Roberto De Zerbi names the forgotten £8m player who will certainly start in the FA Cup at Stoke

Brighton and Hove Albion travel to Stoke City for the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Brighton midfielder Jacob Moder will make his first start for almost two years in the FA Cup third round tie at Stoke City tomorrow.

The Poland international, 23, has not made the starting XI since he suffered a serious knee injury in April 2022 during a 0-0 Premier League draw with Norwich City at the Amex Stadium.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Moder was a regular under then manager Graham Potter and this will be the first time current head coach Roberto De Zerbi has been able to unleash the former Lech Poznan man from the start.

Jakub Moder of Brighton & Hove Albion impressed from the bench at West Ham last TuesdayJakub Moder of Brighton & Hove Albion impressed from the bench at West Ham last Tuesday
Jakub Moder of Brighton & Hove Albion impressed from the bench at West Ham last Tuesday

So far this term Moder – who arrived for around £8m in 2020 – has made five appearances as late substitutes against Nottingham Forest, Brentford, Crystal Palace, Tottenham and West Ham.

Despite missing a decent chance to net a late winner against the Hammers on Tuesday, Moder looked sharp from the bench and De Zerbi confirmed he will be a starter for the trip to Stoke. “Jakub is a great guy,” said De Zerbi. “I think he can be important for us because he can play in different positions. The other guys love him because he has a great attitude, great behaviour and is a smart player.

"We are helping him to reach the best condition because after a long injury like he suffered he needs much time to come back to his level.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Striker Evan Ferguson will also start against the Championship outfit, while Lewis Dunk is expected to skipper side after serving his one-match suspension at West Ham.

Tariq Lamptey (thigh), Julio Enciso (knee), Ansu Fati (hamstring), Igor (knock), Solly March (knee) are absent while Kaoru Mitoma is at the Asian Cup with Japan. Danny Welbeck and Joao Pedro could well be rested for this one while Pervis Estupinan’s minutes will be carefully managed as he eases his way back from injury.

Last season Brighton reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup but were painfully knocked out by Manchester United on penalties at Wembley Stadium.

"It’s a very important target for us,” De Zerbi added. “Especially if we think about last year because we lost in the semi-final in a bad way. We still remember the game. It’s an important game, we played our best, we gave our best and we played seriously.

“We learned early in the FA Cup when we played Stoke, we won and reached the semi-final which was exciting. It’s important, it’s an important competition. We have to play our best.”