Feature

Battle for safety: Brighton & Hove Albion

14 Feb 2019
Brighton celebrate

In a series on the teams fighting to avoid relegation, we look at the Seagulls' fixtures, form and key man

The battle to avoid relegation is intensifying as the season enters its final third, so we have taken a look at the prospects of the eight teams with the biggest fight to remain in the Premier League.

How they stand

Pos Team Pl GD Pts
1 MCI 38 +72 98
2 LIV 38 +67 97
3 CHE 38 +24 72
4 TOT 38 +28 71
5 ARS 38 +22 70
6 MUN 38 +11 66
Brighton & Hove Albion

There was a time, in early December, when Chris Hughton's side lay in the top half of the table after back-to-back victories, only one point behind Manchester United and 12 points clear of the relegation zone.

Since then, however, they have been dragged into trouble.

They now lie only three points ahead of 18th-placed Southampton after making a difficult start to 2019.

Form

The Seagulls have not won a Premier League match since 29 December, a 1-0 victory against Everton at the Amex Stadium, and have picked up only two points from the last 18 available.

Against Fulham and leading 2-0 at half-time on 29 January, it looked as though they would register their first win of the year.

But Fulham fought back, scoring four second-half goals to consign the Seagulls to a third consecutive defeat, following narrow losses against Liverpool and Man Utd.

A 0-0 draw against Watford temporarily stopped the run of defeats but Burnley's 3-1 win at the Amex in Matchweek 26 has put even more significance on upcoming matches.

Fixtures

Albion's next five fixtures could well be season-defining.

After visiting Leicester City on 26 February, three of their following four matches are at home against teams around them in the table.

In the reverse fixtures, the Seagulls took eight points from a possible 15, beating Huddersfield Town and Palace while playing out score draws with Leicester and Southampton.

But Brighton also visit a Crystal Palace side lying just above them on goal difference in an M23 derby encounter supporters of both sides will be particularly keen to win.

Key man

Glenn Murray’s goals against Fulham were his first since he scored in the south-coast side's 3-1 win against his former club Palace in early December.

The veteran forward has struck 10 league goals this season, only two off his 2017/18 tally, which was his best return in the competition.

Murray's lean spell in front of goal has coincided with Brighton's recent poor form.

If he can rediscover his goalscoring touch, the Seagulls could pull away from the teams around them.

Also in this series

Part 1: Battle for safety: Crystal Palace
Part 3: Battle for safety: Burnley
Part 4: Battle for safety: Newcastle United
Part 5: Battle for safety: Cardiff City
Part 6: Battle for safety: Southampton
Part 7: Battle for safety: Fulham
Part 8: Battle for safety: Huddersfield Town

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