In one of the duller ties in the last set of fixtures, these sides drew 0-0. Brighton could have cruised through if it wasn’t for an inspired performance from Jonathon Bond in between the sticks. Will the replay follow suit?
Brighton dominated the previous fixture, and spent the majority of the game camped in West Brom’s final third. Brighton had 24 shots on goal, granted a number were from long range, but nonetheless they’ll be frustrated that this tie has had to go to a replay.
A replay that could take a very different feel, Brighton struggle on the road, it has been their home form that has kept them out of trouble so far this season. West Brom have been solid at home this campaign and they are the Championship’s highest home goal scorers, notching an impressive 35 times in 15 games at The Hawthorns. The hosts are unbeaten on their own turf since the end of October, and have recorded some excellent home results, most notably the 4-1 triumph over league leaders: Leeds. The hosts are available at 2.88 to win in 90 minutes, or 2.0 to qualify.
By contrast, Brighton have just two wins on their travels in the league this season and have amassed a total of just eight points. Their goal statistics are also a cause for concern, 24 goals conceded in 13 away league matches doesn’t bode well to facing the Championships leading home goal scorers. The visitors will need to be particularly fearful of Jay Rodriguez and Dwight Gayle, who between them have scored 30 domestic goals this season, 20 of those have come at The Hawthorns. You can back either of the baggies dynamic duo at the same price, 6.5 first/last and at 2.8 anytime.
At times in the reverse leg, Brighton looked a step ahead of their opponents, they were quicker, sharper and more concise with the ball. West Brom were sloppy, and lucky not to be punished for giving the ball away in deep positions on numerous occasions.
This may be tough given the run of games Brighton have coming up. Their focus will be on these fixtures against teams in close proximity to themselves in the league table, and Chris Hughton has already mentioned that he will be ‘mixing the team up’ ahead of the visit of Burnley on Saturday.
Yves Bissouma was influential in the home tie and looked a cut above the players around him, West Brom will be hoping he could be rested for the big run of games that The Seagulls have coming up. After the clash with Darren Moore’s side, they face Burnley (H), Leicester (A), Huddersfield (H), Palace (A) and Cardiff (H). That leaves this FA Cup replay looking rather inconvenient, however Brighton’s boss has also spoke of the trophy being there for the taking; given the number of high profile exits from the competition.
West Brom set up to defend in the away leg, with the hope of nicking a goal on the counter. They sat with two banks of four for long periods of the game, with Wes Hoolahan being the only link between defence and attack. Leaving Leko and Robson-Kanu to stretch the game when the opportunities arose. This fixture will likely see a lot more of West Brom on the front foot, especially with their talismanic forwards predicted to lead the line. West Brom’s game this season have featured an average of 3.34 goals, Brighton’s have involved an average of 2.52 which leaves the 0-0 looking like a bit of an anomaly. Both teams to score is priced at 1.75, with over 2.5 goals available at 2.0.
Jay Rodriguez to score at any time @ 2.8
Over 2.5 goals @ 2.0
West Brom to qualify @ 2.0