20 Years Ago, 90 League Positions Separated Newcastle and Brighton

hereford-07
Hereford vs Brighton 1997 – Credit: http://www.wearebrighton.com

20 years ago, Brighton were languishing in the depths of the fourth tier of English Football. A famous match against Hereford United and subsequent equaliser from Robbie Reinelt ensured Brighton and Hove Albion’s safety. Meanwhile at the opposite end of the footballing pyramid, a Newcastle side led by Kevin Keegan, were gunning for the First Division title. They were pushed aside, 7 points behind a famous Manchester United side. 20 years ago, 90 league positions separated Brighton and Newcastle. Now it is just one.

It is amazing how much times have changed in 20 years. A club of Newcastle’s size shouldn’t be anywhere near the Championship. Brighton, who have spent a measly 4 years of their 116 year history in the top flight deserve this chance.

What do Brighton need to get promoted today?

table

If Brighton beat Wigan today, Huddersfield have to find victory against Derby. Brighton can also draw but that would require Huddersfield to lose to Derby. A draw would leave Hughton’s side on 90 points with a +36 goal difference. If Huddersfield lose, the maximum they can acquire is 89 points with +5 goal difference.

The magic number for Brighton is 93 points (4 more points) which is a win and a draw. That will guarantee promotion to the Premier League even if Huddersfield were to win their last five games (leaving them on 92 points).

After that, it is between Brighton and Newcastle to battle it out for the title. However, both sets of supporters will find relief in having guaranteed promotion sealed first.

fans-1200229-409400

It is surreal that 20 years of fighting, to save the club from relegation to the fifth tier of English football, to fight for planning permission for the AMEX, to comeback from back-to-back play off disappointments year after year, it has all boiled down to this day. This is the best time to be a Brighton fan. Let’s enjoy it.

Article by George Carden
Contact:
georgecarden99@gmail.com
Twitter: @George_Carden

Match Preview – Brighton vs Sheffield Wednesday – 20/01/17

Brighton face a sixth placed Sheffield Wednesday side who will be looking to cause an upset in front of the Sky cameras.

5ad29128-298a-4ef5-98b5-c2f6e79f1306_800
Courtesy of http://www.seagulls.co.uk

Recent Form

Brighton suffered their first defeat in 18 games last weekend away to Preston North End. The Seagulls hadn’t lost a league game since September 10. However, before that, Chris Hughton’s side won five games in a row. Brighton currently have 12 points out of 15 in their last five games.

Sheffield Wednesday are currently unbeaten in six games, they have won four of those last six. Carlos Carvahal’s side boast wins against table-toppers Newcastle, and Huddersfield Town. In their last 5 games, the Owls have acquired 11 points out of a possible 15.


Last Time Out

knockaert

Brighton won 2-1 thanks to goals from Sam Baldock and Anthony Knockaert. Gary Hooper scored a 90th minute consolation but it was too little, too late for Sheffield Wednesday.


Familiar Faces

will-buckley
Image courtesy: Getty Images

Will Buckley. The winger joined Brighton in the summer of 2011 and went on to score 19 goals in 96 games for Seagulls. He then linked up with former manager, Gus Poyet, at Sunderland. Buckley failed to adapt to life in the Premier League. He made just over 20 appearances for Sunderland but since then has been loaned out to Leeds United, Birmingham City and current team, Sheffield Wednesday.


Fact of the Day:

Brighton last played Sheffield Wednesday on a Friday evening in 2012. The Seagulls won 3-0 thanks to goals from Craig Mackail-Smith, Wayne Bridge and you guessed it… Will Buckley.


We are looking forward to…

_93667261_dunk2
Image courtesy: Getty Images

Having Lewis Dunk back in the side. He has been a rock in defence all season and having him back from his two-game suspension will be crucial.


Verdict

Another massive game for Brighton. The players will be bursting to claim even more ‘revenge’ after the play off misery of last season. That revenge factor played the difference at Hillsborough in October and it could be the difference tonight.

Prediction:

BHAFC: 2

Murray, Dunk

Sheffield Wednesday: 1

Wallace

 

Article by George Carden

Match Preview – Everything you need to know about Aston Villa

murray-f229-3389107_1600x900

The West Midlands side have suffered a rough start to their first season in the second tier since the 1987/88 season. New owner, Tony Xia, hired Champions League winner Roberto Di Matteo at the start of the season. The Italian was sacked after only 12 games and 1 solitary win. Since then, they have acquired Steve Bruce. The former Manchester United defender is the perfect appointment for Villa. He knows what it takes to achieve success on and off the field and he will certainly make the Villans a formidable threat come the end of the season.

Summer Signings

ross-mccormack

Villa have spent a total of £49,000,000 in transfer fees and have acquired 17 players. Their heftiest dealings come in the form of Ross McCormack (£14 million), Jonathan Kodjia (£11 million) and James Chester (£7.91 million). Villa have made a loss of £33 million this season. A huge gamble which so far hasn’t paid off but with the quality of their signings and experience of Steve Bruce, it is almost a certainty that they will  be challenging for at least a play off place come the end of the season.


History

3688
Tony Barton (left) and Dennis Mortimer (right)  lifting European Cup at victory parade in 1982.

Aston Villa were founded in 1874. They have been one of the most influential clubs in England due to the fact they were a founding member of the Football League in 1888 and a founding member of the Premier League in 1992.

Aston Villa have a rich list of achievements. Arguably their biggest achievements was winning the European Cup in 1981/82 (beating Bayern Munich 1-0). Along with this, Villa have also won the first division seven times, the FA Cup seven times and the UEFA Super Cup once.


Familiar Faces:

Tommy-Elphick.jpg

Tommy Elphick. The Brighton youth academy graduate played 153 times for the Seagulls. He left in 2012 due to injury problems and a lack of first team football. He then joined Bournemouth and captained them on a remarkable journey from League 1 into the Premier League. However, the defender only made 14 appearances last season which is why he decided to drop down a league and join current team, Aston Villa.

Another familiar face for both sets of supporters will be Warren Aspinall. He was their top scorer in the season they got promoted back to the top division in 1987/88.


Fact of the Day:

This season is the only season Aston Villa have not partaken in the Premier League since its founding in 1992.


Verdict:

Villa have been a much improved side since Steve Bruce took charge. Ignore their poor start as with the players they have got and the recent form they are in means it will be an extremely tough match. Brighton have been very impressive this season and have kept four clean sheets in a row. Both sides will cancel each other out tonight.

Prediction:

2-2

Article by George Carden

Match Preview – Bristol City vs Brighton – 06/11/16

Brighton face 6th placed Bristol City in what looks to be an intense affair.

493453360

Recent Form

Bristol have acquired 7 points in their last 5 games. This includes two wins, two losses, and a draw. Disappointing losses to Queens Park Rangers and Cardiff will be frustrating for the Robins.

Brighton have acquired 13 points in their last 5 games. Impressive victories over Sheffield Wednesday and a 5-0 thrashing of fellow promotion contenders, Norwich, has boosted positivity among the Seagulls supporters. Brighton were pegged back by Preston, an extremely disappointing result for Chris Hughton’s men.


Last Time Out

beram kayal vs bristol

The last time these two sides met was back in February. Brighton were victorious with a straight-forward 4 nil victory. The goals came from Murphy, Hemed, Baldock and an own-goal from Mark Little.


Familiar Faces

SamBaldock17

Sam Baldock is the only player to feature for both Brighton and Bristol. Baldock scored 24 league goals for Bristol City in the 2013/14 season. Unfortunately, he couldn’t help get the club promoted that season.


Fact of the day:

The play off final match at the Millennium Stadium between Bristol and Brighton was 12 years and 154 days ago as of today!


We are looking forward to…_91380258_tammy_abraham

How the Albion cope with on-loan striker, Tammy Abraham. The Chelsea youngster has scored 9 goals in 15 Championship games this season. However he has only scored 1 of these goals in his last 5 games.


Verdict

Bristol City are a much improved team this year. If they manage to keep some consistency for the rest of the season, there is no reason why they can’t finish in the play-offs. They will be a tough opponent for Chris Hughton’s side. Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy have been rock-solid this season. Given the fact that Abraham (who has scored 9 of Bristol’s 23 goals) isn’t on his best form as well makes me think Brighton will edge this match.

Prediction:

BHAFC: 2 – Murray, Baldock

Bristol: 0 – N/A

Article by George Carden

Brighton vs Barnsley – Match Preview

 

barnsleyvbrightonhovealbionnpowerchampionshipxfe97w3k9-3l

Brighton have had mixed results recently. Two disappointing defeats to Newcastle and Brentford left a sour taste of pessimism among supporters. Two 1-0 victories against undefeated Huddersfield and Championship new boys, Burton, has lifted spirits in the Seagulls camp. Brighton have acquired 7 points in their last 5 games.

Barnsley have surprised many fans and pundits alike with their solid start to the season. The freescoring Yorkshire side have already won two games by a margin of 4-0 (Rotherham and Wolverhampton). They are also the top scorers in the Championship so far with an impressive 19 goals in 8 games (2.4 goals per game!). The Tykes have currently acquired 9 points in their last 5 games. They will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat at the hands of Reading.


Last Time Out

kelvinetuhubarnsleyvbrightonhovealbion_yuz2-sl12_l
Image courtesy of zimbio.com

Brighton were held to a 0-0 draw by a 10 man Barnsley side in April 2014.


Familiar Faces

2069676598
Image courtesy of thestar.co.uk

Chris O’Grady (currently on loan at Burton), signed for Brighton from Barnsley in the summer of 2014. He was expected to fill Leonardo Ulloa’s shoes. However the target man only managed 1 goal in 31 games for Brighton in what was a dreadful campaign for player and club alike.


Fact of the Day:

Barnsley have never won back-to-back league away games at Brighton.


We are looking forward to…

Brighton and Hove Albion v QPR 
SkyBet Championship
19th April 2016

 

Seeing if Brighton can end their recent shortage of goals, whilst also nullifying the treat of free-scoring Barnsley.


Verdict:

Another tough fixture for Brighton. Now is not the time to stop scoring. We need to start playing that fast attacking football we saw at the end of last season and against Nottingham and Rotherham. Dealing with a proficient attacking outfit means we have to be careful at the back as well. At the moment, I can only see the sides drawing.

Score prediction:

1-1

BHAFC – Knockaert

Barnsley – Hourihane

Article by George Carden (@George_Carden)

Match Preview Special – Everything you need to know about #NUFC ahead of kick off. #BHAFC

 

 

Brighton and Hove Albion make the 600 mile round trip to Newcastle in what looks to be an early promotion clash. Newcastle were strongly tipped to bounce back from relegation and win the league this season. Things didn’t start well for Rafa Benitez in the Championship. The Magpies suffered two consecutive losses, the Tyneside team are finding their feet however, winning their last two league games. Here is everything you need to know about Newcastle ahead of their clash with Brighton.


The Manager

010416-SOCCER-Real-Madrid-head-coach-Rafa-Benitez-MM-PI.vresize.1200.675.high.74.jpg

Rafa Benitez. Not a name you would expect to see in England’s second division. The former Liverpool, Napoli, Chelsea and Real Madrid man was appointed by Mike Ashley to save Newcastle from relegation in the 2015/16 season. Benitez was almost successful and perhaps if he was appointed earlier in the season, Newcastle would likely still be playing Premier League football.


The transfers:

IN: Dwight Gayle, Matt Richie, Grant Hanley, Matz Sels,  Kieran Clark, DeAndre Yedlin, Mohamed Diame, Isaac Hayden and Jesus Gamez.

Total: approx. £45 million

OUT: Georginio Wijnaldum, Andros Townsend, Daryl Janmaat, Remy Cabella, Papiss Cisse, Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor.

Total: approx. £56 million


Last time out:

orlandi.jpg

Brighton beat the Magpies 1-0 and 2-0 (2012 and 2013) in the English FA Cup. Are Brighton still Newcastle’s bogey team?


Players to look out for:

Newcastle United:

0,,10278-14697794,00.jpg

Matt Richie. The former Bournemouth man joined Newcastle for an astronomical 12 million pound fee. He caused havoc out wide when Bournemouth were in the Championship and is a player to be very wary of.

Ayoze Perez. The Spanish U21 international attracted the attention of Real Madrid and Barcelona, instead, he opted for playing time over salary by choosing Newcastle in 2014. Perez scored 6 goals last season. Could Newcastle’s relegation be the perfect opportunity for him to take the bull by the horns and bring Newcastle back to the Premier League?

Jonjo Shelvey. Arguably Newcastle’s best player, Jonjo Shelvey isn’t a player you would expect to be in the Championship. His passing range and vision can cut any team open.


Fact of the day:

Newcastle last beat Brighton on March 29th 1990 (26 years ago). Since then, they have lost four games and drawn two against the Seagulls.


We are looking forward to…

Newcastle_United_-_Championship_winners.jpg

 

Seeing the positive reception (most likely) for Chris Hughton by Newcastle fans. Hughton took Newcastle up with 102 points in 2009/10 and even guided them to a mid-table finish in the Premier League. That wasn’t enough for unpopular owner, Mike Ashley, who decided he deserved the sack. Clueless!


Verdict:

Generally, Hughton prefers to play it safe in bigger matches. I wouldn’t be suprised to see a 4-5-1 formation employed to try and control the game. Newcastle are missing out strikers Dwight Gayle and Alexander Mitrovic who would have made the occasion noticeably tougher for Brighton. That being said, I can see a draw being the most likely outcome. Both teams won’t want to give the game away in the early stages which means it could be a dull affair… lets hope not!

Prediction: 2-2

NUFC: Lascelles, Ritchie

BHAFC: Knockaert, Murray

Article by @George_Carden

Match Preview – EFL Cup (Second Round) – Oxford United vs BHAFC

maguire-1600259-3260887_1600x900.jpg

Brighton will face league 1 club, Oxford United, in the second round of the EFL cup.


 

First round ties

Brighton smashed Colchester United 4-0 in the first round of the EFL Cup. This came after a relatively lacklustre first half performance. All four goals came in the second half.

Goalscorers: Jamie Murphy x2, Sam Baldock, and Elvis Manu.

Lundstram.jpg

Oxford United beat Birmingham 1-0 in their first round tie. A great result considering they were underdogs for the tie.

Goalscorer: Sercombe.


Previous meetings:

Both clubs have faced eachother 30 times in their history. Oxford come out on top winning 12 of those games. Brighton have won 9 of the clashes. There has been 9 draws also between the two sides.

The most recent meeting between Oxford and Brighton was 20 years ago. The result that day (12th March 1996) was a 2-1 victory for Oxford. The last time Brighton were victorious against Oxford was all the way back in 1990!


Familiar faces:

Jake+Forster+Caskey+Oxford+United+v+West+Ham+nGN8nxuKHoCl.jpg

Oxford currently have no former Brighton players in their squad. The last player to have played for both clubs is Jake Forster-Caskey. The 22 year old featured 16 times for Oxford in the 2012/13 season, on loan from Brighton.


We are looking forward to…

CqfeGkjWYAAcFGu.jpg

Seeing the youth players get a chance in the first team. Obviously, with the EFL Cup, teams in BPL or Championship (with category 1 youth rating) must have at least 6 under 23 players in the first XI. Promising players such as Ben White, Jack Harper and Vahid Hambo can get a chance to prove they have what it takes against matured professional players.


 

Fact of the day:

This will be the second League Cup meeting between the two sides. The first was a 2-0 first round home win for Brighton in 1968, 52 years ago.


Verdict:

On paper, Brighton are seen as strong favourites. We have the quality to progress far in this tournament. However, it is down to whether Chris Hughton wants to risk some of the better first team players or rely on fringe and youth players. The second option sounds more likely. The game could easily go either way tonight. Despite being the better team, I think Brighton will lose tonight. Oxford are a team high on confidence after getting promoted from League 2 last season. Chris will also be focusing on the massive game against Newcastle (I would like us to progress far in this competition but losing tonight also means less fixture congestion and a better chance to focus on the Championship).

Prediction:

Oxford: 2

Brighton: 1