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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Back Brighton to bounce back from Toon setback

Brighton's Sam Baldock celebrates scoring the opener against Wolves
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Nottingham Forest v Brighton
A key attribute of all good teams is the ability to bounce back quickly from a setback and Brighton can show their powers of recovery by defeating Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.

Brighton had a tough experience on Tuesday - they were leading Sky Bet Championship title rivals Newcastle 1-0 after 80 minutes but lost 2-1.

It means the Seagulls go into this weekend two points behind the Magpies and only six ahead of third-placed Huddersfield, who have played one game fewer.

If Brighton are going to get nervous, now might be the time.

But their manager, the experienced and level-headed Chris Hughton, is the perfect man to get the players refocused and he can lead them to victory over injury-hit Forest, who are at risk of getting sucked into the relegation scrap.

The gap between Forest and the drop zone was cut to four points when Blackburn won 1-0 at home to Derby on Tuesday.

But Forest have the best home record of the bottom nine teams and will take comfort from knowing that seven of their remaining 12 games are at the City Ground.

However, Forest are going through a poor run - taking one point from the last 12 - and continue to be short of central defenders with Matt Mills, Michael Mancienne and Jack Hobbs on the injured list.

They have the second-worst defensive record in the division and their makeshift rearguard could leave them far too exposed against one of the best teams in the division.

Recommendation
Brighton
2pts Evs Betfair, Betway

Bet on this match at soccerbase.com

Swindon v Chesterfield
Back-to-back wins have given Swindon renewed belief in their Sky Bet League One survival scrap and another victory looks likely when they take on fellow strugglers Chesterfield at the County Ground.

Swindon are renowned for playing good football but are near the bottom because they have often lacked a steely edge and a credible attacking threat.

That has all changed thanks to the introduction of three players - loan signings Rohan Ince and Nicky Ajose and fit-again striker Jonathan Obika.

The strike partnership of Ajose and Obika clicked last weekend with both on target in a vital 3-1 win at basement boys Coventry.

Obika followed up with another goal as Swindon came from behind to win 3-1 at home to Gillingham on Tuesday but arguably the outstanding player in both games was Ince, who has given the midfield a physical presence which has been lacking all season.

Ince was once a regular starter for Brighton in the Championship before his career went off the rails but he looks a class above League One and has a crucial role to play in steering Swindon to safety.

While Swindon's survival hopes are improving, Chesterield look almost down and out after seven games without a win.

They lost 4-0 at home to Oxford last weekend and could be on the wrong end of another hammering.

Recommendation
Swindon
2pts 17-20 Betfair

Bet on this match at soccerbase.com

 

Bolton v AFC Wimbledon
Many of the promotion-chasing teams in League One have lost their way including fourth-placed Bolton, who cannot be trusted to defeat mid-table AFC Wimbledon at the Macron Stadium.

Bolton have not won any of their last three games and were fortunate to secure a 1-1 draw at home to Bristol Rovers on Tuesday after being on the back foot for most of the game.

They were especially poor in the second half after key midfielder Jay Spearing had gone off with a knee injury. They are unlikely to play much better against the Wombles, who are back into the top half after back-to-back victories.

Wimbledon deservedly won 2-1 at high-flying Scunthorpe on Tuesday and should be backed to take at least a point from another of the promotion-chasers.

Recommendation
Draw or AFC Wimbledon double chance
2pts 17-20 Betway

Bet on this match at soccerbase.com

Newport v Leyton Orient
A massive Sky Bet League Two survival scrap is taking place in Wales today and hosts Newport look the likely winners.

Second-bottom Leyton Orient will have to target the win but look in no state to get it due to the key absences of suspended captain Liam Kelly and suspended striker Gavin Massey.

Orient's players are working hard for their rookie manager Danny Webb but are lacking quality and they took another body blow in Tuesday's 4-1 loss at Stevenage.

Newport are three points worse off but have been competitive in their last nine games, winning one, drawing six and losing two, and this is a game they should expect to win.

Recommendation
Newport
2pts 23-20 general

Bet on this match at soccerbase.com

Forest are going through a poor run - taking one point from the last 12 - and continue to be short of central defenders
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