Premier League: Leeds United v Brighton and Hove Albion

The Whites became something of a laughing stock last weekend when they were eliminated from the FA Cup by a Crawley team which even found time to field a left-back more famous for appearing in TOWIE, but will be hoping to pick up a win to restore some confidence.

Bielsa named a much-changed side for that game in fairness, and will welcome back some more familiar faces for the visit of the Seagulls, with Patrick Bamford the main name Leeds fans will be hoping to see on the score sheet again.

The Argentine boss admitted he got some of his substitutions wrong in that game, most notably the one which saw Liam Cooper withdrawn at half-time. The Leeds captain is expected to return to the starting XI when Brighton come to Elland Road though, with Luke Ayling alongside him as Robin Koch and Diego Llorente remain injured. As well as their centre back pair, Leeds are without influential midfielder Kalvin Phillips, who serves a one-game ban for picking up five yellow cards.

Illan Meslier will also return between the sticks, replacing Kiko Casilla, who had a shocker when given the chance to impress against Crawley. It’s hard to believe the Spaniard was one of Real Madrid’s signings to replace Iker Casillas a few years back, given his nightmare stint in England so far.

Brighton have had goalkeeping issues of their own recently, with Robert Sanchez taking the gloves from Mat Ryan after the Aussie’s poor run of form. Sanchez has established himself as the club’s new number one, with Ryan rumoured to be leaving the club in the January transfer window.

Graham Potter will be hoping his side can pick up a much needed win, with the Seagulls verging on the brink of the bottom three, and without a victory in their five league games. Narrow defeats to Arsenal and Manchester City have been complimented by score draws with Sheffield United, West Ham and Wolves, but it’s not been enough to lift Brighton any higher than 17th.

A win on Saturday could take them above Burnley, and they’ll have Yves Bissouma back available after suspension to try and do it. Adam Lallana, Danny Welbeck, Tariq Lamptey, Alireza Jahanbaksh and Aaron Connolly are all out. Percy Tau and Neal Maupay will battle to be named up front.

Leeds take on Brighton on Saturday, January 16th. Kick-off is at 3pm.

In form Everton overpower Brighton in 4-2 Goodison Park win

Carlo Ancelotti’s side have been excellent in the opening weeks of the season, and goals from Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Yerry Mina and James Rodriguez sealed a 4-2 win at home to Brighton.

The super confident hosts dominated this one right from kick off, with Seamus Coleman and Calvert-Lewin testing Matt Ryan earlier on.

And with Graham Potter’s side unable to lay a glove on their hosts in the opening stages, the Blues edged themselves in front after a quarter of an hour.

Gylfi Sigurdsson’s quick thinking from a corner caught Brighton out, he swung a cross into the back post, and the on-fire Calvert-Lewin bulleted a header home.

But as the Blues struggled to find a quickfire second, Jordan Pickford gifted the Seagulls an equaliser.

Leandro Trossard’s deflected strike caused problems for the England keeper and Neil Maupay reacted quickest to tap home his mistake.

But Brighton’s parity didn’t last long, as Mina spared his keeper’s blushes before the break, nodding home Rodriguez’s free kick.

Ancelotti’s side were in no mood for complacency after the break, as Rodriguez raced onto Alex Iwobi’s pass to make it 3-1.

Brighton rallied in the final half hour, but Rodriguez punished them on the break once again as the former Real Madrid man tucked home Abdoulaye Doucoure’s pass.

Yves Bissouma did bag a spectacular consolation in added time, but in the end Everton were more than good value for all three points.


Brighton seal 3-0 Premier League win at Newcastle

The Seagulls lost to Chelsea on the opening weekend but two early goals for Neil Maupay on Tyneside means that Graham Potter’s side are now up and running.

Brighton were quick out of the blocks at St.James, and Newcastle, who were so impressive at West Ham last weekend, were the architects of their own downfall.

Allan Saint-Maximin’s rash challenge on Tariq Lamptey resulted in penalty on three minutes, and Maupay stepped up to make no mistake from the spot.

And with Newcastle still getting their breath back from that one, Brighton hit them on the counter five minutes later.

The excellent Lamptey was again at the heart of it as he fed in Leandro Trossard, and with the Magpies defence unable to recover in time, Maupay arrived at the far post to fire home.

That rapid start seemed to stun the hosts, with Steve Bruce’s side clinging on until half time.

Newcastle did show signs of improvement after the break, but their day turned on a crucial chance for Callum Wilson on the hour mark.

Miguel Almiron did well to measure a cross deep into the box, but Wilson was unable to get enough purchase on his header and their key moment was wasted.

That goal woke Brighton out of their mid half funk, with Trossard and Aaron Connolly both firing against the post.

Brighton pushed in the closing stages, and as Newcastle all out of ideas in the final minutes, Connolly curled home a delightful third goal.

Potter’s afternoon did end on a sour note, after Yves Bissouma was sent off, but he’s unlikely to be too concerned as this was three big big points for Brighton.


Burnley 1-2 Brighton and Hove Albion: Pope misses out on Golden Glove

Bissouma’s fine curling effort after 20 minutes ended Pope’s hopes of a 16th clean sheet of the season, allowing Manchester City’s Ederson to claim the Golden Glove as Pep Guardiola’s side finished with a 5-0 win over Norwich.

Chris Wood drew Burnley level just before half-time, but Connolly’s goal five minutes into the second half left the Clarets level with the 54 points they collected in 2017/18 as they lost at home in the league for the first time since New Year’s Day.

Brighton, who moved up to 15th with the win, will go into the shortened off-season taking encouragement from a positive display as they posed a regular threat on the counter-attack and looked capable of scoring more.

The game was slow to get going. Jay Rodriguez appeared to be bundled over by Dale Stephens 14 minutes in, but Jon Moss saw nothing in it and VAR eventually agreed after a lengthy check.

Burnley were still shaking their heads at that decision when Bissouma struck six minutes later.

The Clarets could only half clear a corner and the ball came out to the Mali international, who took time to pick his spot before curling an effort into the top left-hand corner.

Brighton tails were up, and they almost doubled the lead moments later when Neal Maupay headed Tariq Lamptey’s cross on to the crossbar.

Burnley were struggling to deal with Lamptey’s pace, and the right-back next set up Alexis Mac Allister, who should have done better than shoot straight at Pope from a central position.

But they would let Burnley back into it before the break, with Wood getting free of Lewis Dunk to control a long ball forward from Erik Pieters before tucking the ball inside the far post.

Brighton, however, needed only five minutes of the second half to get back in front. Maupay kept the ball in play – just – to poke a pass down the line for Connolly, who beat Kevin Long for pace as he cut inside from the left and fired inside the far post.

Burnley thought they were level before the hour when Rodriguez got a glancing header on Ashley Westwood’s corner, but VAR ruled it out for an offside.

The Clarets kept pushing. James Tarkowski headed a long ball into the path of Long but his shot was kept out by a superb block from Dunk, before Stephens somehow kept out a Rodriguez header from point-blank range.

But there would be no way through as Burnley suffered a disappointing end to a campaign in which they have excelled since the turn of the year, going from a potential relegation fight to the fringes of the battle for Europe despite a host of problems on and off the pitch.

With much work to be done this summer and rumours surrounding manager Sean Dyche not going away, fans must hope this is not how his eight-year reign at Turf Moor ends.