Burnley vs Brighton: Will final match provide a chance for Portsmouth loan target Alex Cochrane?

Brighton head coach Graham Potter said youngster Alex Cochrane fully deserved his place on the bench against Newcastle and the England youth left back could also be in contention for Albion's final match of the season at Burnley.

Alex Cochrane was included in a Premier League matchday squad for the first time last Monday against Newcastle
Alex Cochrane was included in a Premier League matchday squad for the first time last Monday against Newcastle

Cochrane, 20, was promoted to the matchday squad and was an unused substitute during last Monday's 0-0 draw against Newcastle at the Amex Stadium.

The point confirmed Brighton's top flight status for a fourth consecutive season and Sunday's finale at Burnley maybe a chance for some of the younger players in the squad - such as Cochrane - to gain Premier League experience.

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Potter has been keen to utilise Brighton's young talent this season with Aaron Connolly, Steven Alzate, Alexis Mac Allister and Tariq Lamptey all making encouraging starts to their Premier League careers.

Cochrane, an England youth international, could be loaned out next season to gain first team experience, with League One Portsmouth said to be at the head of the queue.

The head coach said Cochrane made the previous squad on merit but insists the priority is to finish the season strongly at an inform Burnley,

Victory in Lancashire would give Brighton a club-record Premier League points tally of 41, surpassing the 40 they managed under Chris Hughton two seasons ago.

Albion are also battling West Ham for 15th position.

"It's a game we want to try and win of course and we want to be competitive and try to finish the season as well as we can," said Potter. "If we go up there and be experimental it could be trouble.

"Alex was on the bench because Bernardo was struggling with his eye but also because Alex deserved to be there. He has done really well and he has a fantastic attitude with us and he has quality.

"So that's another good thing from his perspective. So we will see how we go and see what we have to do to try and win the game against a difficult opponent.

Sean Dyche's side are guaranteed a top-half finish in the Premier League on the back of a seven-match unbeaten run during which they amassed 15 points.

Despite their successes, the Clarets often attract negative comments for their direct and physical approach to games.

"Sean Dyche has done an amazing job," said Potter.

"All the guys at Burnley have been fantastic in terms of the points they have got this season.

"The way they play football, it's probably a little bit disrespectful at times the negative comments.

"But I see what they do. They do it well. They can mix the game up. They are effective. They play good football, they can press high, they can defend their goal.

"They're an experienced Premier League team, they've got an amazing points tally and full respect for them."

Finishing above the Hammers would bring additional prize money for Albion and, with the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic yet to be felt, Potter admits that provides an added incentive.

"Finances have been challenged at this level, as throughout football," said Potter.

"We're the same as everybody. If we can get a better position which means we can get a bit more money, a bit more resources, then that's great for us.

"That's what we're trying to do."

Team news

Jose Izquierdo and Steven Alzate are Potter's only confirmed absentees and there is a question mark over Alireza Jahanbakhsh's availability.

Adam Webster recovered from a knock to retain his place alongside Lewis Dunk in the heart of defence last time out, which should remain the case here.

Burnley's Jack Cork, Ashley Barnes, Ben Gibson, Ben Mee and Matthew Lowton all remain absent for Burnley, while Charlie Taylor is doubtful.

Burnley possible XI: Pope; Bardsley, Long, Tarkowski, Pieters; Gudmundsson, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil; Rodriguez, Wood

Brighton possible XI: Ryan; Lamptey, Webster, Dunk, Burn; Mac Allister, Bissouma, Propper, Trossard; Connolly, Maupay.

Burnley's last six: WDWDDW

Brighton's last six: LWLLDD

Referee: Jonathan Moss. Assistants: Edward Smart, Richard Wild. Fourth official: Jeremy Simpson. Replacement official: Graeme Fyvie. VAR: Darren Bond. Assistant VAR: Dan Robathan.

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