Brighton may take time to find a route past the Robins
Sky Bet Championship
Sky Sports 1, 5.30pm Saturday
There's a real likelihood Bristol City’s Championship status will be secured by kick-off time, a scenario that could influence how manager Lee Johnson approaches team selection, how his team approaches the match and how punters decide what to do.
Defeat for Birmingham or Blackburn – indeed even a draw for Rovers – will ensure City’s safety and make for a party atmosphere on all sides of the ground at the Amex.
Even if Birmingham and Blackburn do win their earlier assignments, Bristol City would still need to take quite a hammering from Brighton for them to go into their last game of the season (at home to Birmingham) feeling apprehensive, but Johnson would clearly want to take measures to stop that from happening if possible.
Their problem is awful away numbers – three road wins all season – and an iffy defensive record. They’ve conceded goals in all bar two on the road and were hit for five at Preston three weeks ago.
So it's no surprise that Brighton are 4-6 though they’ll probably have to play better than they did at Norwich last Friday, the game after they’d clinched promotion. They lost 2-0 in a tame affair but presumably will want to lay on more of a performance in their last home game of the campaign.
The reason they’ll have to play better is that Bristol City are finishing the season with a bang having taken ten points out of a possible 12 and they boast the Championship’s second most prolific marksman in Tammy Abraham.
Brighton, meanwhile, have won four in a row at home, lost only twice there all season, and haven’t failed to find the net at the Amex since September.
City need to get service to Abraham and that’s going to be hard without having much of the ball. Brighton should sign off their home schedule with a win but the visitors are definitely playing well enough to avoid a North End-style battering.
Brighton to win by one goal
1pt 11-4 bet365, SkyBet
Striker Sam Baldock is back in training. Centre-back Shane Duffy is out.
Striker Milan Djuric has recovered from a hernia op. Gary O’Neil and Aaron Wilbraham have recovered from knocks.
Brighton have scored in each of their last 19 home league games.