have lost only three times at the Amex all season and have taken points off the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Wolves.
Conversely, Saturday’s visitors have only won twice away from home this season, against Cardiff and Huddersfield.
Glenn Murray was once again the hero in Brighton’s midweek FA Cup clash. The striker netted two late goals to send his side through. Seagulls fans and staff were probably not expecting a 35-year-old veteran striker to be such an integral part of their team this year, but the Englishman has ten Premier League goals already this season. Murray’s fine run of form will not last forever but for now, Brighton must utilise it while they can.
Brighton midfielder Dale Stephens is being assessed after being withdrawn from their recent game against Watford due to a hip problem.
Florin Andone may well miss out after being charged with violent conduct following an elbow on West Brom’s Sam Field earlier in the week. The charge leaves him open to receive a three-match ban.
For the Lancashire club, Steven Defour looks likely to miss out again as he recovers from a calf injury.
Matthew Lowton’s faces a late fitness test as he looks to come back from a cracked toe bone.
Burnley’s upshot in form has coincided with the return of Tom Heaton in goal. He is an incredibly important player for Burnley and he looks to have his place firmly cemented in the team.
Peter Crouch came on late for Burnley in their last league match and won them the penalty which earned them a point. The one-time England striker is not expected to start many matches but it seems like he can still do a job for Sean Dyche and his team.
Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Burnley 0
Quite simply, Brighton are due a win and Burnley are due a loss.
The hosts have had the luxury of knocking out lower league opposition in the FA Cup to gee themselves up for this and with their impressive home form, they should have enough to get past Burnley.
Despite Burnley’s good run of form they are not out of danger yet. A loss coupled with a Cardiff win could see them drop back into the relegation zone. Sean Dyche needs to carry on picking up as many points as possible until his team’s Premier League status for next season is confirmed.