'In Brazil we call it a six-pointer too', Bernardo eager for Brighton's crucial battle with Aston Villa

By Jacob Panons

Bernardo impressed during the 1-0 loss at Everton last Saturday
Bernardo impressed during the 1-0 loss at Everton last Saturday

Brighton and Hove Albion's Bernardo knows exactly how important Saturday’s game against Aston Villa is as they look to pull themselves further away from the bottom three.

Albion are just three points off of the relegation zone and lowly Villa, while will be keen to boost their survival hopes and record a third win of the season against Potter.

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Dean Smith’s men beat Brighton 3-1 in the League Cup before a last-minute Matt Targett-goal sealed a 2-1 win in the league back in October.

Although, since the two teams last faced each other Villa’s season has taken a turn for the worse as they have slipped into the relegation zone following a 6-1 loss at home against Manchester City.

Despite the Midlands-club’s recent televised thrashing, they will target a vital win at the Amex on Saturday but Bernardo, who performed well against Everton, having stepped in for the injured Dan Burn is desperate to get something from this match.

The defender may have grown up almost 6000-miles away in sunny Sao Paulo but the term ‘six-pointer’ is not lost in translation.

He said: “It is a really important game because it is a team that is fighting with us, we are both in a similar position in the table. In Brazil, like you do here, we call these games six-pointer.

“It will be a very important game especially because it is at home and we are still bitter from the last time we played them. We need to try and enjoy the game and get something from this match.”

Graham Potter will be preparing his side to deal with Jack Grealish when the sides go head-to-head as the midfielder has already grabbed two-goals against Brighton this season.

Bernardo has already been preparing for the prospect of facing the skilful attacker.

He said: “He (Grealish) is a really good player...I considered he was a different type of player, so definitely he is a talent and if I have the chance to play against him I need to be really careful and have in the back of my mind what he can do, but it would be quite nice to play against him.”

The visitors will be without first-choice goalkeeper Tom Heaton and club-record signing Wesley who are both ruled out for the remainder of the season through injury.

Despite the Villains bringing in former Liverpool shot-stopper Pepe Reina, who could make his debut at the Amex this weekend, Bernardo was sympathetic when it came to the injury of fellow countryman Wesley.

He said: “It is just really sad for a player when they get injured and you can’t do what you love to do, what you are paid to do. To now have such a bad injury in his first season, he is definitely a player that could help them a lot, so it very sad for him.”

Brighton have injuries themselves and are without Dan Burn who fractured his shoulder against Chelsea on New Year’s Day. Aaron Mooy (groin) and Solly March (groin) are both fit again for Potter's men.

Aaron Connolly will also hope to force his way back into contention after he was left out of the match day squad at Everton.