MATCH PREVIEW | CARDIFF CITY vs BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION
Cardiff City welcome Brighton and Hove Albion to the Welsh capital on Saturday, with Neil Warnock's men on the hunt for consecutive home wins.
Brighton and Hove Albion arrive in South Wales occupying second place in the Championship table. Chris Hughton’s men owe their lofty position to an excellent run of form that has seen them undefeated in their last twelve league games.
The Seagulls enjoyed a profitable November, picking up seven points from three games. They began the month with a hard fought 2-0 victory away to Bristol City, with Steve Sidwell and Jamie Murphy getting the goals. In their next game they drew 1-1 with Aston Villa at The Amex. Brighton went behind to a Nathan Baker goal but Glenn Murray struck just before the break to earn a point. Last time out, the Seagulls overcame Fulham at home, with Sam Baldock and Murray getting the goals in a 2-1 win.
The Bluebirds will definitely have to be wary of Glenn Murray on Saturday. The experienced striker has 11 league goals under his belt so far this campaign; only Newcastle’s Dwight Gayle has scored more with 13 strikes.
The Seagulls recently appointed former Bluebirds Head Coach, Paul Trollope, to be Chris Hughton’s assistant manager. This is the third time that the former Welsh international has assisted Hughton, following spells together at Birmingham and Norwich.
Craig Noone joined Brighton from Plymouth Argyle in early 2011 and went on to make over 50 appearances for the club before signing for City in August 2012. The Bluebirds won the Championship title in Nooney’s first season, with the winger's direct running and eye for a spectacular goal playing a key role for City.
Other players to have represented both clubs include current City left-back Joe Bennett and former Bluebirds Craig Conway, Stuart Fleetwood, Charlie Oatway and Russell Osman.
The Bluebirds have already welcomed the Seagulls to Cardiff City stadium this year, on the the 20th February 2016, and the game turned out to be one of the highlights of the 2015/16 campaign.
City began the game in devastating fashion and took the lead after sixteen minutes, Peter Whittingham poking a clever Matt Connolly ball past ‘keeper David Stockdale into the goal. Three minutes later, the home side doubled their advantage when Anthony Pilkington capitalized on a mistake from Stockdale and rifled the ball into the back of the net. Things got even better for City on the half hour mark when Lex Immers pounced on a deflection off Conor Goldson to make it three with a cool finish.
The Seagulls never really recovered from Cardiff’s electric start to the game. They did pull a goal back through Dale Stephens after half time, but Whittingham soon restored his side’s three goal advantage from the penalty spot. The Bluebirds comfortably saw the game out to record an impressive victory against a side who started the day in the Championship automatic promotion places.
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