Brighton & Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur will both be aiming to bounce back from respective defeats in Wednesday’s Premier League encounter at the Amex Stadium.
The Seagulls were on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline against Liverpool last time out, while Antonio Conte’s side were sunk 3-2 by top-four rivals Manchester United.
Robert Sanchez may have inexplicably escaped punishment for his high challenge on Luis Diaz during Saturday’s early kickoff, but the Brighton goalkeeper could only watch the ball trickle into the back of the net as his unorthodox attempts to stop the Liverpool attacker failed to bear fruit.
Mohamed Salah made sure of the result for Liverpool from the spot after Yves Bissouma’s handball in the 61st minute as Brighton’s dreadful run of form continued, with Graham Potter’s side now looking down the table rather than towards the top half.
The Seagulls’ solid start to the campaign has been consigned to history as they occupy 13th spot in the rankings – still just three points off a potential place in the top 10 – and there should not be any demotion fears around the Amex with Brighton 11 clear of the drop zone.
A run of five successive defeats can arguably be viewed as relegation form – with Brighton only finding the back of the net once and conceding at least twice in every game during that miserable period – and Potter’s draw specialists have certainly lost their resilient streak.
The Seagulls have also now lost their last three on the bounce at home without scoring following the loss to Liverpool and have only prevailed in one of their last 11 Premier League games at the Amex, so the stage is set for Antonio Conte’s side to bounce back.
The mouthwatering centre-forward showdown between Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford had one clear winner on Saturday evening, as Man United’s timeless veteran silenced the critics and proved that he was only a problem for the opposition rather than his own club.
Twice Ronaldo gave Man United the lead – the 37-year-old’s opener was truly a thing of beauty – and twice they were pegged back by Kane’s penalty and a Harry Maguire own goal, but Ronaldo rose highest in the 81st minute to complete his hat-trick and boost the Red Devils’ top-four hopes at the expense of Tottenham’s.
The streak of inconsistency under Conte does not look like ending anytime soon for Tottenham, who enter the midweek round of fixtures now outside of the European spots in eighth place and six points behind fourth-placed Arsenal having played a game more.
Spurs’ games in hand on Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Ham United and Man United must be taken into account, but Conte has now overseen four defeats from his last six away from home in all competitions, while the North London club are also still awaiting their first draw of 2022.
Tottenham eased to a 3-1 win over the Seagulls in the FA Cup just last month, but Brighton have won the last two Premier League meetings between the sides at the Amex Stadium without conceding and may fancy their chances against this hit-and-miss Lilywhites outfit here.
Brighton & Hove Albion Premier League form:
Tottenham Hotspur Premier League form:
Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions):
We say: Brighton & Hove Albion 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur
Despite their win-loss-win-loss routine under Conte in recent weeks, Spurs have never needed any lessons on finding the back of the net, which does not bode well for an out-of-sorts Brighton and their leaky defence.
The Seagulls have become a bit of a bogey team for Spurs on the road in recent years, but after claiming a 3-1 win in the cup last month, we can see lightning striking twice as Conte’s side reignite their Champions League charge.