By 90Min
April 06, 2018

Brighton and Huddersfield meet at the Amex Stadium on Saturday, both hoping to extend their Premier League debuts beyond one season.

The two teams have surpassed expectations to sit outside the relegation zone at this stage of the campaign, but both have exceptionally tough run-ins. Four of Brighton's last seven games and three of Huddersfield's last six are against teams from the top six.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of a potentially season defining game for both teams.


Recent Form

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Brighton haven't scored in three games since a famous win over Arsenal at the start of March. A 2-0 loss at Everton before the international break was followed by a home defeat to Leicester last weekend. The Seagulls' home form has been generally good though, losing only four times at the Amex in all competitions.

Huddersfield have won just two league games in 2018 and consecutive defeats to relegation rivals Crystal Palace and Newcastle could prove costly. The Terriers haven't scored in their last four matches, and are the joint-lowest scorers in the division alongside Swansea and bottom club West Brom.


Classic Encounter

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Huddersfield 3-1 Brighton (2 February 2017, Championship)


Even as they occupied a play-off place going into February, nobody really believed that Huddersfield's promotion push was going to last. A tough home game against league leaders Brighton seemed like the perfect time for their challenge to falter.

Instead, David Wagner's side showed that they could last the distance with a stunning first half performance. Tommy Smith scored from a tight angle within the opening 10 minutes, before Aaron Mooy's misdirected header allowed Tomer Hemed to equalise.

But Nakhi Wells smashed in past David Stockdale to restore the lead before Stockdale fumbled a save into the path of Elias Kachunga, who made it 3-1 on the stroke of half time. Lewis Dunk was sent off in the second half as Brighton were outclassed, but both teams were smiling come May.


Key Battle

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Jose Izquierdo vs Florent Hadergjonaj

Glenn Murray may be Brighton's primary source of goals, but so many of their attacks are built through their left winger Jose Izquierdo. The Colombian destroyed Swansea last month and scored a brilliant goal against West Ham a few weeks before that.

Florent Hadergjonaj was dropped for Huddersfield's defeat at Newcastle but may return in place of Tommy Smith. He will have a tough time against Izquierdo, but this is not a one-way battle. Hadergjonaj loves to get forwards and did so repeatedly in the 0-0 draw against Swansea, delivering several teasing crosses which none of his teammates attacked.

Izquierdo may have the skills going forwards, but can he combat Hadergjonaj's attacking threat? It promises to be an interesting battle.


Team News

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Brighton will be hopeful of a return for Dale Stephens, but Chris Hughton stressed that the 28-year-old midfielder is 'still a doubt' for Saturday's match, as quoted by the Argus. Beram Kayal is likely to continue in the centre of midfield.

Anthony Knockaert is serving the last game of a three match ban so Jurgen Locadia may be given another chance to impress, having shown plenty of endeavour but little quality on his first league start against Leicester.

You've got to feel for Elias Kachunga. The Huddersfield winger started his first match since December last week, having spent nearly three months on the sidelines. He promptly picked up an ankle injury and is now expected to miss the rest of the season. The Terriers have a clean bill of health otherwise.


Possible Brighton Starting Lineup: Ryan; Bong, Duffy, Dunk, Schelotto; Propper, Kayal; Izquierdo, Gross, Locadia; Murray


Possible Huddersfield Starting Lineup: Lossl; Malone, Schindler, Jorgensen, Hadergjonaj; Hogg, Mooy; Van La Parra, Pritchard, Ince; Mounie


Prediction

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Huddersfield have more work to do than Brighton and fewer games in which to do it, so this match is more important to them than it is to the Seagulls.

But Chris Hughton will not have that mentality, and he will not allow his players to think that way either. With the vociferous crowd at the Amex behind them, Brighton will fancy themselves to extend their excellent home record, and this could be the win that moves them decisively away from danger.


Prediction: Brighton 2-1 Huddersfield

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