Brighton & Hove Albion v Bolton Wanderers
Saturday 24 November, 2012
Setting The Scene
Dougie Freedman extended his unbeaten start to life with Wanderers to four games against Barnsley last weekend, and the Scot will now be hoping to keep the run going on Saturday as the Wanderers make the long trip down to the south coast to face Brighton & Hove Albion.
Kevin Davies gave the Whites a first-half lead, but a 65th minute equaliser from Craig Davies denied the Trotters all three points at the Reebok, as Bolton registered their third successive draw.
Now Freedman’s men travel down to East Sussex in search for their first win in four games, but they face a tough test against Gus Poyet’s Brighton, who themselves are unbeaten in their last five outings.
The former Chelsea and Tottenham midfielder took charge of the then League One side in 2009 and guided them to the league title in his first full season in charge, which was also his first year in football management. He couldn’t repeat the feat last season, as the Seagulls’ return to the Championship ended in a mid-table finish.
Poyet has continued to put his stamp on the side this summer, securing the services of former England left-back Wayne Bridge and Southampton midfielder Dean Hammond, both on season-long loan deals.
Record signing Craig Mackail-Smith has been in fine form, scoring nine goals this season, and he has forged a successful partnership with 22-year-old Ashley Barnes who has notched up four goals himself.
Similar to Wanderers fans, the Albion faithful will be eyeing a possible promotion to the Premier League this season as the Seagulls currently sit only a point outside the play-off places.
One To Watch - Will Buckley
The former Watford winger has enjoyed a prosperous campaign to date, scoring five goals from midfield, including a brace in the Seagulls’ last outing against Huddersfield.
Buckley is currently the club’s second top-scorer, just behind the in-form Craig Mackail-Smith. The pacey 22-year-old has also provided three assists for his team-mates this season.
Aside from the injuries to David Wheater, Stuart Holden, Josh Vela and Andy Lonergan (all knee), Freedman has just the one injury concern.
Zat Knight is expected to feature despite a minor hip complain, whilst Stephen Warnock has recovered from a bout of illness to make the trip down to the south coast.
Gus Poyet is waiting on the fitness of goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak and defender Wayne Bridge, who both missed last week’s victory against Huddersfield through injury and remain a doubt.
But Adam El-Abd could be in contention for this weekend after recovering from the hamstring injury that ruled him out of Albion’s last three matches.
Man In The Middle - Mark Haywood
|Brighton Wins||Draws||Bolton Wins|
West Yorkshire-based referee Mark Haywood will take charge of Saturday’s game. He has so far shown 32 yellow cards, but he is yet to show a red card this campaign.
Supporters will not be able to purchase tickets on the day of the game.
Pre-match build-up and full commentary will be available on Wanderers Players from 2.30pm. For more information, click here