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Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Brighton & Hove Albion - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Tuesday's Premier League meeting between Tottenham and Brighton & Hove Albion.

Tottenham Hotspur will attempt to get back to winning ways on Tuesday night when they play host to Premier League strugglers Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Lilywhites have lost back-to-back matches in all competitions, both defeats at the hands of Manchester City, but they are through to the semi-finals of the Champions League and remain well placed to finish at least fourth in the top flight.

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur's Fernando Llorente celebrates scoring against Manchester City in the Champions League on April 17, 2019© Reuters

The record books will show that Spurs suffered a 4-3 loss at the Etihad Stadium last Wednesday, but it was the greatest defeat of the Tottenham players' lives, picking up the result required to progress through 4-4 on away goals.

Spurs now have a Champions League semi-final against Ajax to look forward to, with the first leg of that tie taking place in a little over a week's time, but they cannot afford to lose focus in the Premier League.

Saturday's 1-0 loss to Man City in their latest tussle made it three defeats in their last five league matches, having also dropped all three points against Southampton and Liverpool since the start of last month.

In fact, seven points from the last 24 on offer over the past eight weeks in a terrible return, seeing the Lilywhites go from outside title contenders to a team struggling to hold on to a place in the top four.

The good news for Mauricio Pochettino is that three of their his team's four league matches are at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where they have a record of played three, won three, scored seven and conceded none.

Three of their remaining four matches are against bottom-half opposition, too, with the visit of Everton on the final day of the campaign being the exception. To be sure of Champions League football next season, Pochettino will be after 12 points from 12 to see out the season.

Only once in 2019 have Spurs won four league games in a row, but their move into a new stadium appears to have galvanised them, and there is another stat that works in their favour.

The North London outfit have not lost a Premier League home game on a Tuesday since August 2007, when going down 3-1 to Everton at White Hart Lane, winning seven and drawing one since then. Three more points in midweek are a must if they are to carry momentum into their Champions League showdown with Ajax.

Recent form in Premier League: DLLWWL
Recent form (all competitions): LWWWLL

Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton boss Chris Hughton gives orders on April 20, 2019© Reuters

In the words of goalkeeper Mathew Ryan, Saturday's goalless draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers 'felt like a victory' for Brighton, dragging them ever so slightly closer to survival.

That stalemate in the West Midlands came four days on from a 2-0 loss at home to Cardiff City. For the first time in his four years at the Amex Stadium, Chris Hughton's future was called into serious question on the back of that fifth defeat in a row.

The magnitude of the weekend draw at Wolves cannot be played down, then, as it not only ended Albion's losing run - which includes a 1-0 reverse at the hands of Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-finals - but it also moved them three points clear of 18th-placed Cardiff.

Taking goal difference into account, Brighton are effectively four points better off than the Bluebirds, who just about have the more favourable run-in.

Cardiff face Liverpool (H), Fulham (A), Crystal Palace (H) and Manchester United (A) in their final four games, while Brighton follow up their trip to Tottenham with games against Newcastle United (H), Arsenal (A) and Manchester City (H). Anything more than three points will be considered a massive bonus for Hughton.

Brighton have now failed to score in their last five Premier League games - the longest current run of any side in the competition, and the joint-longest such run in total this season, matching Southampton's record from earlier in the campaign.

Taking the Man City cup tie into the equation, meanwhile, it is six matches since an Albion player last found the back of the net, stretching back to a 2-2 draw with Millwall on March 17.

Ending that scoreless run on Tuesday will be no easy task, especially considering that Brighton have lost all 10 of their Premier League away games against big six opponents since earning promotion in 2017, conceding 22 goals and scoring just twice.

With three more points likely being required to secure another season of top-flight football, none of the Seagulls' remaining matches can be considered a bonus fixture.

Recent form in Premier League: WLLLLD
Recent form (all competitions): LLLLLD

Team News

Paulo Gazzaniga in action for Tottenham Hotspur on September 22, 2018© Reuters

Tottenham were without captain Hugo Lloris for their third meeting with Man City in the space of 11 days, relying on Paulo Gazzaniga between the sticks, and it is unlikely that the Frenchman will be rushed back from injury so close to the semi-final against Ajax.

That was one of five changes made by Pochettino, who also rotated both full-backs, while Moussa Sissoko and Victor Wanyama were given the day off.

Sissoko is not likely to play for the next couple of weeks, but Wanyama, Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose are all pushing for recalls.

Dele Alli started both games at the Etihad Stadium despite his hand being in a protective cast, so Pochettino must decide whether to stick with the Englishman or rotate in midfield.

The visitors will be without Davy Propper for their trip to the English capital, meanwhile, as the midfielder - who has started 30 of Brighton's 34 league games this term - limped off early on against Wolves.

Anthony Knockaert is another confirmed absentee as he completes his three-match ban for a needless sending-off against Bournemouth.

Defence will no doubt be the order of the day for Hughton, but the south coast side could do with switching things around in an attempt to add more an attacking threat to their game, possibly opening the door for Jurgen Locadia to return.

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Gazzaniga; Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Dier, Winks; Son, Alli, Eriksen; Moura

Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Ryan; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo; March, Kayal, Stephens, Locadia; Gross; Murray

Head To Head

Tottenham have only lost one of their six previous home league games against Brighton, winning the last two by a 2-0 scoreline in December 1982 and December 2017.

The Seagulls are winless in their last five meetings with Spurs overall, drawing one and losing four since a 2-1 league win in April 1983.

Albion manager Hughton has only won one of his seven Premier League games against Tottenham, a 1-0 win over Tim Sherwood's Spurs side as Norwich City boss in February 2014.

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We say: Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

Tottenham may have lost back-to-back matches, but their supporters are still on a real high after seeing their side book a Champions League semi-final spot. Both teams are in need of a positive result but Brighton's away return against the big six only points to one outcome.

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Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris watches on against Newcastle on February 2, 2019
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