• This Could Be A Good Cup Year For Brighton

    Staying in the Premier League will be the priority for Brighton this season, there’s no doubt about that. But what every fan will be hoping for is a solid League Cup and FA Cup run. With the League Cup draw for rounds two and three being quite favourable for the Seagulls, there’s always a chance of avoiding the big guns until the last four. Then, as we’ve seen in past years, anything can happen at that stage. Let’s run through both competitions, starting with the most exciting cup competition in the world, the ever-popular FA Cup.

    FA Cup Glory?
    Brighton suffered a 1-0 home defeat against Sheffield Wednesday in the third round of this competition last season. But the previous year saw them make the semi-finals. They lost narrowly at Wembley against Manchester City after avoiding all of the Premier League’s so-called big six before then. They made the quarter-final in the 2017-18 season too, so they’ve come very close in recent seasons.

    There’s no reason why they can’t go far this year. Brighton are priced at 66/1 and 50/1 with some of the latest betting sites such as EnergyBet and Karamba Sport. They’re appealing prices for a side who took a stronger outfit compared to last season.

    With no replays in this year’s competition, Brighton will be hoping for home draws along the way to give them a slight edge. If the draw is kind to them, Graham Potter’s side has more than enough to mount a serious FA Cup challenge.

    Here’s their FA Cup record over the last 10 years:
    2010-11 – Round Five
    2011-12 - Round Five
    2012-13 - Round Four
    2013-14 - Round Five
    2014-15 - Round Four
    2015-16 - Round Three
    2016-17 - Round Four
    2017-18 – Quarter-Final
    2018-19 – Semi-Final
    2019-20 – Round Three
    2020-21 – Winners?

    League Cup Luck?
    Games in this competition come thick and fast at the start of the 2020/21 season. At the time of writing, Brighton needs to get past League One side, and south coast rivals Portsmouth with a tie at Championship side Derby or Preston awaiting them in round three. It’s worth noting that both of those Championship clubs lost at home on the opening day of the season, so the Seagulls have nothing to fear going to Pride Park or the Deepdale.

    Some fans believe a top ten Premier League finish is realistic, and their focus will primarily be on staying up and improving on last season’s finish. However, the League Cup is always an excellent opportunity for silverware. OK, so Manchester City has dominated this competition since 2014, but the likes of Sunderland, Southampton, and Aston Villa have all made the Final in recent years. Why can’t Brighton do the same?

    Looking at the club’s previous history in the League Cup, however, it doesn’t make for great reading. They’ve not got as far as the quarter-finals since the 70s! That’s got to improve at some point, right? Granted, the Carabao Cup isn’t a competition that Premier League clubs seem to take too seriously these days, but that might work in Brighton’s favour. They don’t have the squad depth to play two completely different sides in the cup and the league, so fielding a stronger side in this competition could be beneficial.

    The early favourable draw certainly helps, and their current price of around 50/1 could be worth taking a chance on.

    Premier League Always Comes First
    It comes as no surprise that a lot of Premier League clubs will be prioritising safety over cup glory, but Brighton’s squad looks like it’s in a great place at the moment. Ben White is back at the club after being a star player with Leeds in the Championship. It looked like Leeds were desperate to sign him permanently as they knew how talented he was, but White signed a new contract and committed his future to the Seagulls. Much to the delight of the fans. Adam Lallana’s move from Liverpool will also give them extra creativity in midfield.

    They should be fine in terms of staying up this season, but it might take a few league wins to convince Graham Potter that they can put everything into the cup competitions this season. It remains to be seen just how well they do in the FA Cup and the League Cup, but with fixtures coming thick and fast this season for the bigger clubs with the addition of European football and a tighter schedule, this could be the year another club tastes glory. Will it be Brighton?

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