• Championship Preview: Brighton and Hove Albion v Rotherham United; Tuesday 15th September 2015

    Having gone four points clear at the top of the Championship table at the weekend, Albion will hope to keep their form going when they take on a struggling Rotherham at the Amex.

    In an emotional afternoon that saw the club play tribute to Matt Grimstone, Jacob Schilt along with all the victims of the Shoreham Airshow disaster prior to kick off, the Seagulls got off to a flying start against Hull as Tomer Hemed struck his fourth goal of the season, pouncing from close range after Dale Stephens' initial shot was only blocked by Tiger’s goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

    Hemed missed a great chance to extend the lead minutes later, scuffing an effort from inside the box that would surely have gone in. After a dominating first half display from Chris Hughton’s side, the visitors took control of the ball for much of the second half, but failed to produce much that troubled David Stockdale, as Albion held on for their fifth win in six league games.


    Video Preview: Albion v Rotherham

    The result keeps Brighton top of the league after a start that has even had Hughton surprised. After last season the expectations were that we would be hovering around mid-table – and that could still be the case as the season settles in. However the way we have started, coupled with the signings that were brought in over the summer, has given everyone encouragement for the rest of the campaign.


    Hemed's winning strike on Saturday makes him Albion's top goalscorer alongside LuaLua (Image: Paul Hazlewood)

    One thing that both Hughton and his players have made clear though, is that with six games played there’s a lot that can still change over the course of the season, and that right now they are just the “form team”. Therefore no one can go into games underestimating the opponents, no matter where they are in the table.

    That will be key on Tuesday evening, as Albion play host to bottom of the table Millers, who are still looking for their first win of the campaign. One of the surprises coming into the season was that manager Steve Evans stayed at the New York Stadium. The controversial Scotsman was heavily linked with the vacant Peterborough United job, and after keeping the Yorkshire side in the Championship, it was expected by many that he’d leave to join the Posh.

    Not making that move may now be something that the former Crawley boss regrets, with Rotherham being one of the favorites for relegation and already under pressure at the wrong end of the table. They’ve picked up two points from their opening six games, and will be eager to start picking up a win as soon as possible. Evans has said that he isn’t afraid of the sack, however if they fall into a deep rut then he may find himself out of a job sooner rather than later.

    Whilst for the most part he is likely to stick with the starting line-up that has done him well over the past two games, Hughton will be forced into one change after Saturday’s game. Player of the Month for August Kazenga LuaLua picked up his fifth booking of the season against the Tigers, and will serve a one match ban for this game. Having played a crucial part in Albion’s whirlwind start to the new campaign, the 24-year old’s absence will be a blow, but this is where the strength in depth that was built over the summer comes into play.

    Kaz is the first Albion player to pick up a suspension this season (Image: Paul Hazlewood)

    Solly March and Jamie Murphy will be among the likely contenders to come in on the left wing, with Liam Rosenior having put in a great shift over the past two games on the right. Having not featured in the squad on Saturday, the absence of LuaLua means that Elvis Manu could be at least on the bench for the game.

    Unsurprisingly Albion are the overwhelming odds-on bookies favourites to win the game, priced at an average of 3/4 to come away with all three points. An away win for the Millers is priced at the longest odds, in the region of 9/2, with Coral offering 5/1 for Steve Evans side to come out on top. A draw at the Amex is priced in the middle at around 13/5. For a comparison of odds by bookmaker, head to oddschecker.com.

    One of many positives to take from Saturday’s game was the way Albion started the match coming off the back of the two week international period. The worry was that the break could have broken up the rhythm that Albion had built up in the first month of the season.

    In all but one league game so far this season we have taken the initiative in the first half by getting on the scoresheet in the first half – on three occasions scoring within ten minutes of kick off. This is in complete contrast to what we saw last season, and it is a big part of why we have succeeded so far this season.

    We need to continue to start games with that intensity, because the moment we drop it gives the other side an opening to take the game to us. Rotherham will be desperate for a win tomorrow, and with the Championship still as unpredictable as ever, they will fancy their chances to come to the Amex and cause a shock.

    Ultimately though, if the players stick to what has served them well so far this season then the likelihood is Albion will come away with points from this game. Having won three in a row at home is the start of making our ground a place teams don’t like to go to, and a victory by more than one goal – something we’ve yet to do this season - would help build on this.
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Mr Banana's Avatar
      Mr Banana -
      Dale Stephen's
    1. BBassic's Avatar
      BBassic -
      Top preview. Definite banana skin tonight but I think we will prevail.
      @Mr Banana - You're incorrect. Dale Stephen's would make his name Dale Stephen. See:

      Some writers and editors add only an apostrophe to all nouns ending in s. And some add an apostrophe + s to every proper noun, be it Hastings's or Jones's.

      One method, common in newspapers and magazines, is to add an apostrophe + s ('s) to common nouns ending in s, but only a stand-alone apostrophe to proper nouns ending in s.

      Examples:
      the class's hours
      Mr. Jones' golf clubs
      the canvas's size
      Texas' weather

      Care must be taken to place the apostrophe outside the word in question. For instance, if talking about a pen belonging to Mr. Hastings, many people would wrongly write Mr. Hasting's pen (his name is not Mr. Hasting).

      Correct: Mr. Hastings' pen

      Another widely used technique is to write the word as we would speak it. For example, since most people saying, "Mr. Hastings' pen" would not pronounce an added s, we would write Mr. Hastings' pen with no added s. But most people would pronounce an added s in "Jones's," so we'd write it as we say it: Mr. Jones's golf clubs. This method explains the punctuation of for goodness' sake.
    1. Mr Banana's Avatar
      Mr Banana -
      Quote Originally Posted by BBassic View Post
      Top preview. Definite banana skin tonight but I think we will prevail.
      @Mr Banana - You're incorrect. Dale Stephen's would make his name Dale Stephen. See:

      Some writers and editors add only an apostrophe to all nouns ending in s. And some add an apostrophe + s to every proper noun, be it Hastings's or Jones's.

      One method, common in newspapers and magazines, is to add an apostrophe + s ('s) to common nouns ending in s, but only a stand-alone apostrophe to proper nouns ending in s.

      Examples:
      the class's hours
      Mr. Jones' golf clubs
      the canvas's size
      Texas' weather

      Care must be taken to place the apostrophe outside the word in question. For instance, if talking about a pen belonging to Mr. Hastings, many people would wrongly write Mr. Hasting's pen (his name is not Mr. Hasting).

      Correct: Mr. Hastings' pen

      Another widely used technique is to write the word as we would speak it. For example, since most people saying, "Mr. Hastings' pen" would not pronounce an added s, we would write Mr. Hastings' pen with no added s. But most people would pronounce an added s in "Jones's," so we'd write it as we say it: Mr. Jones's golf clubs. This method explains the punctuation of for goodness' sake.
      Thanks for all this, but I was just pointing out the original mistake rather than offering a correction. I see it's now been amended, but Tiger's, a few words later, still hasn't been.
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