Newly-promoted Brighton search for the few points that should confirm their Premier League status when they welcome Tottenham to the Amex on Tuesday night. Mark O'Haire previews the encounter...
"Tottenham boast a phenomenal W21-D1-L0 in 22 Premier League meetings with promoted sides since the Argentine arrived at the club."
Brighton v Tottenham
Tuesday 17th April, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports Main Event
Brighton's set-piece troubles
Brighton were left cursing a slow start as they fell to a 3-2 defeat to bitter rivals Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. The Seagulls conceded two set-piece goals inside the opening 14 minutes and although Glenn Murray and Jose Izquierdo managed to twice halve their two-goal deficit, Albion never really recovered.
Chris Hughton's men have shipped more set-piece goals than anyone in the Premier League this season and poor defending again cost the Seasiders on Saturday. However, Brighton almost took advantage of a tiring Palace outfit but Murray missed a straight-forward chance in second half stoppage-time.
The Seagulls were flying high in 10th place when they beat Arsenal on 4 March but have since collected one point from four games. With a difficult run-in to come, Hughton's charges aren't yet completely clear of relegation trouble. Meanwhile, Davvy Propper serves the second of a two-match ban.
Tottenham out-classed by the champions
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino admitted his team hadn't been at the races after seeing his side's six-game winning streak ended by champions Manchester City at Wembley. A sluggish first half display allowed City to dominate proceedings in a 3-1 success at Wembley on Saturday night.
Trailing by two goals, Christian Eriksen's strike against the run of play gave Spurs hope before the interval. And in fairness, Tottenham looked a different team after the break, hustling and pressing City, pinning the visitors, preventing them from playing out from the back.
But in truth, the capital club never looked like gaining parity, particularly after shipping a third goal 20 minutes from time. Pochettino conceded his side weren't good enough with Davinson Sanchez struggling at the heart of the defence and Harry Kane putting in a subdued performance up top.
Brighton [7.60] have collected a solitary point from a possible 12 of late despite all four fixtures being labelled as winnable. And the Seagulls' record when taking on the Premier League's elite (W0-D0-L6) suggests the hosts may struggle to avoid another poor result from this encounter on Tuesday night.
Tottenham's [1.51] reverse on Saturday night was their first league loss since mid-December, ending a 14-game unbeaten run (W11-D3-L0). Spurs have W15-D5-L0 against sides in ninth and below this season, including W8-D2-L0 on their travels - five of those victories arriving alongside a clean sheet.
Even so, arguably even more eye-catching is the visitors' record against promoted clubs under Mauricio Pochettino's tutelage. Tottenham boast a phenomenal W21-D1-L0 in 22 Premier League meetings with promoted sides since the Argentine arrived at the club.
This term, Spurs have beaten all four new arrivals 'to nil' - three of which concluded 2-0 - and so with Brighton scoring just once in nine hours against the Big Six, backing the visitors to win by 1-0 [8.20] and 2-0 [8.40] correct scores appeals.
Saturday's gut-wrenching defeat at rivals Crystal Palace was only the second occasion this season that Brighton had conceded more than two goals in their 32 outings. Chris Hughton's men tend to be tight operators and that's reflected in their 22/32 (67%) return of successful Under 2.5 Goals winner.
Considering Tottenham tend to offer a much more conservative approach on their travels, producing Under 2.5 Goals profit in five of their past seven when visiting bottom-half dwellers, opposing goals appeals at [2.20] on Tuesday night.
Mark's 2017/18 Profit/Loss
Staked: 159.00 pts
Returned: 179.32 pts
P/L: +20.32 pts