It’s a Premier League v Championship encounter here but Brighton’s poor form may add different dimensions to the tie, as Derby have shown they have no qualms playing against Premier League opposition in cups this season.
Brighton v Derby County
Saturday 16th February, 12:30
AMEX Community Stadium
Going by the form of the home side, this will not be an easy game for Brighton. In the last six league matches, the Seagulls have drew twice and lost four games. In all competitions, their last win in 90 mins, came in the FA Cup match against Bournemouth in January. Playing at home will give Brighton a boost as they have shown this season they perform far better in front of their own fans. In thirteen home matches, Brighton have won five and drew four in the league this season, away from home Brighton have only won twice and lost nine times in thirteen matches.
Brighton, who knocked out West Brom in the last round, have been able to develop some impressive scoring form, as the Seasiders have scored on average two goals per game in the FA Cup (2.00) as they have accumulated six goals in three matches. However, in the league this season Brighton have only managed just a goal per game (1.08) and conceded on average 1.50 goals in home and away games this season.
In order for Brighton to get a foothold on this match, they will need their experienced striker, Glen Murray, to be in the scoring form he was in against West Brom. Murray scored a brace to seal his side’s place in this round of the FA Cup. Murray also got on the scoresheet twice against Fulham in late January. Despite the striker picking up ten goals in the league this season, Murray’s goals have been inconsistent as before the Fulham match, he last scored in early December of last year.
Derby County have been on an unbeaten run in all competitions of six matches. However if you look closer at the results during the run, Derby have drew three and won three. One of those draws, Derby would go on to win the match on penalties. Derby fare worse when playing away from Pride Park. At home this season they have only lost twice and won eight in fifteen league matches. However away from home, Derby have lost six and won six in sixteen away matches in the league.
A reason for the dramatic drop in form when playing away is the fact that Derby struggle to keep goals out as when they play at home they concede on average 1.00 goals per game, but away from home that rises to 1.31. The Rams have only picked up two clean sheets in sixteen matches in the league. This league form has seeped into their cup runs this season as they have conceded seven goals in six matches in the EFL Cup and FA Cup.
In terms of scoring goals, Derby have scored fifteen goals home and away in both of their Domestic cup runs in the EFL Cup and FA Cup. Scoring goals hasn’t been an issue for Frank Lampard’s Derby side of late. The away side have scored nine in six matches, which gives them an average of scoring at least 1.50 goals per game. The main producer of goals for Derby this season has been the midfielder Harry Wilson. The Welshman has been prolific from dead ball situations, four of his twelve goals for the Rams this season have came from direct free kicks. Including a screamer against Man Utd in the EFL Cup. Wilson’s goals have been important as well as abundant this season as the midfielder has scored the winner three times this season.
Brighton have a fully fit squad to choose from for their match on Saturday with Derby. However they’re running on thin ice in terms of the amount of players who could be suspended for Brighton’s match against Leicester. Shane Duffy, Dale Stephens and Beram Kayal have accumulated four yellow cards each, if any of them pick up a fifth against Derby then they will be suspended for their next match.
Derby on the other hand have potentially multiple absentees for their match with Brighton. Carson, Davies, Forsyth, Marriott, Mount and Olsson all missed County’s last match against Ipswich Town. As well as this, like Brighton, Derby could have players suspended for their match against Millwall as Duane Holmes and Richard Keogh are both on four yellow cards and run the risk of picking up a fifth and a one match suspension.
Despite their Premier League status and their slight improvements when playing at home, I can’t see Brighton winning here. Brighton’s recent run of games has dragged them into the relegation mire as they sit in 14th in the Premier League and only three points off the relegation places. I feel Brighton’s focus will be on league survival with Hughton potentially resting players. Brighton go into this match as 8/11 favourites whereas Derby are priced at 7/2 to win. To install a degree of safety around a bet where Derby are to win, it would be worth going with a Derby to win or draw bet which gets prices of 10/11. The draw no bet market also gives you insurance incase there is a draw, bookies offer 23/10 for a Derby win with this type of bet.
Another avenue to explore would be the both teams to score market. 65% of Derby’s matches have ended this way, whilst 58% of Brighton’s matches have had both teams score by the end of the match. For both teams to score is priced at 17/20. It would be worthwhile to add a Derby win to the bet as it would give you odds of around 15/2.
So that you don’t have to rely on goals coming from both teams, would be a worthwhile market to consider. Four out of six games have ended with over 1.5 goals being scored with Brighton winning none of these matches. You can get odds of 2/7 for over 1.5 goals to be scored in the match. If you add a Derby win to this bet, bookies will give you odds of 5/1.
Derby Draw No Bet (23/10)
Over 1.5 Goals (2/7)