Albion betting odds v Bolton

Albion striker Craig Mackail-Smith
Albion striker Craig Mackail-Smith

SAMI Hyypia will have travelled back from West Yorkshire with a contented grin on his face on Tuesday as Brighton’s Championship season, somewhat belatedly, got back on track at Elland Road after an excellent 2-0 success.

That said, they must follow up that win back on home soil on Saturday against a Bolton side who have had a difficult start to the season, having met three promotion hopefuls so far this season. They have conceded seven goals in those three games that have yielded just a single point and this is a game that the Seagulls really should win.

Albion won both games against the Trotters last season and the Lancashire side have never beaten Brighton in four away games in the league. Let’s hope that run continues at the Amex. The Seagulls are Even money to give Hyypia his first Championship win at the Amex, with Wanderers 31/10 and the draw at 5/2.

Craig Mackail-Smith is 5/1 to score the Amex opener with Joao Teixeira 14/1 to repeat his feat from Elland Road. For a couple of seasons now you have thought that the first goal is absolutely fundamental in a Brighton game and let’s hope for another early score.

Brighton are 23/10 to lead at both half-time and full-time and this is against a Bolton side who conceded three in their only other Championship game on the road this term. Not many Albion fans will lose sleep about sending Trotters boss Dougie Freedman back north with his tail between his legs.

Albion are 8/1 from 10s at BetVictor for promotion, with Saturday’s opponents now only 7/1 for the drop. I am sure Wanderers will be all right in time but Huddersfield’s win at Reading and Birmingham’s win against the Seagulls means Bolton arrive at the Amex in the drop zone and things might get worse for the Lancashire side before they get a whole lot better.

Albion are 3/1 for a place in the top six and 8/11 for a place in the top half. We know the Championship is tight and will ebb and flow all season but I am convinced that the Seagulls’ will finish in the top half. We can’t split Cardiff, Derby and Norwich at 7/1 for the title which just shows how tight the division is with another trio of clubs on 10/1 Boro, Watford and Forest. Wigan (16s) have been slow out of the traps but entertain Blackpool this weekend and at this early stage of the season there doesn’t appear to be an outstanding side in the division.

In The Premier League, we have cut Chelsea to 11/8 and Manchester City to 2s and pushed out Arsenal (11/2), Manchester United (10s) and Liverpool 12s. Despite being the biggest price in the betting village, we haven’t exactly been knocked over in the rush with punters wanting to back United and the 21/5 at BetVictor looks too big for Sunderland at home to United on Sunday, despite the fact that the side were better on the road than at home last season.

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Charlie McCann, BetVictor