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Talking Tactics

Huddersfield Town must keep a close eye on Murray

Adrian Clarke 5 Apr 2018
Glenn Murray

Adrian Clarke says Brighton's elusive striker could be the key man during Saturday's match on the south coast

Brighton & Hove Albion have an opportunity to increase their six-point gap on the bottom three when they host Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

Glenn Murray will be central to Chris Hughton’s plans as the Seagulls aim to beat their relegation rivals, who are just three points behind them.

The club’s leading PL scorer, with 11 goals, Murray makes up for a lack of pace with positional instinct.

He is one of the best strikers in the country at drifting into the penalty box unnoticed and evading defenders to attack crosses.

Sense of anticipation

In the home matches against Arsenal, West Ham United, AFC Bournemouth and Southampton, and the trip to Swansea City, Murray got into positions where his nearest marker had their back to him.

When winning penalties against West Ham and Swansea, which he converted, he popped up behind a player who then fouled him.

The 34-year-old is astute at anticipating where crosses will go, and most of his chances arrive from wide areas, including six of his goals.

Four Brighton players have created two or more chances for Murray this term and three are wingers. The other, Pascal Gross, is the team’s best crosser.

When Hughton’s men are running down the flanks this weekend, Huddersfield’s centre-backs would be advised to get tight to Murray.

Chances created for Murray
Player Chances created Open play Set-pieces
Pascal Gross 12 10 2
Anthony Knockaert 6 5 1
Jose Izquierdo 4 3 1
Solly March 3 1 1

The Seagulls striker has a cool head and does not snatch at his chances. He has hit the target with 57.5 per cent of his shots.

He has also forced the most saves at Brighton this season, and his 28 per cent chance-conversion rate is creditable too.

Most accurate Brighton players
Shots on target Conversion rate
Glenn Murray 23 Jurgen Locadia 33%
Pascal Gross 15 Glenn Murray 28%
Jose Izquierdo 11 Pascal Gross 21%
Anthony Knockaert 11 Tomer Hemed 15%

Murray’s desire to play on the shoulder of defenders can sometimes backfire.

He has been caught offside on 32 occasions this season, a number only Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy have exceeded, both with 33.

But he has a sixth sense for where the ball will drop inside the box and, once he has a sight of goal, he has the confidence to score with either foot or his head.

Huddersfield Town must be careful not to underestimate or lose sight of Murray at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

Also in this series

Part 2: How Robertson can outshine Baines in derby
Part 3: Silva and Gundogan show depth of class at Man City

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