Opposition Focus: Brighton & Hove Albion


26/01/18 – Brighton 0-0 WBA (FA Cup)
19/01/18 – Man Utd 2-1 Brighton
12/01/18 – Brighton 0-1 Liverpool
05/01/18 – B’mouth 1-3 Brighton (FA Cup)
02/01/18 – West Ham 2-2 Brighton


Brighton likes to set up with a mixture of 4 at the back and will modify based on their opposition from a 3 or 4 man midfield. They have used the 4-4-1-1 more often, but their 4-3-3 has produced better results. Their focus in the attack is to maintain possession, but will often do so by switching wings against narrow opposition. Their centre midfielders are left to be creative within their space and look to feed off the forwards, like top goalscorer Glenn Murray, who simply receives passes and move into the box with a rapid pace in order to prepare for the early crosses.

Battle to Watch

Solly March vs Jean Michael-Seri:  Against Spurs, our centre-midfielders reverted back to shifting to the sides defensively again, so I expect that Seri will be finding himself faced up against Solly March more often. March likes to find himself on the sides to send in crosses, and often uses the outside back as a distraction for the winger or opposition’s back to chasing down, thus freeing himself to send in a dangerous ball. Seri will need to remain as aggressive as he’s been the last couple of matches but will need extra help to handle the versatile March.     

Danger Man

Fulham has 5 goalscorers this season whilst Brighton has 11. Let that sink in. Anyone can be labelled a danger man against us, and in this team, I’m of course giving the nod to Glenn Murray. Although he’s not played a full 90 minutes in quite a bit, the 8 goals he’s scored have been instrumental in helping Chris Houghton develop a free-flowing attack, with the understanding that in the Premier League, chances must be finished. Murray is exactly that, and the Fulham defence will be on high alert for however long he’s on the pitch.

Last 5 Meetings

01/09/18 – Brighton 2-2 Fulham (PL)
02/01/17 – Fulham 1-2 Brighton (C’ship)
26/11/16 – Brighton 2-1 Fulham (C’ship)
15/04/16 – Brighton 5-0 Fulham (C’ship)
15/08/15 – Fulham 1-2 Brighton (C’ship)


Fulham wins 22
Draws 5
Brighton wins 22

Stats & Facts

  • Tuesday night’s fixture will be the 50th meeting between the two clubs in all competitions – and the first in the top-flight to be played at Craven Cottage.
  • The clubs are separated by just a single goal following those 49 meetings having won 22 games apiece while drawing 5. Brighton have scored a total of 73 goals compared to Fulham’s 72.
  • In the past 25 years, the clubs have met at all four levels of English football as well as in the FA Cup, League Cup and Football League Trophy.
  • Brighton have won this fixture by the biggest margin, storming to a 6-1 victory at Craven Cottage in the Sherpa Van Trophy in October 1987.
  • Fulham have failed to win any of the last 6 meetings with Brighton in all competitions. However, the 2-2 draw at the Amex in September stopped the rot following 5 consecutive defeats.
  • The clubs have never drawn a league game at the Cottage. However, they did play out a goalless stalemate in the FA Cup 2nd Round in December 1995 before the Whites won the replay on penalties in front of the television cameras with goalkeeper Tony Lange scoring one of the spot-kicks.
  • Fulham have conceded just 3 first-half goals in their last 14 games against Brighton in all competitions – but 15 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.

Magic Moment

It’s been 23 years since our last victory at the Cottage against the Seagulls, 30th Nov 1996 to be precise. And whilst the void between has had very little magic to write home about in this fixture, who could ignore the spark ignited by that wonderful Micky Adam’s side when they defeated Jimmy Case’s men in the old Division Three en route to an heroic promotion. It would be a costly defeat for Jimmy as he was sacked 4 days later.

Fulham had made a great start to the campaign, recording 44 points in 20 games and that form continued as the Whites saw off Brighton with goals from super Micky Conroy and a Mark Blake penalty. Fingers crossed for more of the same Tuesday night!

Opposition View (@SammyTheSnake25)

We turned down the chance to sign Glenn Murray a few years ago because of his age. How important is he to Brighton and where would you rank him amongst Premier League strikers at the moment?

Muzza is massively important to us, anyone that watches the premier league can tell you that. You look at the goals he’s scored over the last 2 seasons and he has more than earnt his keep. I think the main thing with him is he’s your stereotypical slower striker, right place, right time. Knows where the ball is going to be and knows where the goal is. Good to compare that we were linked with Mitrovic for a long time as well, so had he have come, what would we be talking about now? It’s hard to rank him because he’s been brilliant in the prem and has scored some vital goals, but we’ve also got Andone knocking on the door who is showing he is a decent level striker and I’m not sure who I’d rank higher come the end of the season. Time will tell!

Most people would agree that Chris Hughton has done a brilliant job at Brighton and is a very likeable bloke. Where does he rank amongst Brighton’s greatest managers and what is the general opinion of Brighton fans towards him?

Hughton to me is an Albion legend now. I know he hasn’t been with us for a massively long time but getting us into the premier league and keeping us there is an incredible achievement and it hasn’t gone unnoticed, only last week he was given recognition by the University of Sussex. He’s up there with the big names, I’ve seen some utter dross in the manager’s chair and also watched some great football but Hughton has got the best out of us for a very long time and ranks high. I think the fans do love him, he’s now starting to come at away games with a different outlook which I will touch on in a minute but there is still a small minority that feel he is too negative away from home.

Last season you won 9 games but you are well on course to beat that, currently on 7 wins this season. Do you expect to beat last seasons end position and have you got better or is the quality of the league generally lower than last season?

I think we’ve bedded in a bit more this season, picking up good wins, where last year we would’ve drawn those games or even lost, for example beating Everton was really positive whereas last season we gave away a late penalty and drew. The defensive performance to grind out a 1-0 win against Wolves at home stands out as well. Dunk, Duffy and Ryan throwing everything and anything at the ball to keep a clean sheet. I think it’ll be a similar league finish this year but I am hoping for a good run in the FA Cup. I think it’s clear who that bottom contingent fighting for relegation is which makes it easier to play a bit more attacking football and try and get more from games which have helped up.

Only 8 of your 26 points have come on the road. Why are you so much better at home?

The set up at the Amex helps, in front of a home crowd always helps and Hughton sets up positively when we are at the Amex. Of late we’ve given a bit more away from home but for a long time we were turning up trying to nick a point and that doesn’t work in this league most of the time, it’s nice to see us attacking sides away from home now and hopefully we can pick up a few more points on the road

Fulham have been spoilt the past 2 seasons with a style of play that was very easy on the eye. We have struggled to adapt to the quality of the Premier League with that style and ultimately have lost our identity altogether under Ranieri & his complete opposite setup. Are you happy with the workmanlike, get-the-job-done style that Brighton play?

I’ve always been the kind of guy who doesn’t care how it’s done if you get the job done. Every club has moments of magic but it’s goals that Murray’s scored this season that stick in my mind, where he’s in the right place at the right time and sometimes you just need that bit of luck and a ball to drop in the right place which then gets the job done!

Have you noticed a change in attitude from the club towards the fans and a severe increase in ticket prices since you became a Premier League Club?

My season ticket is an average price so I can’t complain about that and the away ticket cap is lovely! It’s great to go to the big grounds for £30 tops. We have become customers not fans though, and this was expected as we want to rub shoulders with the big clubs so you have to become corporate whether you like it or not.

Which positions would you like to see strengthened before the window slams shut & how many are you expecting to make?

I am happy with how we are looking and don’t feel we need to strengthen now.

How do you see the game panning out?

I think we will nick it like we always do! Hopefully, we will be a bit more attacking, Maty Ryan may be back in so a clean sheet would go down nicely.

Score prediction – 2-1 Brighton

Predicted line-up – (4-4-1-1)

Ryan; Bruno, Dunk, Duffy, Bernardo; Knockaert, Stephens, Propper, March; Gross; Andone.

Thanks to Brighton supporter Sam Seungwoo for answering our questions.

Match Prediction

When will our luck change? The teams we have played against seem to create their own luck. I thought with the own goal by Spurs that the luck was turning in our favour finally. Unfortunately not.

The scenario here is fairly straight forward. We must win. With barely any activity and no additional signatures on January paper, we are left with who we had versus Tottenham. I do feel confident in this side because the Spurs match was a good showing. The first half alone was enough to build momentum out of. Unfortunately, we were not that lucky, and we sat back to absorb pressure. The reason this match is quite critical is not just because we need to win but also that the last time we had a decent result was against Wolves (1-1) and Huddersfield (1-0) just after Christmas, followed by being dismantled by Arsenal 4-1. 

It’s not been the same since. Losing to Burnley, then that embarrassing loss to Oldham and finally a heart-breaker to Spurs. Enough talk. We need to regroup and someone needs to come out a leader of men. I expect a battle, and out of pure superstition (since I always choose us to win), I’m going with a 2-2 draw, but this time we score the equalizer late. Get ready and COYW!!

Predicted Line-up