AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW: Brighton v Stoke

[dropcap]P[/dropcap]lenty of goals in the Premier League over the weekend with each game so far producing two or more goals.

The big question tonight is whether that trend will continue on the south coast as Brighton welcome Stoke to what might be a soggy encounter at the Amex, judged by the weather forecast.

If you are a believer in the head to head stats youโ€™ll fancy goals. The last two games between these two have produced nine goals but the rather large caveat is that they were back in 2006 & 2011 (FA Cup) and Brighton have never won this fixture in the top flight (D3 L5).

Brighton were readily dismissed as instant relegation candidates at the start of the season but have so far defied their critics – currently standing ninth in the table. ย A dream start really when considering they are only seven points behind Liverpool and Arsenal and would narrow that gap further with a win tonight.

Brightonโ€™s manager Chris Hughton said: “Going into the international break winning at Swansea was massive because we knew the schedule that was coming up over the next six weeks and into the Christmas period and new year.

“There’ll be a period that will test us and give us an indication of where we are, but we knew that was coming and we have to be prepared for it – whether that is over the upcoming weeks or in the latter half of the season.”

Hughton has no fresh injury concerns whilst Lee Grant is expected to play in goal for Stoke as Jack Butland suffered a broken finger on England duty.

Curiously the three promoted teams are 9th, 10th, and 11th – more than holding their own but as we have seen so many times the honeymoon period can end suddenly and then the dog fight begins.

Stoke are faring less well, they remain strong at the Britannia but have won only one game on the road this season – a 1-0 victory over Watford at Vicarage Road which came against the run of play with Stoke having just 30% possession. Old school smash and grab.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Stoke City
Premier League
20:00 Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Ultra HD

(Maximum 10 matches)
Feb 2011 FA CUP Stoke 3-0 Brighton
Apr 2006 CHAMPIONSHIP Brighton 1-5 Stoke
Nov 2005 CHAMPIONSHIP Stoke 3-0 Brighton
Mar 2005 CHAMPIONSHIP Stoke 2-0 Brighton
Dec 2004 CHAMPIONSHIP Brighton 0-1 Stoke
Mar 2003 LEAGUE DIV 1 Stoke 1-0 Brighton
Sep 2002 LEAGUE DIV 1 Brighton 1-2 Stoke
Mar 2002 LEAGUE DIV 2 Stoke 3-1 Brighton
Sep 2001 LEAGUE DIV 2 Brighton 1-0 Stoke
Jan 1993 LEAGUE DIV 2 Brighton 2-2 Stoke

The last two games at the Amex have finished all-square and Iโ€™m expecting the hat-trick tonight. The DRAW can be backed at around 21/10 with Star Sports.

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