I'm Scott and I've been a Brighton fan since my parents took me to my first game at the Goldstone Ground at the age of 2. Remarkably, they were not locked up for this piece of child neglect in forcing a lifetime of disappointment upon me.
Can Brighton make it back-to-back Premier League wins?
Which Saints player has an impressive scoring record agasint the Albion?
Why Glenn Murray could feature on the score sheet again
This Premier League lark is easy isn't it? A first away win of the season for Brighton and Hove Albion at West Ham United last Friday lifted the Seagulls up to the dizzy heights of 12th in the table. We're on our way, we're on our way, to the Champions League we are on our way...
Except of course, we are not. While the result and performance were extremely impressive, West Ham were one of the worst sides we've come up against on our travels for years. We didn't win by three goals away from home in the whole of last seasons promotion winning campaign. In fact, we've only managed it three times since winning promotion to the Championship in 2010-11, and one of those was against a Leicester side who were already promoted and therefore had nothing to play for.
Southampton will provide a much sterner test this Sunday, another 'South Coast Derby' live on Sky what with Southampton only being the 68 miles from Brighton. Still, at least it is closer than our last Premier League derby against Bournemouth 99 miles away.
Despite the hyping of the game as having some sort of rivalry, the only time that the Albion and Southampton have had anything remotely approaching history was in the 2010-11 season when both were pushing for promotion from League One. That was largely down to Nigel Adkins, Saints manager at the time who had bizarrely turned into a David Brent tribute act with quotes such as "Brighton can win promotion if they can keep up with us" when we were seven points ahead of them and, a personal favourite, comparing Southampton to Red Rum in that they would come charging past the Albion at the end to take the title. We of course ended up winning it with four games to spare.
Southampton ended up winning back-to-back promotions and have become a model Premier League club since then, normally finishing in the top half and taking rough gems and youth team products and turning them into players that the big six will pay big money for. They are an example of what the Albion should aspire to be if we are to have a long term future in the top flight although you'd hope with a little more managerial stability. All of that makes Sunday another tough game no matter how impressive we were last week.
Recent meetings between us and Southampton have tended to have goals in them, with seven of the least nine featuring three or more. Southampton have by far and away the better head-to-head record with 22 wins to the Albion's eight and 10 draws.
Our victories against Southampton tend to come when nobody expects them. In our last meeting at the Amex, Gus Poyet's Albion side had been beaten 2-0 away at bottom of the table Coventry three days earlier without mustering a shot on target, yet we went and comprehensively outplayed Adkin's promotion chasers to win 3-0.
Poyet was at the helm for another unlikely victory when he took charge of the Albion for first time at St Marys in November 2009. Russell Slade had been sacked a couple of weeks previously and we made the journey along the A27 in the relegation zone yet confounded all expectations to give Poyet his first ever win as manager, 3-1 with two goals from a certain Glenn Murray.
Chris Hughton seems to have settled back to his one left back at home, a different left back away from home and so Markus Suttner will probably replace Gaetan Bong. José Izquierdo scored his first goal for the Albion on Friday but could be replaced by Solly March and Tomer Hemed is back from suspension, meaning that the Albion will actually have more than one striker available for the first time since mid September. Huzzah.
Glenn Murray tends to score in bursts and following the brace that got him up and running for the season at West Ham, you wouldn't put it past him to get on the score sheet again.
Meanwhile, rumours continue to abound that Gareth Southgate is considering taking a look at Lewis Dunk in England's friendlies coming up against Germany and Brazil. The centre back was in his absolute element on Friday thanks to Slaven Bilic's bizarre tactics to just throw as many crosses into the box as possible, despite the fact that between them, Dunk and Shane Duffy haven't lost a header all season. Manuel Pellegrino will presumably not be so inept in his approach and playing against the likes of Nathan Redmond will be another good test of whether Dunk is up to international standard.
One player who always seems to score against us whether he be playing for Swindon Town, Burnley or Queens Park Rangers is Charlie Austin who has five goals in seven appearances against the Albion.
Murray broke his duck last time out and his goals tend to come in bursts so 11/4 seems a reasonable price for him to score anytime against Southampton given he is a guaranteed starter baring injury.
For the first time this season, I'm tipping up a Brighton win. Last Friday gave the players a real confidence boost and the belief that they belong at this level and that can carry on to improve our already impressive home form.Charlie Austin to score anytime at @5/2 with Paddy Power
Five goals in his past seven games against the Albion marks Austin out as somebody who just loves playing against us. Every goal we've conceded at home this season has come past the hour mark which should suit a man who is likely to appear off the bench.
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