Best Odds: 11/4
We’re hitting the pause button on the Premier League for this week, and in its place, we’ve got the FA Cup. It’s the oldest club competition in the world and it just seems to be going from strength to strength, contrary to the belief that the magic of the cup is dead in the water. We’re at the fourth round stage now and one of the games we’re looking forward to seeing is Brighton & Hove Albion vs West Bromwich Albion. It’s the battle of the Albions and while it isn’t the most glamorous of ties in the world, it should be an intriguing one.
Chris Hughton’s side are just kind of lingering around in the Premier League, without really pushing on or dropping into a position where they could be considered threats for the drop into the Championship. They’re a capable team who have the potential to go far in a cup competition, but it all depends on what their priorities are. It’s certainly something that Hughton should consider looking into without a shadow of a doubt, although you have to question whether they’ve got that drive.
Jose Izquierdo is expected to return in time for this one, Mat Ryan and Alireza Jahanbakhsh are both away on international duty, with Jason Steele being tipped to remain as Brighton’s cup keeper.
West Brom have realistic ambitions of gaining promotion to the Premier League, and it certainly feels like they’re well on their way towards that target. They’ve got the infrastructure of a top flight side, and while it may be seen as a distraction by some, the added bonus of a trip to Wembley wouldn’t exactly be frowned upon by the masses. The Baggies are a club that is rich with history and it’d be exciting to see how far they could go, if only because the Football League deserves some more recognition.
Jake Livermore is back following a recent suspension, with Jonathan Bond being expected to retain his place in goal.
Factors to Consider
- The game will be played at Brighton’s Amex Stadium.
- Brighton have won two, drawn two and lost two of their last six games.
- West Brom have won three, drawn two and lost one of their last six games.
- West Brom lead 10-5 with eight draws in the overall head to head standings.
- In their last meeting in January 2018, West Brom won 2-0.
The FA Cup is one of the most unpredictable competitions in the world, and we’re expecting another ‘surprise’ result here – although in truth, it probably isn’t going to be all that surprising for a lot of folks. West Brom are hard to stop in the Championship when they’re at their best, and they’ll certainly feel like they’ve got nothing to lose against the Seagulls. We can picture them scoring early and putting the pressure on the home side, only for Brighton to claw one back and take it to a replay.
Best Odds: 11/4
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