Graham Potter reveals exactly what Brighton and Hove Albion must do to beat Norwich City
It's easy to think Norwich City are there for the taking at the Amex Stadium tomorrow.
Brighton have beaten Champions League finalists Tottenham Hotspur and followed that with a morale-boosting victory against a strong and determined Everton outfit at the Amex in recent weeks.
Norwich have struggled of late and despite encouraging victories at Carrow Road against Newcastle and Manchester City, Daniel Farke's men are second from bottom with seven points.
They arrive on the back of two heavy defeats against Aston Villa and Manchester United and are winless in five. The City head coach will assess a host of injuries: Tim Krul (knee), Emi Buendia (shin), Ibrahim Amadou (knee) and Jamal Lewis (virus).
Grant Hanley (groin), Christoph Zimmermann (foot) and Timm Klose (knee) are longer term absentees but Ralf Fahrmann and Mario Vrancic were expected to be in contention. In contrast, Graham Potter's men are full of confidence and their squad is at full-strength - other than Bernardo (knee) and José Izquierdo, who is making slow but steady progress with a long-term knee injury.
Brighton will be favourites for this one but Potter anticipates a stern test as they seek a hat-tick of home wins. “They’ve promoted young players and maintained a really clear identity of how they want to play," said the Albion head coach. "It’s probably a shame that they've picked up injuries to some of their defensive positions, but they’re really impressive and I like them a lot.
"We faced them last year and they were very effective. They attacked really well and were at a stage where they were probably the best team in the league. They punished us well with their chances, they overload well and create lots of chances. Even away at Liverpool on the first day of the campaign they did that, they’re that sort of side.
“As a club I have a great respect and admiration for how they’ve worked. They suffered relegation out of this division and evaluated how they want to go as a club, readjusted a few things and did a great job.
“This time last year they probably weren’t even a top Championship team, but they stuck with things when they were under a bit of pressure last season, carried on and recruited really well and creatively."
Brighton have Aaron Mooy available for selection once again, having served his one-match suspension following his dismissal at Villa Park. Belgian winger Leandro Trossard is also pushing for a starting place after he produced an impressive display from the bench against Everton.
Solly March, who was a second half substitute against Aston Villa, will also be eager for action and Steve Alzate, fresh from his call-up to the Colombian senior squad, will hope to keep his place.
Potter said, “I have a selection headache, but that’s a good thing and what you want as a coach, as you want to have to make those tough decisions with different possibilities.
“I have a lot of attacking options, the key is to find the right balance - that’s the challenge for me as a manager. Some might not start, but instead play an important role at the end of the match, and ultimately their responsibility is to help the team win three points and we have to use the right combinations depending on the demands of the game.
“The guys who finished the game last weekend were really important and the more options I have, the better. Leandro had his first minutes since the end of August last weekend, and so we have to manage that.
“His quality is not in doubt, we know what he can do for the side and we’re delighted to have him. He can have a huge influence on our season so we have to deal with bringing him back into the fold in the best way we can. Everybody saw what he contributed last Saturday - the game became stretched and his quality in the final third was really helpful for us.”