Brighton v Coventry preview: Chris Hughton wary of FA Cup upset
Last Updated: 17/02/18 3:05pm
Brighton can reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for the first time in 32 years if they avoid an upset against League Two side Coventry City on Saturday.
Albion boss Chris Hughton is targeting what he called a good opportunity for the Premier League side to progress to the last eight, and one match away from a trip to Wembley.
But he is wary of an upset after the Sky Blues embarrassed Stoke in the third round of the competition last month, a result which cost Mark Hughes his job.
"The biggest incentive is that it's a cup competition that we want to go through and go as far as we can," said Hughton, who won the cup twice as a player with Tottenham in the 1980s.
"What we are very, very conscious of is that this is the cup and any team that Coventry put out, they'll be fighting very hard to make sure that they are the team that go through.
"But we've been given a good opportunity and it's up to us to take that one."
Coventry have lost their last three games in an otherwise strong season to date - and they had won six from seven before that blip.
They are looking to become the first fourth-tier side in history to defeat two top-flight clubs in the same FA Cup campaign, and last reached the last eight in 2009.
"We want to give a good account of ourselves," manager Mark Robins told the club's website.
"They are the hot favourites in the game but anything can happen in the FA Cup. This game is a distraction, but a good distraction. We have had a great run and played some great games along the way.
"If we didn't go into the game feeling it was winnable then there would be no point going."
Hughton confirmed forward Jurgen Locadia will make his Brighton debut after overcoming a hamstring problem. The club-record signing was a £15m arrival from PSV in January.
Leonardo Ulloa is also in contention to make his first start since returning on loan from Leicester. Midfielders Jiri Skalak and Steve Sidwell (both ankle) remain Albion's only two absentees ahead of the cup clash.
Coventry loanee Jordan Maguire-Drew is unavailable to face his parent club while Kyel Reid is cup-tied from his loan spell at Colchester United.
Captain Michael Doyle and right-back Jack Grimmer, who scored the winner against Stoke in the third round, are both doubts.
Brighton have only won one of their last nine games against Coventry in all competitions (D4 L4), though this is the first such meeting since a Championship defeat in December 2011.
In the FA Cup, Coventry have won two of their three ties against Brighton, beating them in the second round via a replay in 1910-11 and in the third round in 2005-06, losing in the first round in 1953-54.
The last time the Seagulls were a top-flight club (prior to this season), they reached the final of the FA Cup, losing 4-0 in a replay to Man Utd in 1983.
Coventry have already eliminated Premier League opposition this season (Stoke in the third round). No fourth tier or lower side has eliminated two top-flight clubs in the same FA Cup campaign before (since fourth tier was introduced in 1958-59).
Brighton have only lost two of their last 15 FA Cup home games (W8 D5), with both defeats coming at the hands of Arsenal.
Brighton are unbeaten in their last four matches in all competitions (W2 D2), this after losing consecutive games to West Brom and Chelsea in the Premier League.
With Coventry in the shake-up for the play-offs and Brighton still in the relegation mix, neither of these sides really need this game right now.
Brighton are at home and they've got a bit of momentum, which is so important at this time of the year, so I'd like to think they'll look to build on that by going with a strong side.
Charlie predicts: 3-0 and Jose Izquierdo to score first (35/1 with Sky Bet)