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Can Brighton Go All The Way In The Carabao Cup?

It’s feeling like the perfect ending before the break for the World Cup for Brighton fans. An excellent 4-1 win over Chelsea has placed the Seagulls sixth in the division before Sunday’s meeting with Aston Villa, and Roberto De Zerbi’s men enjoyed another win over league leaders Arsenal to make it through to the next round of the Carabao Cup.

Which begs the question, given the quality of the Brighton side at present, could De Zerbi’s men collect their first piece of major silverware?

For those that like a gamble, they’re fifth favourites to do so out of the final 16 teams left in the competition, with most bookies pricing them at around 10/1. However, to continue the gambling analogy, they’ve certainly been dealt a decent hand, and if you were playing Casino777 blackjack, you’d certainly be beating the dealer with the draw they’ve been given.

Facing Charlton Athletic in the next round, one of the lowest ranked teams left in the competition, Brighton have a real opportunity to progress into the Quarter Final, and with Manchester City meeting Liverpool, at least one of the main contenders for the trophy will be eliminated.

It’s no surprise to see Manchester City as favourites for the competition. They've won it five times in the last seven competitions, and are priced at 7/4 with the bookmakers, while Liverpool, are now 6/1, just ahead of Brighton given the draw they have received.

Newcastle and Manchester United could then be Brighton’s biggest rivals for a position in the final and winners of the competition. However, De Zerbi’s men have already beaten the latter this season, and picked up a draw against Newcastle, so there will certainly be no fear going into a latter stage game with them.

Manchester United would almost certainly field a weakened team if they were to progress further, with the backlog of fixtures they now face with the additional Europa League fixtures they have to play, as well as a Premier League fixture postponed following the Queen’s death.

On the other hand, Newcastle will be desperate for silverware under the new ownership and certainly provide the biggest threat outside of Manchester City, particularly if they look to further strengthen in January.

The Magpies take on Bournemouth, though, which again is no easy game against Premier League opposition and an upset would further boost Brighton’s hopes of a trip to Wembley and silverware.

It would be just rewards for the club, who have progressed astronomically in recent years. Clubs such as Swansea and Birmingham have proven it possible to go toe-to-toe with the giants of English football in such a competition, and Brighton in European competition next year would be a huge step forward for them.

Of course, getting past League One side Charlton is first up, and Lewis Dunk and co. will certainly need to be wary of that banana skin, and while it’s not a given the quality of the side should come through and on to the Quarter Final, a stage the club has never reached.

From there, it’s anyone’s game. And who’s to say it can’t be the turn of Brighton & Hove Albion?

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