Brighton exited the FA Cup last weekend but lost nothing in defeat after a tremendous cup tie at the Amex.
The Arsenal side they were playing had that extra touch of class when it mattered, although I remain unconvinced with Gus Poyet’s suggestion post-match about Theo Walcott that “the only way to stop Theo is to shoot him”!
The Seagulls boss had less extreme views on the Gunners’ French striker Oliver Giroud whose brace meant Brighton were largely always playing catch-up in a cracking tie describing him as “outstanding; he’s big, powerful, can take the ball on the run and oozes class”.
Of his own side Poyet stated: “we played well and are probably more disappointed than we should be... it’s like we lost the Final”.
A good cup run is helpful for the club’s finances but a play-off spot remains the sole objective this season and the Seagulls have a minimum of 16 more Cup Finals before the end of the campaign, beginning with a trip to Hillsborough at the weekend.
Brighton will travel to South Yorkshire on Saturday hoping for the double against Sheffield Wednesday, having comfortably won the reverse fixture 3-0 at the Amex earlier in the season. The hosts need the points to maintain their recent mini-revival at the foot of the table and the Owls are 15/8 to keep the points at home with the draw 12/5 and the Seagulls 15/8. This is a game Poyet’s side should get something from, especially when you consider they have picked up as many points (21) on the road as they have in front of the Amex faithful so far this season.
The much-travelled Leroy Lita scored the late winner on debut as the Owls snatched victory from the jaws of defeat at the Valley last time in a game where Charlton will wonder how they got nothing from having led 1-0 with six minutes to go. If you fancy another 3-0 won for Brighton that is priced at 25/1. Lita is 13/1 at BetVictor to grab the opener but the former England Under 21 international has never been a prolific scorer and is readily overlooked.
The Seagulls remain 9/1 for promotion as they sit just outside the play-off zone although there is a five-point gap between sixth-placed Boro and Brighton leading the chasing pack in seventh. If the odds are to be believed the two automatic places will go to Leicester and Cardiff who are 4/7 and 1/20 respectively at BetVictor to be promoted. This could be a very good year for Welsh Club football with Swansea long odds on favourites to win the Capital One Cup at Wembley next month against League Two Bradford City.
For a bit of fun we have opened a market ahead of Thursday’s transfer Deadline Day on what cliché Sky Sports News’ excellent anchor Jim White will say first after he comes on air at 8pm; Sky’s coverage is essential viewing as the window closes and “The clock is ticking” and “A Sky Sports News exclusive” are the 7/2 favourites, although at bigger prices I like “You’ll hear it here first” at 7s and “Hold Onto Your Hats” at 40s. All prices at:
The Six Nations Rugby Tournament begins at the weekend with the Calcutta Cup match between England and Scotland at Twickenham: we are very keen on England (15/8), for the Title this year and are very keen to lay France who are 9/4; Les Bleus must travel to both Twickenham and the Aviva Stadium and that sways us towards England.
Look out for our exclusive both teams to score a try markets which have been really taking off in recent weeks.
For all your sporting odds this weekend check out betvictor.com
Breaking: Just as I finished writing this column, we had a big gamble on Poyet to be the next boss at Chelsea: from 25s to 3s in an hour this afternoon. Could it be true?