Mike Holden fancies the Seagulls to edge the live Friday night Championship clash.
Brighton v Aston Villa - Friday 19:45, Sky Sports 1
Steve Bruce has gone back to basics in his bid to get Aston Villa firing and we shouldn’t expect the strategy to alter much against a Brighton side threatening to cut loose from the chasing pack. The Seagulls should be fancied to prevail but their traditional fast start at the Amex might bear little fruit, so take the Draw/Brighton half time/full time at 4/1.
The Seagulls have been ahead at the interval in 15 of their last 31 home games but this season is all about showing greater maturity and the ability to win matches in different ways. When Huddersfield rocked up in Sussex looking for a 0-0 draw two months ago, one moment of brilliance from Anthony Knockaert prised them open on 80 minutes.
Albion played out seven goalless draws last term, their attitude reciprocal in the majority, but Chris Hughton has a much greater variety of attacking options nowadays and those on the field are much inclined to force the issue. Only once have they been involved in a 0-0 since the opening day, with other late winners following at Burton and Wigan.
Bruce, with all his previous promotion experience, spoke obsessively about the importance of being disciplined and tough to break down at Hull last season. But this Villa team has managed only two clean sheets in the last dozen outings and you’d expect them to buckle at some point. Back the Brighton 1-0 correct score at 11/2.