Out of both of these sides it was undoubtedly Burnley who were expected to perform the most successfully, with the Clarets still operating on parachute payments following their recent stint in the top flight. However, even though opponents Brighton were only playing League One football last term, they have experienced the better campaign and Gus Poyet’s side approach this fixture sat in the lofty position of 6th. Burnley, meanwhile, are completely out of the race for the top six as they occupy 16th.
Considering the fact that Burnley were playing Premiership football just two years ago and attracted the highly-coveted Eddie Howe as manager last term, many people thought that the Clarets would be a strong force this term. However, for whatever reason Howe’s side have struggled, and the club approach this fixture sat nowhere near the promotion picture in 16th. Having accumulated fifty three points it would seem as though the Turf Moor outfit have nothing to play for and Howe is surely starting to prepare for next term. Bearing the above in mind, it is no surprise to see Burnley struggle for form in recent weeks. While they did record a 5-1 victory at Portsmouth last week, that was their only victory in nine games. Furthermore, they have won just one game at Turf Moor since late-December.
Brighton on the other hand are gunning for a second successive promotion, with the Seagulls currently occupying the final top six position. With so many teams vying for the playoff spots, there is still a long way for Gus Poyet’s men to go although their recent form has at least been encouraging. The AMEX Stadium outfit have lost just once in 2012, meaning that they approach this fixture with just one loss in their last sixteen league games. Despite positivity on that front, some of their supporters will be slightly cautious, with the Seagulls winning just one of their last seven on the road.
There’s plenty to report in the form of team news, with Burnley approaching this game with several absentees. The likes of Jay Rodriguez, Martin Paterson and Danny Lafferty are all definite absentees while Ben Mee has been pencilled in for a late fitness test. Brighton on the other hand also have their problems, with Liam Bridcutt and Matt Sparrow both poised to miss out as suspension hinders them. Tommy Elphick is another player who will miss out as he continues to struggle with an Achilles issue, but there could be a place for Gonzalo Jara Reyes after he completed a suspension.
In terms of a prediction, our tip is going to be for the Brighton victory. The Seagulls have been in fantastic form through recent weeks and considering the dismal run that Burnley find themselves in, we will tip a 2-1 win for Gus Poyet’s men.