As much as the UK Papers love to market this match as a ‘rivalry’ or ‘derby’ - it’s not, the clubs are 68 miles apart! Pet peeve aside, this clash is an intriguing one due to the respective home and away form of both sides: Southampton had the second-worst home record in the Premier League last season, while Brighton had the worst away record.
This season, not much has changed: Southampton are yet to win at home, while Brighton have lost both away matches.
I wouldn’t expect a thriller, let’s put it that way. Chris Hughton would probably be happy with a point – the teams drew 1-1 in this fixture last season – and Southampton’s poultry four home wins since the start of last season doesn’t point towards them winning either.
The Saints have had a decent-if-unspectacular start to the season – with their first win coming in a 2-0 away win against Crystal Palace.
Brighton fans will be satisfied with their start too: beating Manchester United at the Amex for the second season in a row is an early marquee victory, while a narrow defeat at Anfield and coming from 2-0 down to draw with Fulham shows they have plenty of grit.
Southampton beat Brighton at the Amex in the Carabao Cup a couple of weeks ago, but due to the nature of the competition and the fact that both managers made a raft of changes, there’s no point looking into that whatsoever.
These sides look pretty even on paper, and despite Brighton’s awful away record, I fancy them to get a point at St. Mary’s.
Southampton scored 20 home goals last season and Brighton scored 10 away goals. Does this scream out ‘goal-fest’ to you?
Of course, these are just stats, and the nature of football means this could end 5-5, though I cannot see a scenario where either side scores more than one goal.
Glenn Murray is on fire for Brighton, and Southampton possesses a number of great attacking players: Charlie Austin, Danny Ings and Nathan Redmond are all solid Premier League forwards, but their talents will likely be stifled in what I’m expecting to be a stop-start horror-game.
Under 2.5 goals should be a bit of a banker.
As I previously mentioned, I see this being a niggly match. Eight yellow cards were dished out over the course of their two meetings last season, so I can see more of the same on Monday night.
Seagulls midfielder Dale Stephens is a trusted lieutenant of Chris Hughton, but he has a knack for giving away silly fouls in dangerous areas, often resulting in bookings.
The Albion man has been yellow carded twice this season, and I’m tipping him to be booked once again on Monday.