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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Wolves could rock Brighton's title hopes

Albion not certain to maintain top spot

Wolves forward Andreas Weimann
1 of 1

Sky Bet Championship
Sky Sports 1 & Mix, 5pm Friday

It's going to take a massive collapse from Brighton not to get promoted this season but the Sky Bet Championship leaders could still lose top spot to title rivals Newcastle.

Both sides are live on Sky Sports on a bumper day of football with Brighton first up at Wolves before Newcastle host Leeds as the Magpies aim to eradicate the two-point gap at the top.

Albion have the more difficult task at Molineux with Wolves more than capable of raising their game.

Wanderers are 15th in the Championship but they are a very capable outfit. They have won at Newcastle, Fulham and Liverpool this season, while Wolves also held Sheffield Wednesday to a goalless stalemate at Hillsborough.

Consistency in results has been the problem and last week's 3-1 loss at Bristol City was a major dip in form as they had won five on the spin before the Ashton Gate defeat.

Boss Paul Lambert was calm in the aftermath of that reverse and City's three goals came from only four shots on target.

In addition, star man Helder Costa was sidelined and Ivan Cavaleiro was a substitute brought on when the game was dead at 3-0, while Lambert handed a first start to 17-year-old Morgan Gibbs-White.

Costa and Cavaleiro should be in tandem once again and Wolves have won five of the last seven when those two have started.

With Andreas Weimann up front Wolves pack a punch in the attacking third which should at least make life awkward for Albion.

Brighton survived a battle at QPR last time out with a 2-1 win that came courtesy of left-back Sebastien Pocognoli's spectacular free kick, although there were some worrying signs for Chris Hughton.

Albion scored with two of their three shots on target, while Rangers had more possession, shots and shots on target.

That was one of only three wins in their last nine away matches and one of those triumphs was at relegated Rotherham.

The 2-0 success at Rotherham saw Brighton keep their second clean sheet in their last 12 away trips and the continued absence of centre-back Shane Duffy is not ideal.

Albion have many attacking threats with Glenn Murray and Anthony Knockaert the obvious potential match-winners in the visiting ranks as they look to maintain their advantage at the top.

However, the priority is to make sure of Premier League football and a point at Molineux will make that one step closer to reality so there is no great need for Brighton to push for a win.

Wolves +0.25 on Asian handicap
1pt 9-11 188Bet

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Team news
Goalkeeper Carl Ikeme is unlikely to figure but Helder Costa should return.

Lewis Dunk has recovered from illness but Sam Baldock remains sidelined. Shane Duffy and Connor Goldson are injured.

Key stat
Ten of the last 11 meetings between Wolves and Brighton have finished with under 2.5 goals.

With Andreas Weimann up front Wolves pack a punch in the attacking third which should at least make life awkward for Albion
E.W. Terms
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