28/08/18 – Brighton 0-1 Southampton (Carabao Cup)
25/08/18 – Liverpool 1-0 Brighton (Premier League)
19/08/18 – Brighton 3-2 Manchester Utd (Premier League)
11/08/18 – Watford 2-0 Brighton (Premier League)
03/08/18 – Brighton 2-1 Nantes (Pre Season Friendly)
Since their promotion to the Premier League, Brighton have set up in most of their games in a 4-4-1-1 formation, giving Pascal Gross the platform to be the main creative outlet behind a lone striker. Although they changed to a more defensive 4-1-4-1 against Liverpool at Anfield last weekend – with Yves Bissouma replacing Gross and dropping back as an extra shield in front of the defence – the fact the game will be played at the AMEX, suggests Chris Hughton’s side will revert to type on Saturday. Brighton were renowned for their excellent organisation and defensive structure in their first season in the Premier League, with Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk instrumental in a side that had the best defensive record in the bottom half of the league last season. In front of them, Propper and Stephens controlled the midfield well at times last year, with both impressing in Brighton’s sole win this season against Man United. There is the possibility that Hughton could include some of the attacking signings made over the summer, but so far he has stuck with the team that served him well last season. Expect us to have a greater share of possession than we did in our last away game at Wembley, although much like Palace the threat Brighton will pose on the counter-attack will be key in deciding the match.
Battle to Watch
Duffy vs Mitrovic: Brighton’s solidity in defence was the foundation of their success in the Premier League last season. With Lewis Dunk potentially not available for Saturday’s game after his injury against United, the main responsibility for stopping Mitrovic will fall on Shane Duffy. One half of last seasons impressive pairing will have to be at the top of his game and with the physicality he possesses, there is every chance he could succeed in keeping our man up front quiet. But if Mitrovic gets the upper hand our chances of getting a big result will massively increase.
The key to Brighton’s attacking productivity is one of the signings of last season, Pascal Gross. With 7 goals and 8 assists in the league in 17/18, Gross was one of the most significant reasons that Brighton maintained their Premier League status and his playmaking abilities should mean a tough afternoon for whoever lines up as our defensive midfielder. His ability to drop in between the lines of midfield and defences means Gross provides the vital spark for Brighton going forward.
Last 5 Meetings
29/12/14 – Fulham 0-2 Brighton (C’ship)
15/08/15 – Fulham 1-2 Brighton (C’ship)
15/04/16 – Brighton 5-0 Fulham (C’ship)
26/11/16 – Brighton 2-1 Fulham (C’ship)
02/01/17 – Fulham 1-2 Brighton (C’ship)
Fulham wins 22
Brighton wins 22
Stats & Facts
- Having gone 11 away matches undefeated between December 2017 and April 2018, Fulham have now lost their last 3 away games (v Birmingham, Derby and Tottenham).
- Saturday’s fixture will be the first ever top-tier meeting between the clubs – they will have played each other at all four levels of English football in the past 25 years as well as the FA Cup, League Cup and Football League Trophy.
- Brighton have won the last 5 meetings with Fulham – 3 of them by a 2-1 scoreline.
- Fulham have won 1 of their last 5 visits to Brighton in the league – a 2-1 victory in the Championship in November 2014. Only goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli and coach Scott Parker remain at the club from that matchday squad of 18.
- Fulham have conceded just 3 first-half goals in their last 13 games against Brighton in all competitions – but 13 in the second halves of those same matches.
Players in Common
Darren Bent, Wayne Bridge, Paul Brooker, Stan Brown, Dan Burn, David Button, Richard Carpenter, Danny Cullip, Perry Digweed, Ross Flitney, Darren Freeman, Aaron Hughes, Jim Langley, Dirk Lehmann, Teddy Maybank, Simon Morgan, Oliver Norwood, Peter O’Sullivan, Zesh Rehman, Liam Rosenior, Doug Rougvie, Steve Sidwell, David Stockdale, Glen Thomas, Martin Thomas, Mark Walton, Paul Watson, Bobby Zamora
No moment in recent memory can surely be more satisfying than being able to sing “Darren, Darren what’s the score?” when we came from behind to beat the Seagulls 1-2 in 2014. On the short train ride from London to Brighton, you heard whispers that Darren Bent had scored on every debut he’d had in his career and typically his Brighton debut would have to go and be against us! We all knew it was going to happen, didn’t we?!
But what we didn’t expect was his celebration. I’m sure the criticism that Bent received from the Fulham faithful following our relegation from the Premier League upset him, but the wounds were still very much open with the pain it caused us supporters watching his gutless displays too. So it definitely felt like salt was being rubbed into those wounds, especially when members of our team that day were part of the team relegated at Stoke alongside Bent. It gave the team the extra incentive needed to go on and win the game, and I’ve no doubt that our fans there that day were grateful for his celebration because it made the journey home very sweet indeed.
Opposition View (@SammyTheSnake25)
Are you happy with the start you’ve made to the season?
It’s obviously early days, we’re only 3 games in and definitely strengthened over the summer, the loss at Watford was disappointing and felt we could’ve got something at Liverpool but United at home was quality and it just grinds me a bit that it’s always how bad the big clubs are and not how good the Albion are. We looked so good going forward and solid at the back for the majority of the game.
What are your expectations for this campaign and what’s your predicted league position?
Obviously we’ve already beaten one of the “big 6” but another couple of upsets against them would be nice, id like for our home form to be strong again and a few wins away from home always make for a nice day out, you’ll hate me for this but a win at the cottage is always brilliant so that’s an expectation to have! I reckon we’ll finish around 15th, certainly don’t think we will go down.
Obviously, you now play in a state of the art stadium at the Amex. But once upon a time, you played at the Withdean Stadium which was a totally different prospect altogether. What are your memories of the Withdean and do you miss it in any way?
I have great memories from the Withdean, I was the mascot the day we won promotion in 2001 and that sticks with me even now. I was also a ball boy there and being behind the goal for the 2004 playoff semi-final win on penalties against Swindon was special. I do miss it, the dynamic of the club has changed since the move to the Amex, but the club did need to move forward when we moved into the new ground. I definitely miss the pitch invasions, it was so easy!
How do you see the match going on Saturday and what’s your score prediction?
I think it’ll be a good game, lots of goals. If we can boss the midfield I think we’ll nick it 3-2. At least one goal from a set piece!
I can’t see this being a big scoring game like last Sunday at the Cottage, and Brighton have made the AMEX a difficult place for opposition teams to pick up points in the last few seasons. But I’m feeling positive and going for a 2-1 win for the Whites.
Predicted line up
Bettinelli; Bryan, Le Marchand, Odoi, Fosu-Mensah; McDonald, Anguissa, Seri; Vietto, Mitrovic, Schurrle