Brighton v Derby: FA Cup fifth round tips and betting preview
Frank Lampard could get one over on Chris Hughton
TV: BT Sport 2, 12.30pm Saturday
Chris Hughton’s best endeavours at going out of the FA Cup have drawn a blank so far, although the Brighton manager could get his wish on Saturday.
Hughton has sent out a pair of reserve sides against Bournemouth and West Brom only for his assembled B-Listers to refuse to accept defeat.
A 3-1 win at Dean Court was followed by another 3-1 extra-time success at The Hawthorns and even though we’ve reached the fifth round stage Hughton’s approach to team selection is unlikely to change. That means another outing for the second string, and finally a cup exit at the hands of Derby.
The Albion gaffer has seen his side get dragged into a relegation fight after one win in 11 league games and that’s where his priorities have to lie.
Frank Lampard, in contrast and to the disapproval of many Derby fans, has erred towards strong teams in the FA Cup while Rams diehards would far rather see their new boss focusing on Championship promotion with the team outside the playoff places on goal difference.
Those supporters were disappointed to see, for example, Tom Huddlestone and Craig Bryson miss out against Ipswich on Tuesday where a complacent, below-par effort was rewarded with a 1-1 draw against the division’s bottom team. Yet both look set to be recalled for this one.
Derby are unbeaten in six and have bagged two top-flight scalps in the cups this season, seeing off Manchester United on penalties in the League Cup and Southampton, also on penalties, after a pair of 2-2 draws in this competition.
They have played six away ties in cups this season and lost just one of those, 3-2 at Chelsea.
The Premier League hosts are, unsurprisingly, the odds-on shots, available at 5-6 with the Rams at 4-1. A lay of Albion looks the shout given Derby’s impressive away form – they’ve lost just seven of 22 road trips in all three competitions.
Derby are a side who play good football, boast match-winners and an in-form striker in Martyn Waghorn, who has scored four in his last six after a slow start to life at Pride Park.
Defensively they look like a team who can easily walk their way into problems – rather like Brighton – although back-to-back clean sheets against Hull and Preston prior to the Ipswich draw will have boosted confidence in Richard Keogh’s rearguard.
This should be a nice, bright game between two managers who won’t compromise on styles, although that doesn’t necessarily mean a goal feast. Ten of Albion’s 28 league goals have come from Glenn Murray and he may not start, while both sides’ league matches average around 2.5 goals per game.
Derby or draw double chance
2pts 21-20 bet365, BoyleSports
Florin Andone is suspended. Solly March is injured, Jose Izquierdo a doubt. Chris Hughton will make wholesale changes.
Andy King is cup-tied. Scott Carson and Mason Mount are injured. Jack Marriott is fit after a month out.
Brighton have scored four goals in their last seven home games.
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