Brighton’s recent run of results has seen them fail to win any of their last six outings while also losing their last three successive Premier League matches, that run of results has seen them drop to 13th in the table and they need to make sure their slide down the ladder does not continue.
Today they play host to a Burnley side who for 24 hours were in the Champions League places after a win against Stoke on Tuesday night. Sean Dyche’s men took full advantage of the fact that the bigger clubs for use of a better term did not play until the following night.
That meant that Burnley were more than likely going to slip back down the table with the trio of Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham all playing the following evening. Worst case scenario would have seen the Clarets drop back to 7th but as it stands they start the weekend in 6th thanks to the Gunners’ failure to win away at West Ham.
Only one of that aforementioned trio of teams managed to win in midweek, that being Tottenham who got the better of today’s home side Brighton. Mauricio Pochettino’s men did get a massive slice of fortune with their opener as Serge Aurier’s cross looped over Mat Ryan and then nestled its way into the net via the back post.
Truth be told it was nothing short of what Tottenham deserved but after going ahead you would have imagined Brighton to open up a bit in search of an equaliser, their goal was laid siege to in the first half and it came as something as a surprise that Chris Hughton did not opt to mix things up after the restart.
I guess when 1-0 down it only needs a single opportunity in which to get yourselves back in the game and in the shape of Biram Kayal’s effort they nearly did so as the Israeli who returned from a long term injury called Hugo Lloris into action.
But any hopes of snatching anything from the game were diminished late on when Heung min-Son’s deflected header found its way into the net to wrap up all three points for the home side and subject Brighton to a third straight defeat.
Burnley come into this game having won three of their last four and also four of their last six, they currently find themselves on 31 points and if we were talking the currency of beating the drop then Burnley only require three more wins to secure a third straight season in the top flight.
But with so much of the season left to go, Sean Dyche and his men will certainly not be settling just for survival, on recent displays it is not ludicrous to be talking about Burnley in the circles of the European places come the end of the season.
Doing ‘a Leicester’ may well be out of reach but if they were to keep their current placing then they would secure themselves a place in the Europa League – as long as the two domestic cup winners did not finish below them in the table
And with them just being a point off of Tottenham who they have already managed a home draw with on the third weekend of the season while facing them at Turf Moor during this busy festive football period then there is no reason why they cannot continue to silence the critics.
Brighton are struggling as their purple patch of form is a long memory now they need to get a healthy amount of points on the board over the next couple of weeks or they could be starting 2018 with a very different outlook, unfortunately for them I cannot see them picking any points today. I’ll go for an away win.
Here is what social media thinks will happen – you can still vote on the outcome
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) December 15, 2017