09 December 2019 13:29

Huddersfield Town A.F.C. Watford F.C. 2018–19 Premier League

Wolves 0-0 Brighton: Struggling Seagulls earn valuable point

Brighton ended a run of five successive defeats as they picked up a valuable point in their battle against relegation against Wolves at Molineux. In a meeting of the two beaten FA Cup semi-finalists, Brighton offered little as an attacking force and it is now 570 minutes since they last scored. However, given their 12-goal advantage over third-bottom Cardiff, Saturday's point means even a shock win for the Bluebirds against title contenders Liverpool on Sunday will not be enough to send Chris Hughton's men into the bottom three. Wolves will surely feel it is two dropped points in their quest to be the 'best of the rest' by finishing seventh. If you look back to the start of the season, I'm looking at Cardiff and Huddersfield, then you're thinking that Brighton are going to be in that mix, with Southampton and those kind of clubs.

When they came up, they stayed up with two games to spare, finished 15th with 40 points and it just felt like triumph the whole season. We're scoring less and conceding more and despite it being obvious to everyone since the start of February the new formation doesn't work, Hughton has stuck with it right up until Tuesday's loss to Cardiff. Brighton are still in a bit of trouble when looking at the league table, do you think they have what it takes to avoid relegation? If you looked at that game it was effectively a must-win for Cardiff and a must not lose for Brighton - and they've lost it. But Brighton are on the back of five straight defeats in all competitions, they haven't scored a goal in any of them you would hope that their terrible run is bottoming out.

After our trip to Molineux, we've got Spurs, in form Newcastle, Arsenal and Manchester City as our last four games. The players look like they've effectively downed tools and with Cardiff just two points behind, with momentum from winning at the Amex and winnable games against Fulham and Crystal Palace to come, I think we're done for. Against Cardiff they actually started well, for twenty minutes they were on the front foot, created more than they had in their previous home games, but as soon as Cardiff scored you just felt the confidence ebbing away. He'll be a miss, he scored both goals the last time Brighton visited Molineux. Like I said, there's no real logic to it when you look at the two teams in the table, I'm clinging to the fact Brighton have a good record at Wolves.

Certainly on paper it looks very much like a home win, but also Wolves haven't done that well against struggling teams this season, so that's another straw to clutch on to. The Seagulls lost 2-0 at home to Cardiff on Tuesday and are now just two points above the Bluebirds, who are third from bottom and in the relegation zone. Wolves went down 3-1 at Southampton in their last match, a week after blowing a 2-0 lead and losing 3-2 to Watford in the FA Cup semi-finals. In the meeting between the sides earlier this season, Glenn Murray got the only goal - his 100th for Albion - as Brighton won 1-0. Currently eighth, Wolves are still right in the hunt to finish seventh which could be enough to seal a Europa League place for next season.

Brighton winger Anthony Knockaert will miss the game through suspension and Seagulls boss Chris Hughton could again ring the changes after Tuesday's 2-0 defeat to Cardiff. Craig Pawson will be the man in the middle for Brighton's match away to Wolves on Saturday. Brighton striker Glenn Murray is 6/1 to get the first goal and 12/5 to score anytime, with team-mate Florin Andone 7/1 and 11/4 respectively. Wolves striker Raul Jimenez, who will join the club permanently this summer, has scored in three rounds of this season's FA Cup It's the Emirates FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley Stadium across the weekend of Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 March, as the final four teams left prepare to play for a spot in this season's Final. - This will be the first meeting between Brighton and Manchester City in the competition since January 1983, when the Seagulls won a fourth round tie en-route to their only previous appearance in an FA Cup final. - Brighton have only won one of their last 11 matches with City in all competitions (D3 L7), a 2-1 victory back in April 1989 in a second-tier clash. - City have scored more FA Cup goals in 2018-19 than any other side (19). Along with Chelsea (4) and Spurs (19), this will be the first time ever that three different club sides will play at least four games at the stadium within a single campaign. - Each of Brighton's four previous goals scored at Wembley have come via different players. - Sergio Aguero and Riyad Mahrez are looking to become the first Man City players to score in two separate games at Wembley Stadium within the same season since Yaya Toure scored in both the 2010-11 FA Cup semi-final and Final. - Brighton striker Jurgen Locadia has had a direct hand in five goals in his seven FA Cup appearances (three goals, two assists), including goals in his last two games. - City have had nine different goalscorers in the FA Cup this season, last having ten different players net at least once for them in the competition back in 2010-11, when they last lifted the trophy at Wembley. Expand Brighton's Jurgen Locadia has been a profitable pick for Chris Hughton's team in this season's FA Cup - This will be the eighth FA Cup match between Watford and Wolves, with the Hornets winning just one of the seven previous encounters – a 3-0 victory in the fifth round in February 1980. - Wolves are playing in their 15th FA Cup semi-final and first since 1998. - Watford will play their seventh FA Cup semi-final, only managing to progress on one previous occasion – a 1-0 victory over Plymouth back during the 1983-84 campaign. - Watford skipper Troy Deeney has had a direct hand in nine goals in his last 13 FA Cup appearances, scoring five and assisting four. - Only Padraig Amond (5) has scored in more different rounds of the FA Cup this season than Wolves striker Raul Jimenez, with the Mexican netting in the third, fourth and quarter-final rounds. With Saturday's early kick-off between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur undoubtedly the marquee match in the Premier League this weekend, we look at some of the other main talking points from the upcoming set of fixtures They have lost their past four matches without scoring a goal, and were thumped 5-0 at home by Bournemouth last weekend. Granted, Wolves have been rather inconsistent of late, but they are unbeaten at Molineux since January 2, a sequence that spans seven wins from eight matches, including successes against Liverpool and Manchester United (twice). And they are chasing seventh (Wolves are eighth, behind Leicester City on goal difference, although they have played a game less). The win drew them to within two points of 17th-placed Brighton. Yet the 2-0 defeat at Anfield means Chelsea are now fifth and, while that may be only on goal difference, they have played a game more.