• Albion Making the Most of a Favourable Run of Fixtures

    The second consecutive Premier League season for Brighton & Hove Albion was always likely to be a stern test, particularly with such a difficult run of fixtures to commence the campaign. However, despite the expected difficulties, the team managed by Chris Hughton appears to be showing a familiar resolve once again.

    Against the Premier League teams competing in the Champions League this season, Brighton started with an excellent victory against Manchester United, heaping even more pressure on much-maligned Jose Mourinho in August. That was followed by the narrow 1-0 defeat away at Anfield against Liverpool, in a game Albion were close to taking something from.

    The game against the Reds sparked a run of five Premier League games without a win, but also a run that saw the Seagulls face three of last seasonís top four sides during those five challenging encounters. It was always likely to be one of the most difficult periods of the 2018-19 fixture list.

    Consecutive come-from-behind 2-2 draws against Fulham and Southampton put some more points on the board, but the 2-1 loss at home to Spurs was a frustrating affair, with a stoppage-time goal by Anthony Knockaert offering scant consolation. Some pundits started to label Albion as one of their candidates for relegation this season.

    It was no great surprise that this disappointing league run was extended to five games without victory when Albion were comfortably beaten at Manchester City, who are one of the favourites for European glory this season according to the latest Champions League betting tips, along with remaining the outright favourites to retain their Premier League crown.

    A corner was finally turned by Albion, however, with a vital 1-0 home win against West Ham. The visitors dominated the game statistically, boasting more shots on goal and much more possession. A welcome first away win of the season followed after the international break, at Newcastle United, who also dominated in many key areas of play.

    Ending the month of October with a third consecutive 1-0 victory, while also having fewer shots on goal and less of the ball against Wolves, once again, Chris Hughtonís side have shown a knack for holding firm and snatching points, making the most of fewer opportunities to score and defending with their lives at the back.

    November began with a defeat at an improving Everton, but looking ahead to upcoming games thereís no doubt that Hughton would be delighted to return to snatching narrow wins, especially if they also come with clean sheets. Whatís more, through November and into the traditionally packed schedule of games in December, Albion face many opponents against whom they should be more than capable of taking points.

    Few pundits expect Brighton to be amongst the teams qualifying for Europe, but thanks to October's positive run of results, the team is as close to a Europa League spot in the Premier League as they are to the relegation zone at the foot of the table. Albion fans will be happy to see the team stay within this mid-table comfort zone, although some may even dare to dream of the Seagulls aiming for even loftier heights.
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