We look ahead to the eagerly anticipated encounter between fifth placed Brighton and mid-table Brentford at the Amex Stadium tonight.
Brighton will be eager for a result having recently ended a run of seven league games without victory and Chris Hughton will be encouraged by the return to form of veteran striker Bobby Zamora.
Zamora appears to be back on the goal trail after netting in his previous two games to take his tally for the season to seven.
After going unbeaten until mid December Brighton’s season appeared to be heading off course but victories over Blackburn and Huddersfield in the few weeks have put the Seagulls back in contention.
Brentford have also recently come off poor form after ending a run of three straight defeats with victory at Preston two weeks ago.
Dean Smith’s side were denied three points last weekend by a late equalizer from Leeds’ Mustapha Carayol so will be desperate to go one better tonight.
It should also be noted that Brentford have scored 23 goals away from home this season, which is more than any other Championship side.
What the manager’s have had to say
Hughton spoke in the week of the importance of making home advantage count tonight.
The Brighton boss told the club’s official website, “It’s about trying to make the most of these home games. We always get wonderful support and it’s always a great atmosphere at the Amex, but there are no easy games.
“This week has allowed us to get some good rest and recovery for those ones that have played a lot. We have not been a team that has always rotated and we’ve had a core of players who have played a lot of games and minutes. I think it will have been a valuable break.”
Meanwhile Smith has spoken of the importance of keeping hold of midfielder Alan Judge after losing James Tarkowski to Burnley on Deadline Day.
Judge has scored an impressive 12 goals this season and the Brentford boss told reporters, “The players respect him an awful lot. He is in a rich vain of form at the moment and was a player that we really wanted to keep.
““Alan was happy here as well. Playing in his favoured position and given the freedom he has, he can fight his way into the Euro squad”
Brighton brought in seven new players during the January transfer window to help their push towards the promised land of the Premier League.
Steve Sidwell and Czech striker Jiri Skalak joined the Seagulls this week and both could be involved in Hughton’s plans for this evening.
Brighton hope to welcome back Kazenga LuaLua but are expected to be without Sam Baldock and Gordon Greer.
In contrast to Brighton, Smith only brought in one new signing during the January transfer window in the form of 19-year-old defender Emmanuel Onariase from West Ham.
The Bees are without Alan McCormack, Scott Hogan and Andreas Bjelland but they could finally hand a debut to midfielder Lewis MacLeod.
MacLeod joined Brentford in January 2015 for an undisclosed fee from Rangers but has been the victim of terrible luck with injuries.