The first Championship contest of the new year is set to take place at 3PM at the Amex Stadium, as Brighton take on Wolves with live streaming available on the game from Bet365.
Former league leaders Brighton look to reverse their recent descent as they welcome Wolves. Wolves are currently sat in the middle of the Championship, at 11th position, and are thirteen points behind the visitors.
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Brighton are currently in fourth position and are five points off of league leaders Middlesbrough. Both teams have a lot to play for.
If the home side are able to win then they are in touching distance of the automatic promotion places once again. Wolves need a win to stay within theoretical reach of the playoff positions, as a loss would leave them vulnerable to being leapfrogged by a variety of teams, including QPR, Nottingham Forest, Reading and Leeds.
It has been over a month since the Seagulls last managed a victory, with their previous win coming against Charlton, a 3-2 home victory that took place all the way back on the fifth of December. Since then, Brighton have managed several draws and two losses, including their recent 1-0 loss to Ipswich on the 29th of December.
On paper, Wolves should be an easier prospect than some of Brighton’s recent opponents, but there is a sense that Brighton’s morale may have been deflated by recent outcomes.
It may well be a good time for Wolves to capitalise on the slump that has been taking place and go for all three points.
Wolves’ recent form has been more impressive than Brighton’s. The mid-table side have managed to put together back to back wins, albeit it against Charlton and Rotherham, two teams who are very much at the Championship’s lower end, and look set to stay there.
Prior to those victories, Wolves had been beaten heavily by playoff hopefuls Sheffield Wednesday in a 4-1 away defeat, and a narrow 1-0 home loss to Leeds made up their other defeat. Brighton should prove a tough prospect, particularly at home, but recent form suggests Wolves could pull off something of an upset.
One interesting aspect of the game is the absence of on-loan winger van La Parra. The player is ineligible to face his parent club, Wolves, and his absence will increase the visitors’ hopes of victory. The Brighton team is further hurt by the massive absences through injury, with the club reportedly making a move for MLS player Liam Ridgewell.
The ex West Brom defender could be brought in to beef up an underperforming Seagulls defence.
The home side will be without Gordon Greer, Gaetan Bong, Liam Rosenior and Uwe Hunemeir.
Wolves will look to exploit this defensive fragility and give everything they have in the pursuit of victory.