Kyle Goldsmith looks ahead to the battle on the South Coast this evening, as two teams near the bottom of the Championship table, Brighton and Wigan, go head to head.
Two sides who are aiming to put an end to poor recent form meet at the AMEX on Tuesday, as Wigan Athletic make the long journey south to face Brighton & Hove Albion. In early May this year, both of these sides were gearing up and preparing for their first play-off games. The teams failed to make it to the promised land of the Premier League and 6 months later, the pair lie in the bottom half of the table in dismal form.
Brighton are without a win in over two months, with their last victory coming in their fourth game of the season against Bolton. Sami Hyypia is coming under pressure on the South Coast, with many fans now wanting the former Liverpool man gone. Boos and chants such as ‘We want Hyypia out’ have been extremely audible in recent games, and this game is surely a must-win scenario for the Seagulls.
Meanwhile at Wigan, the Latics themselves have only picked up 9 points from the available 30 since August, with most of these having been draws. They were involved in a gutsy 3-3 thriller with Fulham on Saturday, but fans were left disappointed after throwing away the game via a Cottagers penalty in the 88th minute. However, the situation does not seem quite as desperate as at Brighton. Most fans seem to still be behind their manager Uwe Rosler.
Brighton; Since arriving on loan from Liverpool, Joao Texeira has impressed on the wing. He has gone from scoring goals to providing beautiful assists for his teammates. Wigan have struggled to replace both James McCarthy and James McArthur since they left the club, so Texeira should get some joy.
Wigan; Callum McManaman impressed in the Premier League for Wigan late on in their time there, and the drop down to the Championship has only gone to prove how class he is. Like Texeira he has provided assists and scored goals, including a mazy run and finish away at Charlton.
The sides last met in February, where Wigan beat Brighton 2-1 at the AMEX. Could there be a repeat?
None of the players who scored the last time these two teams met is likely play on Tuesday. Leonardo Ulloa pulled a late goal back for the Seagulls that day, but left in the summer for Leicester and has had a successful start to life in the Premier League, scoring five goals in his first nine games. Meanwhile, the scorers for the Latics that day were James McArthur and Chris McCann. McArthur moved to Crystal Palace on transfer deadline day whilst McCann is still struggling to recover from an injury he suffered last season.
Another fact is that Ali Al-Habsi moved from Wigan to Brighton on loan on Friday, but can’t play against his parent club.
I expect Brighton to have a go due to their need for points but I expect them to come up short. Wigan seem to have a little extra in most positions, which could ultimately prove the difference.