For whatever criticisms there are of both these teams’ seasons thus far, few can say they’ve been boring or deny some serious achievements. Wolves came into this Premier League season having been promoted following a blistering turn in last year’s Championship, and have so far proven themselves well worthy of their new spotlight. Meanwhile, Brighton have shown some improvements too. This is best exemplified by their utterly astonishing win over Manchester United and solid outings against West Ham and Newcastle in their most recent games. With seesaw results by both leaving this one seriously hard to predict, one thing we can say is that this will likely be a fascinating battle.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Prediction: Brighton 0-1 Wolverhampton
There’s little in this contest in the eyes of most bookmakers, with most giving a slight edge to Wolves. We are inclined to agree on the basis of consistency. While both have had their share of ups and downs in terms of results, if you just consider what they’ve shown on the pitch, Wolves have impressed more often. If Brighton brings their A-game, then this could certainly go either way, especially if Wolves 2-0 loss to Watford is anything to go by. However, we have to base this one on what’s most likely, rather than looking at their season as a whole. Therefore, we have to go with Wolves. That being said, we think this is going to be a nail-bitingly close game, so we’ll predict 1-0 to Wolves by the skin of their teeth.
Our recommended tip: Wolves win to nil
We’ve already mentioned just how evenly matched these teams are, with Brighton holding a 31% win probability to Wolves’ 39% going into this contest. A clean sheet is something you’d more likely expect in a match with a much clearer favourite. However, when you take a look at the Wolves last few wins, every single one has ended in a clean sheet. They went 1-0 against Crystal Palace, 2-0 against Southampton, 1-0 again against both Burnley and West Ham, and 2-0 against Sheffield United. When Wolves are on top, their defence is very tough to get by, as many teams have discovered. Therefore, based on that record, we’re going to go with a Wolves to win to nil for our recommended tip.
These two have actually shared similar paths, with Brighton having been promoted the year before Wolves alongside Newcastle. Luckily for us then, we’ve got a fair few recent meetings to take a look at, and they are quite illuminating. Brighton have a slight advantage in this regard, having bested Wolves 2-0 in 2017 and 1-0 in 2016, while Wolves only beat them once, also by 1-0 in the same period.
Before that, we have ties year after year until 2013, which once again sees Brighton inch ahead with a 2-0 win. When it comes down to it, there’s little between them in a decade of matches. Nonetheless, Brighton does take the crown when it comes to their previous encounters.
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Players to watch: Glenn Murray & Raúl Jiménez
Brighton: Glenn Murray
There’s little doubt who has been one of the key stars of Brighton since they re-emerged in the Premier League and that’s the incomparable Glenn Murray. Unfortunately for the team, he suffered a brutal but not overly serious injury in their last match against Newcastle United, where he was knocked unconscious. However, news indicates that he may not have to miss any games, which if so, will no doubt be a huge threat to Wolves.
Wolverhampton: Raúl Jiménez
Raúl Jiménez has proven himself a threat all around, providing constant pressure on the defence through brilliant attacks and assists. Since moving to Wolves, he’s no longer under the shadow of another striker and he has shown himself as a workhorse when he’s given the chance to shine. And we think that he’ll continue to shine: keep in mind that he’s only been with the team since June, meaning it’s unlikely we’ve seen anything close to his true potential with the team.