46 games. 89 points. 72 goals scored. Only 5 defeats. Those statistics don’t matter now. All that matters is the last ninety minutes ahead. Football seems to punish teams in the cruellest of ways. Credit to Sheffield Wednesday, on Friday, they did what they needed to do. A comfortable win against 10 men Albion sees the Owls go into this second leg with a 2-0 lead. Of course the team (and us as fans) can feel hard done by with the manner of defeat. Four injuries to some of Brighton’s most influential players left them fighting a losing battle. However, as Shakespeare said, “what’s done, is done”. Now we have to push one last time and see, just maybe, if this task that no one else in the play offs has achieved (recovering from a 2-0 deficit), can be overcome by Chris Hughton’s record breakers.
I will be writing this match preview a little differently as we all know what Brighton have to do tonight.
The defensive five are one of the tried and tested areas of the team. They have proved themselves as starters all season.
As a duo I would chose Kayal (Player of the Season and a irreplaceable asset) and Richie Towell. Of course Towell is a risk, however if Brighton don’t take a risk they will not go through tonight. He is an unknown quantity (the opposition will not know what to expect from him), and he is an obvious goalscoring threat with his 25 goals at Dundalk.
I have chosen Lua Lua for his direct running and pace down the left-hand side. Sometimes he is brilliant and sometimes he is average (to say the least). Hopefully he will be terrorising the Wednesday defence tonight! Skalak may not be the strongest player in open play. However his near perfect crossing and set piece ability will add an extra dimension of goalscoring opportunities.
In the centre forward area, I have chosen Jamie Murphy. His ability to take on a man as well as being a decent finisher of the ball should see him start tonight. Murphy has also played upfront for previous club Sheffield United. I believe Baldock will get the nod ahead of James Wilson simply because he always puts in maximal effort. Effort is crucial for this match. Baldock can apply constant pressure to Sheffield Wednesday’s defence in the hope of forcing a mistake.
Overcoming the 2-0 deficit from Friday would be a huge achievement. However even if the players are unable to get the better of Sheffield Wednesday tonight. They can hold their heads high and be proud of how well they have done this season. Obviously there would be a lot of disappointment among fans however the least we can do is clap the players effort and motivate them for next season. It is rare that 89 points leave you in the play offs. However we have to deal with that and overcome an injury-free Sheffield Wednesday side. I believe the boys can do it tonight but if they don’t the club as a whole can look to next season and go again. After all, that is all we can do.
Article by @George_Carden