England legend Gary Lineker backs Brighton to stay up

Albion celebrate a goal in the win over Manchester United this season. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Albion celebrate a goal in the win over Manchester United this season. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

England legend Gary Lineker has backed Albion to stay up in the Premier League again this season.

The Seagulls sit 13th in the table, with five points from their opening six games, and Match of the Day host Lineker thinks Brighton's home form will again be key.

Albion finished 15th in their debut Premier League last year and Lineker, who scored 48 goals for England, feels Albion's organisation and individual quality will give them enough to finish outside the bottom three.

Speaking to Seagulls TV, Lineker said: “The statistics show that the idea of the second season in the league being harder for a club are a bit of a myth.

“I don’t see complacency with Brighton because they have an amazing home support. How they fare this season will once again depend on that home form, because it has been so strong.

“They’re a well-organised side with good individual players and I think they’ll be fine – some of the other clubs who have come up have spent a lot of money in comparison, so that gives them a greater chance of survival.”

Lineker also spoke about Albion's tough start to the season, which has seen games against Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham already - and a trip to champions Manchester City coming up this weekend.

He said: “The win over Manchester United obviously stands out and on the whole they’ve made a good start.

“Once they get past Manchester City this weekend, they will have played four of last season's top six and if you can still be out of the drop zone at that point, you can be pleased.

“You’ll then have fixtures ahead that are more realistically winnable and games where you can judge where the team are.”

Lineker also praised the job his former Tottenham team-mate Chris Hughton has done at Brighton.

An interview will air on BBC’s Match of the Day Premier League show tonight and Lineker said: “He’s done a fantastic job during his time at the club so far. When he took over they were in the bottom three of the Championship and he turned it around and got them up.

“Then he masterminded their survival in their first Premier League season last term, and you can’t ask for more than that."

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