Friday, 10 May 2013

C'mon Brighton!

Leicester City took a slender lead in last night's opening Championship Play-off match. They enjoyed a good first-half but Watford came into the game after the break and should really have taken the lead from one of three decent scoring positions before David Nugent got the touch to a brilliantly flighted cross to head home. I'm not sure one goal will be enough for Leicester in the second leg.

This evening we have the first chance to see Palace blow it. They have home advantage against the Seagulls but I am sure they would rather be playing away first. Brighton will need to be on their toes but current form suggest Palace might crumple if Brighton can take the lead. I can see goals in this one and wouldn't be surprised if it finishes 2-2 or 3-3. Obviously a 0-4 result would make my weekend but in life we should learn to delay satisfaction and I will settle for the coup de grace at Falmer. 

It's interesting to consider the future of the respective managers here. Gus Poyet's star has risen rapidly over the last few seasons as he has been an integral part of the building of Brighton from the ground up to the deserved fringes of being a Premier League club. They have a very capable and established squad of players and possess a state-of-the-art stadium befitting of Premier League football. The town's population is solidly behind them and there is an inevitability about where they are currently headed. 

Ian Holloway, meanwhile, looked a bit of a chancer when he jumped ship earlier in the season from Blackpool to the reins of table-topping Palace boasting a player destined for Manchester United for a hugely inflated fee. For a couple of months he really looked like he couldn't believe his luck. Palace are a completely different proposition, however, to Brighton. They have been in Administration relatively recently and whilst they have been bailed out by the admirable Steve Parish and others, they preside over a ramshackle stadium that they don't own and their support continues to be relatively poor. In a dismal home season where we were beaten nine times at home before a late rally in form, we still managed to average more at the Valley than they did a "promotion" season at Selhurst. 

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