Arguably our toughest test of the campaign – The Seagulls will face off against fellow table-toppers Middlesbrough. A win on Saturday would really show everyone in the division that we are real contenders to be promoted (if we somehow haven’t proved that already!). Remember that the game is at 12:30pm rather than the standard 3:00pm.
Last 5 games
The Seagulls have nine points in their last 5 games. Picking up two wins and three respectful draws against fellow promotion contenders Burnley, Derby, and QPR. Surprisingly we have actually scored more than Middlesbrough, picking up 31 goals in comparison to their 30. However despite the spectacular goalkeeping efforts of David Stockdale we have managed to concede the relatively low number of 20 whereas Boro boast the best defence in the league with only 12 goals conceded.
Karanka’s side have acquired an excellent 13 points in their last 5 games. Picking up four wins and one draw. Two of those victories have been away from home.
Likely Goal scorers
With March injured until the end of the season, it is very likely that Rajiv Van La Parra will be given a consecutive start after scoring a wonderful 35 yard strike vs QPR. I get the feeling he will be able to make it three goals in as many games. Furthermore our other loanee James Wilson has been playing very well and his natural poaching ability could land him a goal. Bobby Zamora has been extremely potent since returning to the club so give him a chance and it will be more than likely that he will tuck it away.
One of Boro’s main threats will be playmaker, Stuart Downing. He had a great season with West Ham last season and moving down a division is definitely a big step down for a player of his quality. Boro’s other main threat comes in the form of Uruguyan international Christian Stuani (who must only play when Suarez and Cavani are ill!) who has notched an impressive 8 goals this season.
In my opinion this is our toughest test so far this season. A win tommorow will be massive encouragement and prove to everyone that we are true contenders in this league. I would not be suprised if either team snuck a victory but personally I feel like both teams will cancel each other out. I think a draw could be the most likely outcome.