Brighton vs Cardiff preview: Chris Hughton expects response in crunch relegation clash
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Last Updated: 16/04/19 8:16pm
Chris Hughton believes Brighton's players will be keen to "prove a point" against fellow strugglers Cardiff after making them watch footage of the humiliating 5-0 home loss to Bournemouth.
Albion's squad was called in for a team meeting on Sunday following the embarrassment of the club's biggest Premier League defeat.
If Brighton win, Cardiff will be relegated on Sunday if they fail to beat Liverpool, and Southampton and Brighton both win on Saturday at Newcastle and Wolves respectively.
Saturday's thrashing has increased the Seagulls' relegation fears going into Tuesday evening's visit of Neil Warnock's 18th-placed Bluebirds.
A second-half collapse against the Cherries which saw them concede four times - compounded by a needless red card for Anthony Knockaert - inflicted a third successive league loss without scoring.
Hughton, 60, accepts the setback has put increased pressure on the Cardiff game.
"The fact we didn't get the result we wanted on Saturday it becomes an even bigger game," said Hughton, who guided the club to safety with two games to spare last season.
"This is not unfamiliar territory, we are a battling club, we are a club that's new to this division that are fighting with the qualities and rigours of this division.
"The good thing about our game is you always get an opportunity - and on this occasion it's a very quick opportunity - to turn things around."
Cardiff have lost six of their last seven Premier League games, and five of their last six away from home. Indeed, each of the Bluebirds' last three Premier League away games have ended in a 2-0 defeat.
But with the chance to suck Brighton to within two points of the drop zone with victory at the Amex Stadium, Neil Warnock does not expect his team to be short of motivation.
"I think it's down to us," he said. "They know how important it is and so do we.
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"The crowd will be up for it. I imagine we'll be taking our full allocation and it will be a good atmosphere.We have to look at them and Burnley. No disrespect to them but we're just as big as they are."
Having been denied a penalty during the 2-0 reverse at Turf Moor, Warnock added: "We have to make our own luck really.
"We have for the last 18 months. I'm not expecting any luck. We've got to try and make our own."
Brighton will be without suspended winger Anthony Knockaert.
The Frenchman begins a three-match ban following his red card in Saturday's 5-0 loss to Bournemouth, with Solly March in contention to replace him.
But Hughton has no injury concerns and could include attacking midfielder Pascal Gross in his squad for the first time since the German suffered a hamstring injury on February 26.
Oumar Niasse could return to the Cardiff starting line-up for their crunch Premier League relegation battle at Brighton on Tuesday.
Senegal striker Niasse, who is yet to score since joining on loan from Everton in January, dropped to the bench for the 2-0 defeat at Burnley on Saturday with Kenneth Zohore preferred in attack.
But Niasse and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing are under consideration for starting spots should manager Warnock decide to freshen up his attack.
- Brighton have only lost one of their last nine home league games against Cardiff (W3 D5), and are unbeaten in five (W1 D4) since a 1-2 defeat in the Championship in October 2005.
- Cardiff haven't done a league double over Brighton since the 1998-99 fourth tier campaign; they won 2-1 in the reverse meeting in November.
- Brighton are unbeaten at home to newly promoted clubs in the Premier League (P4 W2 D2 L0), and have only lost two of their 15 previous top-flight matches overall against such opposition on home soil (W7 D6 L2).
- Brighton have lost consecutive home Premier League games for the very first time. They last lost three in a row at home in league competition in January 2016.
- Only already relegated Fulham (6) and Huddersfield (4) have won fewer Premier League points in 2019 than Brighton (8).
- 50% of Cardiff's away wins in the Premier League have come on the south coast (2/4), beating Southampton in both 2013-14 and this campaign.
- This will be the seventh managerial league meeting between Brighton's Chris Hughton and Cardiff's Neil Warnock; Hughton has seen his sides keep a clean sheet in five of the previous six (W4 D1 L1), but lost this season's reverse fixture 2-1 in November.
- Brighton striker Glenn Murray has failed to score in seven of his eight league matches against Cardiff City. However, the one game he did find the net was his last such appearance at home against the Bluebirds, scoring a hat-trick for Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the Championship in September 2012.
- Brighton's Glenn Murray has failed to score in his last nine Premier League home games. Despite this, he's still scored five more league goals at the Amex Stadium this season than any other Brighton player (7).
It is a must-win scenario for Neil Warnock's side. Because Brighton got battered at the weekend, they will have been working hard on organisation and being strong. Cardiff are more a set-piece team, more so than they would want, but they have to get Victor Camarasa and Josh Murphy on the ball.
They don't see enough of the ball and neither do Cardiff as a whole. Brighton will be a really strong unit and Cardiff will try to get up the pitch and squeeze the game. We are going to get a dogged performance from both teams, but I see Glenn Murray being the man in this one. He will not panic and will be the old head on Tuesday. He has the footballing knowledge which should see Brighton over the line. This will be the end of the road for Cardiff.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-0 (5/1 with Sky Bet)