A CLASSY mauling of Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night, in front of Albion’s biggest crowd for 30 years, was followed by a gutsy functional win over Watford midweek.
But the bottom line is that the win at Vicarage Road was the Seagulls’ fourth win in succession in the Championship takes them into third place in the table and they are now genuine title contenders in the second tier of English football.
Manager Gus Poyet, who must have loved getting one over his former Chelsea colleague Gianfranco Zola, knows that his side will have to roll up their sleeves and fight to get out of the division and he was full of praise for the battling qualities shown by his side against the Hornets.
“These are the wins that keep you up the table,” he said. “This time last year we would have conceded two or three but the character is totally different now.”
The Albion boss added that whilst his side were put under pressure late in the second half, he felt his troops should have finished the game off – and if there was a criticism it was that “our touch wasn’t the greatest in the dangerous positions... when a team puts us under so much pressure, we have got to find space and kill the game off.”
The Seagulls are into 9/1 for the Championship title, 5/2 to be promoted and 4/5 for a top six finish with BetVictor.
And whilst all clubs will have their rocky patches during an arduous 46-game marathon season, Brighton seem better equipped than most. Blackburn Rovers have scored late winners in their last couple of games and top the league and head the market at 5/1 with Blackpool and Cardiff 7/1.
Cardiff won 2-0 at lowly Millwall on Tuesday and it is to the New Den that Poyet must take the Seagulls on Saturday looking for the nap hand of wins. I must say I had to do a double take when I saw Brighton priced at 7/4 with ourselves at BetVictor as they are on a roll and are a better side than Millwall.
Yes this will be another one of those games that will test the character but I can’t have the Lions as 13/8 favourites and expect the sides to have flip-flopped in the betting come 3p, Saturday.
Craig Mackail-Smith scored the only goal from the spot midweek and is into 9/1 to top the scoring charts.
Jordan Rhodes has also been in the goals since he joined Blackburn from Huddersfield and remains 5/1 favourite with Thomas Ince 12s; the latter may well be plying his trade in the Premier League sooner rather than later, with Liverpool reportedly interested in the son of one of their former players.
For all your weekend odds check out betvictor.com