MX23RW : Monday, November 19 18:34:26
Oct 20, 2015 at 7.45pm UK at ​Falmer Stadium
BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion
2-1
Bristol City
Baldock (53'), Zamora (82')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Williams (17')

Preview: Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Bristol City

Sports Mole previews the Championship match between leaders Brighton & Hove Albion and Bristol City at The Amex.

Two sides at opposite ends of the table go head to head in the Championship this week when league leaders Brighton & Hove Albion host Bristol City.

The Seagulls remain unbeaten in the league this season, while the visitors have won just once in their last seven outings, leaving them just outside the relegation zone ahead of their trip to The Amex.


Brighton & Hove Albion

Bobby Zamora of Brighton & Hove Albion FC scores a goal for Brighton & Hove Albion FC during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Elland Road on October 17, 2015 © Getty Images

Chris Hughton's side sit four points clear at the top of the table, having won seven of their 11 matches in the Championship so far this season. Brighton's home form has been particularly strong, with the team only dropping points in one of their five matches at The Amex.

Prior to the international break, Brighton had been held to draws in their last three matches, but the Seagulls returned to winning ways at the weekend, beating Leeds United 2-1 at Elland Road, resulting in the home side parting company with their manager following the loss.

Kazenga LuaLua made a bright start to the campaign, scoring three times in their opening five fixtures, but he has been hampered over the last month with a groin injury. In his absence, Dale Stephens has found his shooting boots in recent weeks, with three goals in Brighton's last five fixtures.

Brighton have had one of the strongest defences in the second tier, keeping clean sheets in four of their matches, while conceding just nine goals – only three teams have let in fewer.

Attacking been hit and miss for this week's hosts though, with 16 goals in 11 matches. The side have only failed to score in one of their matches, but have scored more than two goals in just one fixture.

Brighton also have one of the worst discipline records in the Championship, picking up 26 yellow cards so far - only Brentford have received more bookings, while also having one red card.

Recent form: WWDDDW


Bristol City

Aaron Wilbraham of Bristol City celebrates his sides second goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Nottingham Forest at Ashton Gate on October 16, 2015 in Bristol, England.© Getty Images

Bristol City come into this match sitting just outside the relegation zone, with their win over Nottingham Forest at the weekend leaving them two points clear of Preston North End.

Steve Cotterill's side have made a difficult start to life back in the second tier, but secured their first home win of the season on Saturday thanks to a brace from Aaron Wilbraham. Despite the victory being their first in seven matches, the result also leaves City with just one defeat in their last five fixtures in the Championship.

With 10 points so far this season, City are the second best of the three sides to have won promotion to the Championship from League One last season, as they sit five places behind MK Dons, while just one above struggling Preston North End.

The manager has been full of praise for his players following their win, describing his squad as a "fantastic bunch", and backing them to get stronger as the season progresses.

Jonathan Kodjia has helped the team's form improve in recent weeks, picking up five goals from their last seven outings. The French striker now has six goals in 12 appearances since joining the club from Angers in July.

Defending has been a struggle for the Robins though, with the team keeping just two clean sheets so far, although both have resulted in victories. Cotterill's men have conceded 20 goals in their first 11 games – only Rotherham United and Queens Park Rangers have let in more.

Recent form: LDLDDW


Team News

 Jamie Murphy of Brighton & Hove Albion in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Rotherham United at Amex Stadium on September 15, 2015 in Brighton, England.© Getty Images

Brighton will still be without Jamie Murphy as he serves the final match of his three-game suspension after being sent off in the draw with Bolton Wanderers last month.

Bobby Zamora may have done enough to earn a place in the starting lineup after coming off the bench to score the winner against Leeds for the hosts, but captain Gordon Greer is a doubt after lasting just 40 minutes on Friday. LuaLua could be ready to return from a groin injury, although he may only start on the bench after a month out.

Cotterill has admitted that a couple of his players will need to be assessed ahead of the match, although he reported no specific fresh injury concerns following the win over Forest.

Korey Smith featured for the first time in over a month for the Robins last time out, managing the full 90 minutes at Ashton Gate on Saturday, and has reported no ill-effects following the match, although the manager could want to ease him back in after a spell on the sidelines.

New signing Elliott Bennett, who has joined on loan from Norwich City, made his debut against Forest, but Simon Cox, who has also come in on loan, was an unused substitute, so could make his first appearance in this match.

Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Stockdale, Bruno, Hunemeier, Dunk, Bong, Rosenior, Kayal, Stephens, March, Hemed, Zamora

Bristol City possible starting lineup:
Fielding, Ayling, Flint, Baker, Bennett, Smith, Pack, Bryan, Freeman, Wilbraham, Kodija


Head To Head

When the sides last met in the Championship during the 2012-13 season, Brighton secured four points from a possible six, beating Bristol City at home before sharing a goalless draw at Ashton Gate.

The Robins are without a win in their last four meetings against Brighton, but had won three matches in a row prior to that run.

In 16 previous meetings between the two sides, Brighton have won seven matches, while City have picked up six wins and three matches have resulted in draws.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 Bristol City

Despite Bristol City's improved form over the last few matches, Brighton have been solid at home all season, and a last-gasp win over Leeds to get them back to winning ways at the weekend will leave the Seagulls in a confident mood coming into this fixture. It is likely to be a close match, but the hosts should have enough to extend their unbeaten run at the Amex.


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Who will win the Championship match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Bristol City?

Brighton & Hove Albion
Draw
Bristol City
Brighton & Hove Albion
75.7%
Draw
8.8%
Bristol City
15.5%
Aaron Wilbraham of Bristol City celebrates his sides second goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Nottingham Forest at Ashton Gate on October 16, 2015 in Bristol, England.
Read Next:
Result: Wilbraham brace fires Bristol City to victory
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City1210203653132
2Liverpool129302351830
3Chelsea128402781928
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs1290320101027
5Arsenal1273226151124
6Bournemouth126242116520
7Watford126241714320
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd126242021-120
9Everton125431915419
10Leicester CityLeicester125251716117
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves124441213-116
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124261318-514
13West Ham UnitedWest Ham123361418-412
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle12237915-69
15Burnley122371225-139
16Crystal Palace12228817-98
17Southampton12156821-138
18Cardiff CityCardiff122281125-148
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield12147622-167
20Fulham121291131-205

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