Brighton & Hove Albion

The American Express Community Stadium (which just trips off the tongue, doesn’t it? Michael of Kent nods approvingly….)

Saturday 27th April

5.30 Kick off. Live (again) BT Sport

After impressive wins in the East Midlands and then on home turf versus Southampton, Rafa takes his Mags once more to the South Coast, this time to face a rapidly plummeting Brighton.

Whilst Cardiff’s latest reverse has made it official that Mike’s cash cow is happily ensconced in it’s lush Premiership meadow for another year, our next opponent’s future is not so sure. It’s fair to say that this fixture is the biggest in Brighton’s recent history. Whilst the Bluebirds still look favourites for the drop, they are fighting for their lives, picking up points here and there. The Seagulls, on the other hand have just one point and zero goals scored from their last seven. Gulp.

When they defeated us in September you’d not have suspected they’d be in their current predicament. They looked set for the safety of mid table obscurity and we looked the more likely to be fighting for our lives. It was an absolute trudge of a match with a spawny winner for our guests, which left us with the princely sum of 2 points out of a possible 27.

There were some South coast, whispy bearded surfer dude types standing next to us in the gloom of the Town Wall, post match. I found myself actually feeling envious of them. Not due to their casual use of ‘rad’, ‘awesome’ or their sense of assumed cool, just that they were following a somewhat upwardly mobile looking team whilst mine was staring down the barrel of a return to the land of no VAR.

Don’t worry, I’m not gonna get the bunting out and go all Charnley, labelling the season ‘a success.’ I’m not a toadying little quisling like him, after all. What I will say is that we simply have a much better manager than our opponents and that is why we are out of the clarts. That’s not to denigrate Chris Hughton, by the way. I like and rather rate him, he’s just not in the same class as Rafa. If not elation, then relief is probably the current overriding emotion.

After being so shamefully treated last summer, our man has gradually improved things and once more has us looking a half decent side again. He’s the reason we’re safe, and I know I’m mainly preaching to the converted, but to the mental minority who disagree with this, I’m sorry, but you’re just wrong. If only that short sighted prick at the top could see what he’s actually got here…..

Anyway, I digress. Onto Saturday.

what a tit 

Injuries to Almirón and Schär have not helped our chances and I’ve just noticed that our flouncy friend, Mike Dean will be officiating. Given some of the earlier evidence this campaign, it’s probably worth a goal start for our hosts. Cheers, F.A. As TF regular, Norman recently pointed out, the minty little prick would be much more at home performing in the world of Amateur Dramatics then refereeing important Premiership fixtures.

If Cardiff can scrape a win at Craven Cottage prior to our kick off, the pressure will be ramped up to unbearable levels for our hosts. Again, I’ll leave the in depth stuff such as team formations, probable selections and underlining what a loathsome little turd the returning Knockaert is and steam straight into the dreaded prediction.

What a tit.

Given our slightly weakened line up, the high probability of a Brighton pen / United red and the desperation of their situation it makes it a tricky one to pick the bones out of. Two of my match going pals have gone in separate directions. The ebullient PK plumping for a regulation 2-0 win for Rafa’s Mags. The sometime ‘Preview’ contributor, Castle Farm Mag stating that with us safe and intensity gone, we’ll revert to type and get turned over.

I’m gonna go straight down the middle and be as Swiss as a handsome centre back. 1-1. A Murray penalty being cancelled out late on by Lord Salomon of West Bromwich.


Nick Clark