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Snowy Seagulls – Brighton Preview
Providing the weather co-operates, Birmingham City will meet Brighton and Hove Albion today at St Andrews. Gus Poyet’s side are just outside the playoffs and will be looking to heap more misery on Blues in their promotion push.
Brighton and Hove Albion lie in 8th place in the Championship with forty points although they have a game in hand on all the teams around them. Their league form isn’t brilliant over the last six fixtures however Brighton have won their last three on the spin in all competitions including a 2-0 win over Newcastle United in the FA Cup.
Brighton are awaiting international clearance for new Argentine signing Leonardo Ulloa, who has arrived from Spanish side Almeria although it’s thought if he is eligible to play that he will start on the bench. Craig Mackail-Smith may return after injury but defender Bruno is set to miss a fourth match with an achilles problem.
Blues come into this game having played very disappointingly in midweek and I suspect (hope might be more accurate) that Lee Clark will ring the changes. Jack Butland and Rob Hall return to the squad having been rested and not allowed to play in the cup respectively whilst Callum Reilly and Hayden Mullins may return from illness and injury.
My hope would be that Clark drops Morrison after his poor showing in midweek, and combines either Mullins or Reilly with Gomis or even potentially Hayden and Callum in midfield. I can see maybe Nathan Redmond being benched – for Peter Lovenkrands or Nikola Zigic or even Hall. Whatever happens, Clark needs to reintroduce some energy into the middle and some better service for the front men, whilst maybe improving the presence up top. If Mullins, Reilly and Hall all make the squad I expect Reece Hales and Ryan Higgins to make way with one other having to miss out – and I suspect that could be Ravel Morrison.
Looking at the weather as I write this I think it’ll be touch and go as to if this game goes ahead; whilst I have no doubt the pitch should be fine I think health and safety concerns about the seating areas, gangways and car parks will be the biggest threat to the game and with Brighton having to make a long journey I hope a decision is made early.