NEW! Sports Betting Column with Victor Chandler comes to Sport Express

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WITH the two-week international break, it gives us a good opportunity to evaluate Brighton & Hove Albion’s season to date and whether promotion to the Premier League is a realistic objective this term.

The first thing to say is that Brighton are the same price now, at 20/1, for the title with ourselves at Victor Chandler, as they were when Championship betting opened in the summer.

Less than a month ago Albion were top of the league after their narrow win at Ashton Gate (and into 8/1 for the title) but that was the last time Gus Poyet’s side tasted success and a run of five games without a win has seen them drop to fifth in the table, and go tamely out of the Carling Cup at the hands of Liverpool.

Brighton have won five of their 10 fixtures to date but only one of those was against a side in the top half of the table (Cardiff, ninth) and this is the acid test for them. We make them 5/1 to be promoted either automatically or via the play-offs – and we haven’t exactly been inundated with enquiries.

Fast-improving Hull are next up for the Seagulls, on Saturday October 15, and they are 5/2 to return north with the points; Albion are 11/10 (from 5/4) and they must win sooner rather than later or talk of promotion will soon give way to talk of survival.

n Eastbourne Eagles are our 15/8 outsiders for Monday’s Elite League Grand Final 2nd Leg with Poole Pirates, who are 4/11. The Eagles hold an eight-point cushion following the 1st Leg at Arlington Stadium, with Bjarne Pedersen leading from the front against his former team-mates.

These odds and more at www.victorchandler.com