Middlesbrough vs Brighton Hove Albion
|Date & Time||Saturday December 19, 2015, 7:30 AM (EST)|
The Line: Brighton 6/4 Draw 11/5 Middlesbrough 9/5
sky sports; fox sports;
Early action on Saturday morning will see the top two in the Championship go face to face as Brighton and Hove Albion play host to Middlesbrough at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton. Brighton have been the surprise package of the league so far and are the only unbeaten team in Professional football in England right now. Brighton have a solid team built around hard work and have quality throughout the line up. Fomer Celtic midfielder Kayal has been a key man for them as has former QPR striker Bobby Zamora, the team added Manchester United youngster James Wilson on loan and he has already made a mark with two goals in four appearances. Brighton have been exceptional at home this season with eight wins in ten appearances, Chris Hughton's side may still be outsiders to win the league but at the moment they are playing with incredible belief and are very tough to beat.
Middlebrough went top of the table on goal difference after their 1-0 win over Burnley on Tuesday night, this is a team that is really a team, the goals come from everywhere spread throughout the team and led by captain Leadbitter this is a side with eyes on promotion and only automatic promotion. After coming up short in the playoffs last season Boro will be keen on avoiding that route this year and will look to experienced players such as Downing, Nugent, Stuani and the aformentioned Leadbitter to lead the way. Karanka has done a gret job so far this season in integrating the big names bought during the summer. Downing and Stuani in particular have been excellent and although Nugent will miss out tomorrow through suspension, he has had a good start to the season.
Two really good hard working teams here and it is very tough to seperate them on paper and I think it will be very tough to seperate them on the field too. Brighton though deserved favourite at home and I think they have proven time and again this season to be able to lift their game when tested. I'm going to take the home team to get a win here and give themselves a little gap at the top of the table.