Sitting side by side in the Premier League with a mere three points between them – and with the prospect of possible relegation still looming, even if there’s no need to panic just yet – these two have plenty to play for. Both have reason to be confident too. They have each shown decent form following Southampton’s victory over Tottenham. That’s not to mention their win over Fulham and competitive outing against Manchester United.
Meanwhile, Brighton are hot off the heels of a trilogy of wins over Huddersfield, Brighton and Millwall. It is likely a little late in the day for either to truly shock the world when it comes to their final Premier League standings. But with each of these talented squads on good form, there’s no reason this can’t be a brilliantly memorable clash.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Southampton Prediction: Brighton 2-1 Southampton
It’s a very tough one to predict for what we think will likely be an action-packed but very close game. Both have given us excellent reasons to consider them favourites here, thanks to their recent successes. However, it’s Brighton’s consistency which, for us, gives them the edge. It was only last month that Southampton were struggling to pull in any points. In contrast, Brighton have not only managed to string together victories and capitalise on momentum more frequently, but have been – just slightly – the more consistent performers. With that in mind, our scoreline prediction here is 2-1 to Brighton.
Our recommended tip: Brighton & Hove Albion win
With only one place and three points between theses two teams in the Premier League standings, neither side are the clear favourites here. However, the bookmakers do give a slight advantage to the home side. Brighton & Hove Albion come into this contest with a 36% win probability, just edging ahead of Southampton’s 32% win probability – with a draw being just as likely as an away win. Therefore, our recommended tip is that you back Brighton & Hove Albion to victory to get low-risk 31/20 odds at Ladbrokes.
If you want proof of just how evenly-matched these two are – and their close proximity in the Premier League isn’t cutting it – then consider that their last five matches, which takes us all the way back to 2011, ended with three draws and one win for each team. That’s right, pretty much all contests that are modern enough to be considered relevant have usually ended in a stalemate. That is really quite remarkable when you think about it. If one team manages to win this time around, there’s little doubt that it will be hard earned.
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Players to watch: Solly March & Josh Sims
Brighton & Hove Albion: Solly March
Just like Southampton’s victory over Tottenham, Brighton’s even more dramatic win over Millwall – in which they equalled the scoreline in the closing minutes – was hugely influenced by their choice of substitutions. Locadia, March and José Izquierdo all proved inspired choices to relight the fire beneath Brighton. But no one shone more than March, who provided them with a sharp focus and ultimately, a match-saving goal.
Southampton: Josh Sims
When a player has the ability to turn their team’s fortunes around as significantly as Josh Sims did when he entered the field at half time against Tottenham, you know you have a player to keep a very close eye on. He was pivotal to the comeback which saw Southampton come from a goal behind to shock Spurs with a 2-1 victory. Even though Josh Sims’ name may not be on the scoreboard, no one who watched that game can deny his impact.