Brighton v Stoke City
Monday, Nov 20 – 20:00pm
Brighton claimed a 1-0 victory over Swansea City a fortnight ago, a first-half goal from Glenn Murray proving enough to separate the two sides. The Seagulls have lost just 1 of the last 5 games, and currently sit 8th in the Premier League table. Earlier this week, manager Chris Hughton claimed that he preferred the ‘underdog’ status, yet Brighton arguably head into tonight’s match as favourites.
Stoke were held to a 2-2 draw with Leicester City in their last game out, with Peter Crouch coming off the bench to salvage a point for the home side. The Potters have struggled to put together of run of positive results this season, but a win tonight could see them edge closer to the top half of the table. Mark Hughes could be tempted to hand Peter Crouch a place in his starting XI. The striker has scored 4 goals in 324 minutes for the Potters this season.
What the stats tell us:
- This will be the first competitive meeting between these two sides since February 2011 when Stoke won 3-0 in an FA Cup fifth round tie.
- Stoke have won their last eight matches against Brighton in all competitions, keeping five clean sheets in the process. Indeed, only against Wrexham (9) have the Potters enjoyed a longer winning run versus a single team.
- Brighton have gone four games without defeat (W2 D2) in the Premier League – they last went five in a row without losing in the top-flight back in April 1983.
- Stoke won last time out on the road in the Premier League, beating Watford 1-0 – they haven’t enjoyed back-to-back away victories since October 2015.
- Stoke City have conceded as many first-half Premier League goals this season as Brighton have in total (11).
- Xherdan Shaqiri, who has provided four assists in the Premier League this season, has earned his team more points via his assists than any other player in the competition (6).
- Darren Fletcher has now appeared in 102 consecutive Premier League matches for his clubs (WBA & Stoke combined). This is the joint-fifth longest run by an outfield player in Premier League history, with only Frank Lampard (164), Matt Holland (115), Wayne Bridge (113), and Jonathan Walters (104) beating this run.
- Glenn Murray has scored in three successive Premier League games for the first time since April 2015.
- Indeed, Murray has netted more Premier League goals this season (4 in 9) than he managed in his last top-flight campaign back in 2015-16 (3 in 21).
- Pascal Groß has been directly involved in 63.6% of Brighton’s 11 Premier League goals this season (two goals, five assists); only Tammy Abraham (71.4% for Swansea) has a higher share for a PL team this season.
Brighton have surpassed all expectations over the last couple of months, and have momentum on their side heading into tonight’s match. Chris Hughton played down suggestions that his side were ‘hot favourites’, but the Seagulls will be confident of their chances. The fact that Stoke have had to rely of Peter Crouch recently, tells you that their other strikers are underperforming. The Potters are always difficult to break down, but we’re backing Brighton to take the points.