Brighton vs Leicester preview - 'Seagulls not an easy target'

Saturday 31st March

It’s fair to say that Brighton started their first Premier League season looking like they were in for a tough, lengthy campaign stuck in a relegation fight.

29th Mar 2018

Leicester match preview

But in the second half of the season, the goals have started to arrive and they have acclimatised well. Their season is suddenly looking quite positive as they sit in 12th place, six points clear of the drop with only eight games to go.

The Foxes approach this unpredictable away fixture with worse league form than their opponents, but a sense that the points are there for the taking.

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Leicester are yet to lose to any of the three promoted sides this season, and dispatched Brighton quite convincingly with a 2-0 win earlier in the season. 

But that was before players like Glenn Murray, Jose Izquierdo and the criminally underrated Pascal Gross started to change games and be the difference in crucial fixtures for Brighton.

Leicester’s opponents will definitely be asking more questions this time around, their goals return and potency in the final third are both fairly high at the moment. 

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Line up

Claude Puel opted for a more standard 4-4-2 formation for the defeat against Chelsea in the FA Cup.

Despite losing, the system worked and Leicester controlled the game for large chunks of each half. Vicente Iborra and Wilfred Ndidi commanded the midfield well while having two targets in the box caused problems for the Blues.

It would have been a difficult game to watch had Puel decided on leaving Jamie Vardy isolated.

Brighton will take the initiative to attack at home, especially given their recent goalscoring form, and having Kelechi Iheanacho or Shinji Okazaki up there with Vardy could be difficult for Brighton to cope with.

Predicted line-up

4-4-2: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Ndidi, Iborra, Mahrez, Albrighton, Iheanacho, Vardy.

Key battle

One battle that will surely define the game will be how Wes Morgan and Harry Maguire deal with Murray. Whilst some of Leicester’s defensive play has been described as 'graceful' and 'composed', I think brute strength and aggression will be needed against Murray.

Murray has proven to be a specialist in holding up the ball until the next, and often more threatening, wave of attacking Brighton players arrive. 

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They are going to play to his strengths and use him as both an offloader of the ball and a target man in the box. Morgan and Maguire are going to need a well regimented and aggressive plan of action to keep Murray from causing trouble and inviting attacks. 

Opposition danger man

It has to be Pascal Gross. He’s acclimatised very well to the pace of the Premier League and leads the line in assists for the team. He is one of four Brighton players that has appeared in every game this season, and it’s clear why.

Leicester’s midfield will have to be wary of the player’s habit of drifting into dangerous spaces. He’s also scored a few goals from outside the box this season, so closing him down will be important. 

Betting tips and predictions

First goalscorer flutter

I’ve just got a feeling that because Brighton are at home and their fans will get behind them because of some recent heroic performances, that they will get the first goal and make it an uphill battle for Leicester in the second-half.

Get Murray to score first @ 5/1

Bet with your head

Ezequiel Schelotto and Gaetan Bong don’t have the pace to keep up with Vardy. Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk aren’t the quickest defenders in the league either.

I can just see the Brighton players creeping into a false sense of security and the line creeping up the pitch as the game goes on. Their back four are prone to the sort of defence cutting that Riyad Mahrez, Marc Albrighton and Vardy thrive on. 

Get Leicester to win 2-1 @ 19/2

Go with your gut

It’s a case of not seeing either team losing this one. Brighton play like a Premier League team, much to Chris Hughton's credit. Leicester have shown a better base-level than their opponents, and deserve to be in the top half. 

There is always an element of doubt as to which version of Leicester will turn up away from home. The Foxes need every point they can get in their pursuit of Burley in seventh, but Brighton aren’t an easy target at the moment.

Get a 2-2 draw @ 15/1

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