• Results go for Albion ahead of Stoke visit

    After a day where results largely went for Albion, Monday night’s visit of Stoke City represents a great opportunity for Chris Hughton’s side to cement a top half place as the Premier League season approaches the third-way mark.

    Bournemouth were the only bottom half side to pick up three points on Saturday. Albion started the day in 8th place, a position they retained as the sides immediately below them failed to win.

    With it looking increasingly likely that Sean Dyche won’t be departing for Goodison Park, Burnley continued their fine run of form, dispatching struggling Swansea 2-0 at Turf Moor. It was the third consecutive win for the Clarets, each coming with a clean sheet.

    Burnley sit immediately above the Albion in the Premier League in 7th place. Sitting level with Arsenal and Liverpool, they enjoy a seven point cushion over Albion which gives the Premier League table a distinctlytwo-tier look to it.

    With the final early season international break having come and gone, the Premier League now picks up the pace. Stoke’s visit to the Amex is the first of eleven fixtures squeezed into 42 days. Concluding with Bournemouth’s New Years Day visit to the Amex, Albion are going to experience what life in Premier League is all about.

    Visits to Old Trafford, Spurs’ temporary residence at Wembley and Stamford Bridge are going to test Albion’s defence like never before, whilst home fixtures against the likes of Stoke, whipping boys Crystal Palace, Watford and Bournemouth will be earmarked as the type of games Albion need to win if they are to survive their debut Premier League campaign.

    Stoke arrive at the Amex in 15th spot, three points above the bottom three, having had an indifferent start to the season. Mark Hughes’ men have shown signs of improvement over recent weeks, recording a 1-0 victory over Watford at Vicarage Road before twice coming from behind in a 2-2 draw against Leicester at the bet365.

    Veteran striker Peter Crouch is proving to be a bit of a super sub for the Potters. Crouch has come off the bench to score vital late goals which account for five of Stoke’s twelve points. Without his goals, Stoke would be sitting in the bottom three.

    Stoke’s recent win at Watford is their only win away from home this season which will give Albion fans hopes of Albion extending their impressive four match unbeaten run, with a maximum three points surely the target.

    A quick glance at Brighton v Stoke betting odds shows Albion as firm 11/8 favourites with the bookies, and with the Amex becoming a fortress once again, that feels about right.

    An Albion win, for what is expected to be an unchanged starting line-up, would leave a nice cushion over the bottom three ahead of next week's intimidating visit to Old Trafford.