Brighton could take a massive step towards safety with a win over Leeds on Saturday
Brighton and Hove Albion could go within one win of guaranteeing their Premier League safety this weekend, as Leeds United travel to the South Coast to face the Seagulls on Saturday.
Despite being winless in their last four games, including a shocking defeat to Sheffield United last week, Brighton are seven points clear of 18th-placed Fulham, and could make it ten with just 12 points to play for if they can do the double over Leeds.
Neal Maupay’s first half strike was enough to separate the sides when they met back in January, but the Frenchman has only found the net once since then. Scoring goals has been one of Brighton’s biggest issues this season, and they’ve failed to find the net at all since Danny Welbeck scored in a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United at the start of April.
Going into the game, Graham Potter will be without long-term absentees Solly March and Tariq Lamptey, who both won’t play again this season. There’s also a doubt over Romanian striker Florin Andone, while a decision on Adam Lallana will be made as late as possible.
There’s better news in the form of Ben White being available again after suspension. The defender enjoyed a loan spell at Elland Road last season and was linked with a move to Yorkshire permanently, but has been a mainstay in the Brighton defence since returning. South African striker Percy Tau is also back in contention after a thigh injury.
Leeds captain Liam Cooper will serve the final match of his suspension after his lunge on Man City’s Gabriel Jesus. Winger Raphinha is still out with a thigh injury, and Adam Forshaw remains sidelined with a muscle problem. There’s better news in the shape of Rodrigo, who should be back after missing the last three games, while Helder Costa should be fine after a back injury.
Going into this game, the Whites have won 14, lost 14, scored 50 and conceded 50 goals this season, giving their first campaign back in the Premier League some unique balance. If they can turn those stats into positives by beating Brighton, they’ll stay above Arsenal in ninth going into the final four games.
Should Brighton end their recent poor form and take the points, Newcastle, Southampton and Burnley are all in their sights, and they could end the weekend in 14th, and planning for life in the top flight next season.
Brighton take on Leeds United at the Amex Stadium on Saturday, May 1st. Kick-off is at 3pm.