Brighton v Stoke preview: Jack Butland ruled out for Stoke
Last Updated: 20/11/17 7:53pm
Brighton will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League to five matches when they host Stoke City on Monday Night Football.
Chris Hughton's side were tipped to struggle ahead of their maiden Premier League campaign but after picking up eight points in their previous four games, they are sitting pretty in eighth place.
Glenn Murray has been a central figure in Brighton's recent good run of form, scoring four goals in his last three games including the winner in their 1-0 victory over Swansea last time out.
League leaders Manchester City are the only side to inflict defeat on Brighton at the Amex Stadium but Stoke will be hopeful of becoming the second team to do so following their 1-0 win over Watford in their last away match.
Stoke have stabilised following their 7-2 thrashing at the hands of City in October, collecting four points in their last two games with Xherdan Shaqiri scoring once and registering two assists in those fixtures.
Hughton has virtually a full complement of players to select his squad from with former Stoke midfielder Steve Sidwell (back) the only definite absentee.
Israel midfielder Beram Kayal could be in contention to play after missing the entire season to date with a broken leg.
Stoke have been dealt a blow after Jack Butland suffered a broken finger while training with England last week, although Hughes is hopeful that the injury won't keep him out long-term.
He told Sky Sports News: "Knowing Jack as we do, he is very focused. It will be weeks rather than months. He copes better than most."
Hughes also ruled Geoff Cameron out of the game with the American still suffering from concussion, while Stephen Ireland remains sidelined with a broken leg.
- This will be the first competitive meeting between these two sides since February 2011 when Stoke won 3-0 in an FA Cup fifth-round tie.
- Stoke have won their last eight matches against Brighton in all competitions, keeping five clean sheets in the process. Indeed, only against Wrexham (9) have the Potters enjoyed a longer winning run versus a single team.
- Brighton have gone four games without defeat (W2 D2) in the Premier League - they last went five in a row without losing in the top flight back in April 1983.
- Stoke won last time out on the road in the Premier League, beating Watford 1-0 - they haven't enjoyed back-to-back away victories since October 2015.
- Xherdan Shaqiri, who has provided four assists in the Premier League this season, has earned his team more points via his assists than any other player in the competition (6).
- Darren Fletcher has now appeared in 102 consecutive Premier League matches for his clubs (WBA & Stoke combined). This is the joint-fifth longest run by an outfield player in Premier League history, with only Frank Lampard (164), Matt Holland (115), Wayne Bridge (113), and Jonathan Walters (104) beating this run.
Paul Merson's prediction
I think Brighton win this game, they are doing alright and I like Chris Hughton. I like Brighton, they are a good club and I do not know why Hughton never gets mentioned for any of these jobs.
Look at the Everton job, a big job - why would you not look at Hughton? I cannot think of anything he has done wrong in his managerial career. When he left Newcastle, he was bang unlucky and now he is doing a good job at Brighton and he always gets his teams punching above their weight.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (Sky Bet odds 17/2)