Graham Potter predicts a ‘big, big fight’ for Brighton against winless Southampton

Graham Potter expects a big fight against his former club Southampton (Getty)
Graham Potter expects a big fight against his former club Southampton (Getty)

Head coach Graham Potter insists Southampton will be their sternest test to date as Brighton aim build on their promising start to the season.

Albion have gathered four points from their first two fixtures thanks to a 3-0 win at Watford before a 1-1 home draw with West Ham last Saturday. Southampton arrive on the back of two defeats, having lost 3-0 at Burnley and 2-1 to Liverpool at St Mary’s.

“I think it will be our toughest game so far at the weekend because of how Southampton are and how they play,” said Potter.

“I am really impressed with how they are, how they play, what they have done, what they bring and how they try to play football. For us, we are still at the stage where every single game is a big, big fight for us to take the points.”

Potter is also satisfied with the steady progress Brighton have made since he took charge, “Overall it has been positive. With each day the guys are trying to improve and doing their best. We have had two matches, one and one away. Results wise it has been okay and performance, we are trying to improve everyday.”

Potter experienced Premier League action with Southampton as a player during the 1996-97 season. The highlight of his time at The Dell was a 6-3 triumph against a Manchester United side containing the likes of Peter Schmeichel, Roy Keane and Eric Cantona in October 1996.

“(It is) a nice club, I was there quite briefly. Obviously the memorable game was the big victory against Manchester United. I was a sub, got on the pitch and didn’t harm the game for us too much. We still went on to win 6-3.

“Matt Le Tissier was the talisman for the team at the time and a good group of lads, it was the start of the Premier League really that era. It was a great experience for me.

“They’re a really established Premier League club that is run really well and they provide a stiff opposition for us at the weekend.”

What time does Brighton v Southampton kick off?

The game kicks off at 3pm at the Amex.

Is the game on TV?

No. Highlights of the Southampton match will be on Match Of The Day at 10.30pm on Saturday evening.

What’s the team news?

No fresh injury concerns for Albion. Winger Jose Izquierdo and defender Ezequiel Schelotto (both knee) continue their rehabilitation along with midfielder Yves Bissouma (shoulder).

Southampton striker Danny Ings was on the bench for the Liverpool match and will hope to force his way into the starting line-up ahead of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg took his starting spot.

Brighton’s last match

Brighton 1 (Trossard 65)West Ham 1 (Hernandez 61)

Albion line-up: Ryan; Duffy, Dunk, Burn; Montoya, Stephens, Propper, March; Gross (Maupay 67), Murray (Andone 74), Trossard (Mooy 85). Subs not used: Button (GK), Webster, Bernardo, Locadia.

Southampton’s last match

Southampton 1 (Ings 83) Liverpool 2 (Mane 45+1 Firmino 71)

Southampton line-up: Gunn; Bednarek, Yoshida, Vestergaard; Valery, Ward-Prowse, Romeu (Ings 64), Hojberg, Bertrand (Djenepo 77); Adams (Armstrong 68), Redmond. Subs not used: Forster (GK), Danso, Cedric, Obafemi.

Who is the referee and VAR?

Referee: Kevin Friend Assistants: Matthew Wilkes, Andy Garratt Fourth official: Oli Langford VAR: Lee Mason Assistant VAR: Mark Scholes

Friend has taken charge of one Premier League game this season and issued three yellow cards and no red. Last season Friend refereed Brighton’s 3-1 victory against Crystal Palace at the Amex Shane Duffy was sent-off.

What are the odds?

Brighton are favourites to pick up all three points on Coral and are priced at 7/5 to win.

A Southampton victory is 2-1 and the draw is 11/5.

Glenn Murray is 4/1 to score first, with Southampton’s Ings at 5/1. Duffy is 12/1 open the scoring while Lewis Dunk is 25/1. A 1-1 draw is the favoured result at 5/1 with a 1-0 triumph for Brighton at 13/2. A 2-0 win for Brighton is currently 10/1 with Coral.

Three Draws

Three of Albion’s Premier League meetings against Saints have ended all square, with Glenn Murray scoring in each of those matches, including a 90th-minute penalty to equalise at St Mary’s last season. Brighton came back from 2-0 down thanks to Murray’s spot kick and Shane Duffy’s bullet header, but their south-coast neighbours took all three points when they visited the Amex in March, winning 1-0.