BILLY BUNTER

Weblog: The football punter

Brighton v Tottenham preview

Premier League
Sky Sports Premier League, 7.45pm 

Chris Hughton is a Tottenham legend but the Brighton boss cannot bank on any favours from his old club when relegation-threatened Albion host Spurs at the Amex.

Brighton look safe on paper, sitting in 13th place with 35 points and on the cusp of the probable survival target, but they may still need another result to sleep easy during a difficult run-in.

A home game with Spurs is followed by a trip to Burnley before a nightmare May in which Albion host Manchester United and then head to Manchester City and Liverpool in the final two rounds of fixtures.

One glance at that schedule should be enough to make Hughton nervy, possibly praying that Southampton maintain their poor results, and a beating looks the most likely outcome even if Tottenham rotate with one eye on Saturday's FA Cup semi-final with Manchester United.

Visiting boss Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed he will make changes but among those looking to come in from Saturday's 3-1 defeat at Manchester City are Heung-Min Son, Lucas Moura, Serge Aurier and forgotten man Toby Alderweireld.

Spurs can't go totally second string as they won't want to give Chelsea any further encouragement in the race for Champions League qualification. The gap, which stands at seven points, could potentially get too close for comfort if things go wrong at the Amex.

A mix-and-match side should get the job done - let's not forget some considered them favourites against City on Saturday - and they have not become a bad side after a deserved defeat to the champions.

City are the only Premier League team to have beaten Spurs since the start of December. They had won six league games on the spin prior to the City loss, and were unbeaten in 14 too, a run that included a 2-2 draw at Liverpool and 3-1 triumph at Chelsea.

It's difficult to be confident about exactly which of Tottenham's first-teamers will be given the night off, but they bat pretty deep these days and Brighton go into this contest following a 3-2 defeat at Crystal Palace which made it three losses in four for Albion.

Hughton has prided himself on being a solid defensive coach who makes his side difficult to breach. However, Brighton's only clean sheet in 16 matches in 2018 came against Sky Bet Championship outfit Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.

The Seagulls have lost all seven matches against the top five this season in all competitions and six of those were by at least two goals, including home clashes with City (2-0), Liverpool (5-1) and Chelsea (4-0).

Recommendation
Tottenham -1 on Asian handicap

The Football Site

Like on Facebook

Google +1

 

Currently no Pro Punters for today

Match in Focus

19:45 TODAY BT2

Real Madrid v Liverpool

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Real have won just one of their last four Champions League meetings against English opposition
Expert verdict
Real Madrid have lifted the Champions League in three of the past four seasons but they could struggle to retain their crown against a lively Liverpool. Real have been the dominant force in Europe, with last year’s 4-1 thumping of Juventus in the final in Cardiff showcasing their superiority. However, Zinedine Zidane’s men have not bumped into a front three like the Reds’ often - Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have netted 29 of their 40 Champions League goals this season - and they are vulnerable to the counter-attack.