Brighton & Hove Albion: Premier League Preview

Brighton come into this league on the back of a highly successful Championship campaign, finishing runners up to Newcastle.

Having narrowly missed out on automatic promotion on goal difference to Middlesbrough they were desperate to secure promotion second time around.

They completed their main aim but were ultimately disappointed when they failed to win the Championship, failing to win any of their last three matches.

This season will be a huge challenge for Brighton, but the seagulls have had an excellent side and they have been together for a few seasons now.

The main aim for Brighton will be Premier League survival, with clubs such as Middlesbrough and Hull failing to adapt to life in the top flight.

Premier League

Brighton’s opening fixture of this brand new Premier League campaign is against Manchester City on Saturday 12th August, at the Amex Stadium.

 

Their next four fixtures are:

 

Leicester City (A) 19th August

Watford (A) 26th August

West Brom (H) 9th September

Bournemouth (A) 15th September

 

This will be a tough set of opening fixtures for the Seagulls, with an opening fixture against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City a very tough assignment.

Chris Hughton’s side will be confident of securing points in their next four fixtures though, with Leicester, Watford, West Brom and Bournemouth all winnable matches.

They played an excellent brand of football last year, scoring the fifth highest goals in the league with the joint best defensive record.

Brighton registered 28 wins during their last campaign ending the season with 93 points, which was one agonising point less than title winners Newcastle.

This season was an improvement on the 2015/16 campaign, where they won 24 matches and registered 89 points, finished in 3rd place.

Those finishes prove that Brighton have consistently been one of the best sides in the Championship, those last two seasons will hold them in good stead for this season’s challenges.

Cup Football

As well as consolidating their position in the Premier League, Brighton should be looking for a successful cup run as well.

They lost out to fellow Championship side Reading in last years EFL Cup, losing 2-1 in the third round.

Brighton managed to get to the fourth round of the FA Cup, losing to Lincoln City 3-1 after making a whole host of changes.

This is easily an area for improvement, but they will be concentrating on consolidating their Premier League position.

Transfer Activity

Brighton will need to add some quality to their existing squad if they are to survive in the Premier League.

They have already completed several signings already, but none of them has Premier League experience but they have played in top international leagues.

Mathew Ryan has become the clubs record signing, with the Australia international replacing David Stockdale who has departed for Harry Redknapp’s Birmingham City.

The remaining signings have been signed with an eye on the future and have had experience playing in a top European league such as the Bundesliga.

 

Transfers In: Mathew Ryan (Valencia), Markus Suttner (FC Ingolstadt 04),  Pascal Gross (FC Ingolstadt 04 II), Josh Kerr (Celtic) and Mathias Normann (FK Bodo/Glimt)

Transfers Out: Vegard Forren (Released), Elvis Manu (Genclerbirligi), Chris O’Grady (Chesterfield) and David Stockdale (Birmingham City)

One To Watch

Mathew Ryan is the one to watch for Brighton this season.

The Australian shot stopper has arrived from Valencia, one of the top sides in Spain.

His arrival is a sign that Brighton have identified their defence as an area of improvement and he will provide stability at the back.

They will need a solid defence if they are to stay in this league, and they have a strong spine as a result.

Betting Tips

To win the 17/18 Premier League outright @ 1500/1

To be relegated from the Premier League @ 5/6

To win the Carabao Cup 17/18 @ 66/1

To win the FA Cup 17/18 @ 66/1