Brilliant Baldock can rock the Royals
Sky Bet Championship
Sky Sports 1, 5.30pm Saturday
Sky Bet Championship title-chasers Brighton have a squad packed full of goalscorers, including Sam Baldock who can become their fourth player to reach double figures for the league campaign by netting in key clash at home to promotion rivals Reading.
Baldock has not always been first-choice this season but he has started the last three games and rewarded manager Chris Hughton with three goals.
He produced his best performance of the season last weekend – bagging both goals (the first of them a stunning dipping volley) in a 2-0 success at Barnsley.
Baldock's performances have eclipsed those of his strike partner Glenn Murray, who has netted just once in his last nine appearances.
Reading will also have to keep an eye on dazzling Brighton winger Anthony Knockaert, who has scored ten goals this season and provided a superb assist for Baldock's second goal at Barnsley.
Brighton's overall performance against the Tykes was nothing special but they were characteristically solid at the back and clinical in attack.
Hughton's men are unlikely to control the midfield against Reading, who are renowned as one of the best passing sides in the division.
Jaap Stam has got the Royals playing some silky stuff and delivered some strong results for the Berkshire side who are fourth in the table, eight points behind Brighton.
But Tuesday's 1-0 loss at Huddersfield was a major blow to Reading's hopes of automatic promotion and their main focus for the remaining 13 games will be to cement a playoff position.
They have an eight-point cushion to seventh-placed Fulham but there is no room for complacency with their next six games featuring matches against four of the top six.
Reading have struggled on their travels against the better teams – losing four from four on their trips to the top seven – and that may explain why Brighton are odds-on favourites.
S Baldock first scorer
1pt 6-1 bet365
Brighton have no fresh injury concerns but defenders Gaeten Bong (knee) and Liam Rosenior (ankle) miss out.
Joey van den Berg missed the midweek 1-0 loss at Huddersfield with a hamstring strain and is a doubt. Stephen Quinn (knee), Deniss Rakels (ankle) and Callum Harriott (hamstring) are out.
Brighton are unbeaten in their last 13 home games