Prediction: Draw and Both teams to score
Brighton & Hove Albion will be looking to secure their Premier League survival this weekend as they host Leicester City at the Amex Stadium.
The Seagulls currently sit in 12th position in the table on 34 points and six points clear of the relegation zone so a victory this weekend against the 2015/16 Premier League champions could go an long way in securing top flight football next season.
Brighton & Hove Albion
It’s fair to say, Chris Hughton’s Seagulls have grown into life in the Premier League. Brighton look relatively comfortable in the fight against relegation. They are also in positive form too despite a few difficult results in recent weeks. They have lost their last two games but they came in the form of 2-0 losses to Manchester United and Everton respectively. Before that, the Seagulls were undefeated in their previous seven games. Their home record should also give them confidence against Leicester. Brighton have only lost three Premier League games at the Amex Stadium, to Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City. They have also claimed victory in each of their last three home games, scoring nine goals in the process. The Seagulls dismissed of Arsenal 2-1 in their last Premier League clash on home soil.
It is their defence that has proved troublesome however. They have only managed to keep one clean sheet in their last 13 games in all competitions. Despite, their recent run of conceding goals, the East Sussex outfit still boast the joint-best defence in the lower-half of the Premier League.
Despite their positive form, Brighton could be without a few key players this weekend. Striker Leonardo Ulloa, who is on loan from Leicester City, is ineligible against his parent club. Meanwhile, Anthony Knockaert is ruled out through suspension. Defender Gaeten Bong could return from injury but Dale Stephens is still a doubt with a hamstring injury. Jiří Skalák, Izzy Brown and Steve Sidwell are all still ruled out.
Glenn Murray is surely set to lead the line after bagging five goals in his last six Premier League games.
Claude Puel will be putting all of his efforts into the Premier League and Europa League qualification following the Foxes’ FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Chelsea before the international break. Leicester are currently sitting eighth in the Premier League table, three points behind Burnley. They are however in slightly indifferent form. They managed to notch their first Premier League victory in six attempts last time out with a 4-1 win over West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns. On the other hand, they have only lost three out of their last four games so it depends on whether you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person.
Like Brighton, the Foxes’ Achilles heel this season has been their defensive record. They have conceded 43 goals this season, only one less than relegation-threatened Southampton. As a matter of fact, the East-Midlanders have only managed to keep one clean sheet in their last nine games in all competitions and have not kept a Premier League shut-out since mid-January.
Despite breaking his hand on international duty, Kelechi Iheanacho could appear against the Seagulls, according to Puel. Matty James however has been ruled out due to a troublesome Achilles heel injury. Defender Daniel Amartey also remains consigned to the sidelines until mid-may with a hamstring injury.
Jamie Vardy is in stunning form coming into the clash. He has scored eight goals in his last 12 games for club and country so will be looking to add to that tally against the Seagulls.
Key Facts to Consider
- Brighton possess the marginally better record between the two (W13, D5, L12)
- Leicester City won the first league clash between the two 2-0 at the King Power Stadium in August
- The Foxes have never won at the Amex Stadium
- Jamie Vardy and Glenn Murray have scored 30 club goals in all competitions between them this season
- In the 30 all-time clashes between the two sides, both sides have scored in the same game on only 13 occasions
Both sides head into this clash in relatively positive form and it will be interesting to see how each manager sets up considering the differing targets of both teams. There is plenty of goal threat from both sides and with the defensive records, supporters at the Amex Stadium should be treated to goals.
The Seagulls have developed into a competent Premier League side and the Foxes will find it considerably more difficult to earn the victory in comparison to the previous clash between the two. Therefore, a draw could well be the best bet with both sides finding the net.
Prediction: Draw and Both teams to score
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