A return to Premier League duties for Alan Dudman, who is backing Brighton to continue their good start to the season against Norwich this Saturday...
"Backing the visitors to Win To Nil is 3.45 looks another option to go higher than the Match Odds. Norwich have failed to score in five games while Brighton have three clean sheets."
Farke seems resigned to relegation
In the summer, Norwich were criticised on Talksport for just 'making up the numbers' in the Premier League although the counter-argument was that the Canaries spend what they have and use a sustainable business model that produces plenty of homegrown talent. Manager Daniel Farke is under no pressure and while I agree with some of presenter Alex Crook's statements in August in that they are happy to be a top 24 club, they'll never ever go into administration and you only have to look at Derby to see the perils of overspending.
Unfortunately that isn't enough in terms of competing on the pitch, and they sit a predictable bottom place with just a solitary point from seven matches so far and we'll probably be discussing this particular leitmotif in two years time. And Brentford are the doyen of business models anyway.
The price to finish Rock Bottom is just 2.26/5 even at this early stage. That for me looks a good price, although to wait until next spring to get paid out on a 5/4 chance you need to be in it for long haul, but if you can, it's a good bet. So much so I'll be recommending a 3pt bet in the quest to stay in profit.
It seems a long time ago since Norwich played out a dour 0-0 at Burnley, but a poor game mattered little as Farke called it a priceless point. It ended a 16-game losing streak in the Premier League and earned City's defence their first clean sheet of the season.
Farke however almost seemed resigned to relegation by saying: "It's a first step. It's not like this point will guarantee we stay in the league. Many more steps are needed but it's a good first step." His realism/pessimism was on show in the previous encounter with the Seagulls (losing 1-0 and condemned to Championship football), stating: "We don't have to make anymore more fighting messages."
Brighton and Hove Albion
Wellbeck blow but Potter can look to a high finish
Have Brighton finally cracked it? I was critical of them last season, several times in fact, with my quarrel being they were often vastly overrated in price in relation to wins. Certainly that was the case at the Amex with just four successes.
They finished 16th last term, 15th in the previous season and 17th before that. I rate Graham Potter as a manager and they play neat, possession football and are tactically one of the most fluid. But my beef was merely as a bettor with price, and a bet always comes down to price. They were always priced up at 2.01/1 but couldn't kill teams off as their patient build-up didn't net the goals.
Although on the two occasions at I went against them, they won so Brighton fans were probably delighted I was opposing them!
It's been an excellent start and this could be a big season for Potter, to finally convert three years of building for a push at the Europa League. Although it's been a relatively kind fixture list, they are only two points off Chelsea. I'd want a little more however than 5.59/2 for a Top Six Finish and I would be happy to lay that for another long term idea.
Injuries have slightly hampered them, although Tariq Lamptey is on the way back. Steven Alzate and Danny Welbeck are both facing similar three month spells on the sidelines with injuries sustained against Crystal Palace and now will undergo surgery on their respective injuries.
Potter also had to field questions concerning links to the Newcastle job, which he called "just noise".
Norwich's recent switch to a back five was prompted by a shocking start defensively, and for a side that have conceded 16 goals in seven matches, Brighton don't look a bad option at 2.26/5 here in the outright Match Odds.
Bar the Arsenal game (0-0), they have scored in every fixture, with two goals on three occasions. Facing a team that look a bit shabby at the back should at least yield one goal.
Defensively they are sound too. After drawing 3-3 against Wolves in their first Premier League game of 2021, Brighton haven't conceded more than twice in any of their last 28 league games. Indeed, of ever-present teams in the top-flight, only Chelsea (21) and Manchester City (23) have conceded fewer goals than Brighton (26) this calendar year.
Backing the visitors to Win To Nil is 3.45 looks an option to go higher than the Match Odds. Norwich have failed to score in five games while Brighton have three clean sheets.
While Norwich are perhaps too over-reliant on Teemu Pukki (their top scorer for three seasons running), the Finish international broke Jari Litmanen's goals record for the national side on Tuesday in a 2-0 victory against Kazakhstan. Pukki hit his 32nd and 33rd goals for Finland and he has been odds boosted on the Sportsbook to score two or more goals at 12/1.
You will be going against the Opta stats with that, as Norwich have the fewest goals (2), fewest different goalscorers (1), lowest shot conversion rate (2.8%) and fewest shots on target (17) in the Premier League this season. At the other end, they've conceded the joint-most goals (16) and have the second highest xG against figure (13.5) in the competition this term.
The feisty Neal Maupay gave a brilliant interview with Sky post-Arsenal with his idol Thierry Henry, and his record of four in seven seems to have answered Brighton's Achilles' heel of last season of not being able to convert chances and possession.
Backing the Seagulls to win and Maupay to score at anytime is 3.63 on the Sportsbook Betbuilder and that looks fair, as the French forward is also on penalty duties.
I love Maupay's attitude and hunger and he was a shrewd signing from Brentford.
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Alan Dudman's P and L
Back Brighton to win @ 2.26/5
Lay Brighton Top Six Finish @ 6.611/2
Back Norwich for Rock Bottom @ 2.26/5 (3pt bet)