By 90Min
October 28, 2017

With two sides sat in the middle of the Premier League table heading into the weekend, Brighton will host fellow south coasters Southampton.

With Saints sat in tenth on 12 points, and the Seagulls two places behind on 11 points - both with two wins in their last five as well - the contest and teams are an even match with both sides searching for three more points.

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Both managers will be searching for three more points and crucial momentum that will see them propelled away from any threat in the lower half of the league table.

The good news for Mauricio Pellegrino and the Saints is that they have won five of their last seven trips to Brighton and will be looking to repeat such success this weekend.


Classic Encounter

In a tight contest fought back in both sides League One days - evidence of the success both have had over the last few years - a tight but exciting 2-2 draw at Brighton's old Withdean Stadium in April 2010.

A year in which both sides failed to gain their respective promotions, with Southampton finishing just outside the play-off places in seventh - Brighton finished 13th.

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On the day, first half goals from Elliot Bennett and Dean Hammond for the Saints left the game tied at the break.

The second almost brought the victory for the Seagulls - Ashley Barnes having scored the second goal for Brighton -  until substitute defender Lee Bernard scored an 89th minute equaliser to gift the away side a vital point on the road.


Key Battle


Dale Stephens vs Oriol Romeu

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At times this season Dale Stephens has put in great performances, controlling the midfield for the Seagulls on the regular and has largely been an unsung hero in their success in their maiden Premier League campaign.

Oriol Romeu will have to battle hard and keep the hard work of Stephens and the home sides' midfield quiet on the creative front come Sunday.

As with many a close tie, the midfield can be where the match is won or lost, keep an eye on this battle and the others in the midfield with both sides confident in their abilities to get the three points.


Team News

Good news for both sides is that they both miss only one key name each going into their tie this weekend.

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Brighton will be without midfielder Steve Sidwell who is still sidelined with a back injury, meanwhile the Saints will be without summer signing Mario Lemina after he pulled out during mid-week training.

Lemina's exclusion will likely lead to another appearance for English central-midfielder James Ward-Prowse and a crack at establishing himself in Pellegrino's first team plans.


Prediction


This south coast derby will certainly be a hard one to judge, with both sides having not met in a while and both on a similar vein of form, and points total respectively.

These kinds of matches can certainly make or break a season from both sides perspective, but with the Saints still struggling on the firepower front, and a strong performance like the Seagulls put on against West Ham last week, it would seem the edge just points their way.

With the home crowd eager for three more points and a push up the table, more pressure will be on Brighton players but the extra confidence too.

Prediction: Brighton 2-1 Southampton

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