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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Brighton v Spurs,08.10.22

· Last season's game - Brighton 0 Spurs 2, 16.03.22
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Full League Record of Spurs -v- Brighton
 
Prem          Pl   W   D   L   For- Ag  Pts
Home           5   4   0   1    7 -  3  12
Away           5   2   1   2    5 -  6   7
==========================================
Total(Prem)   10   6   1   3   12 -  9  19  Pts per game 1.9
==========================================
Football Lge   
Home(Div 1)    4   2   1   1    6 -  4   6
Away(Div 1)    4   3   0   1    8 -  3   7
==========================================
Total(Div 1)   8   5   1   2   14 -  7  13
==========================================
Football Lge
Home(Div 2)    1   0   1   0    0 -  0   1
Away(Div 2)    1   0   0   1    1 -  3   0
==========================================
Total(Div 2)   2   0   1   1    1 -  3   1 
==========================================
Total(Prem)   10   6   1   3   12 -  9  19
Total(Div 1)   8   5   1   2   14 -  7  13
Total(Div 2)   2   0   1   1    1 -  3   1   
==========================================
Grand Total   20  11   3   6   27 - 19  33
==========================================

Last Six Premier League results:-

Brighton   -    DWWLWD

Brighton   0-0    Newcastle
West Ham   0-2    Brighton
Brighton   1-0    Leeds
Fulham     2-1    Brighton
Brighton   5-2    Leicester
Liverpool  3-3    Brighton


Spurs      -    WWDWWL
           
Spurs      1-0    Wolves
Nottm F'st 0-2    Spurs
West Ham   1-1    Spurs
Spurs      2-1    Fulham
Spurs      6-2    Leicester
Arsenal    3-1    Spurs

Pos           P  W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
3. Spurs      8  5  2  1  19-10   9   17  
4. Brighton   7  4  2  1  14-8    6   14  

Challenges being faced on several fronts

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There are challenges for the Spurs team and their fans on several fronts regarding this Saturday tea-time game being televised on SKY Sports. Spurs’ connections are still in the early stages of grieving the passing of their renowned fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone. Known as "The Marine" and the designer of Tottenham’s famous gruelling pre-season training session in South Korea, Gian Piero will truly be missed with great affection by the players and of course friend and manager Antonio Conte. This passing is just the first hurdle for the team to surpass at the Amex Stadium.

On the football side, Brighton sit in fourth place just three points behind Spurs and a win by more than one goal would give them our third place. It’s a long time since we have met in such a context - possibly as long ago as our promotion season in 1977/78.

On 7th September, the day after an unexpected Champions League defeat away to Dinamo Zagreb, Chelsea announced the departure of Thomas Tuchel. After one more day Chelsea announced former Brighton coach Graham Potter as the new man in charge. At the time, Brighton were above Chelsea in fourth place with three more points after the first six games. the gap is down to one point now.

Adam Lallana stepped up as Brighton's caretaker player/coach, but before the international break, Brighton announced the appointment of 43-year-old Italian coach Roberto de Zerbi, whose last job was with Shakhtar Donetsk. Until last week’s exciting and highly creditable 3-3 draw at Anfield Brighton hadn't played since 4th September, when they beat Leicester 5-2, because of the national mourning period after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Brighton’s planned game at home to Crystal Palace was called off on the weekend before the State Funeral of Her Late Majesty The Queen, not because the trains were on strike, but more because of the tap upon police resources for what is known as "The M23 Derby".

There is a train strike again this weekend, and Spurs fans have to find a way somehow to reach the "AMEX" Stadium, which is hard enough on anormal matchday. Good luck to those travelling. Most home fans of course have similar problems.

Before the departure of Graham Potter, "The Seagulls" had been doing very well indeed despite the high profile sales of left back Marc Cucurella to Chelsea and of course midfielder Yves Bissouma to Spurs. Bissouma must be desperate for a game, especially against his former team. He’s made just one Premier League start and played only 161 minutes Premier League football in our 8 games so far.

The sale of Bissouma to Spurs followed Brighton's signing of Paraguay forward Julio Enciso on a four-year deal. Enciso is one for the future. He is only 18 and bis only first team exposure was at Forest Green in the League Cup. Chelsea's signing of Brighton's Spanish left (wing) back Marc Cucurella was confirmed only on Friday 5th August for a fee that could reach £60 million. 19-year-old defender Levi Colwill went the other way on a season-long loan. Colwill is another young player with little exposure to date. Cucurella is of course being managed once again by his former coach Graham Potter.

30-year-old Shane Duffy has joined Fulham on a season-long loan, and Brighton made a late deadline deal for the signature of Chelsea's Billy Gilmour for a fee that could rise to £10 million. Gilmour is a Scottish International, but his spell on loan last season with relegated Norwich was not viewed as a success.

Brighton have been doing all too well despite the loss of Cucurella and Bissouma who were key players last season. Leandro Trossard is their top scorer with five in the league. His hat-trick at Anfield last week was only the third in the Premier League after Coventry’s Peter Ndlovu in 1995 and Arsenal’s Andrei Arshavin in 2009.

It's three years now since an ill-fated 3-0 defeat at The Amex Stadium for Spurs. I described the game as "about the most shocking day experienced for Spurs fans under the leadership of Mauricio Pochettino". Hugo Lloris made a bad mistake and suffered a painful elbow injury after conceding a third-minute goal. Spurs never recovered from that early set-back. In that game Yves Bissouma was an 80th minute substitute for double goal-scorer Aaron Connolly. Connolly spent the second half of last season on loan at Middlesbrough, and this season is on loan with Venezia in Italy.

In last season's away game Harry Kane sealed another record with his 95th away goal in the Premier League, surpassing none other than Wayne Rooney, who took a lot more games than Kane to reach his figure of 94. Cristian Romero also scored his one and only Spurs goal to date.

Brighton’s 1-0 away win last season ended a few sequences. Spurs had won four consecutive games and five of their previous six. They had also scored in each of those games, although Harry Kane had not scored in the four games after we won away to Brighton one month earlier. Spurs had won eight consecutive home games against Brighton in all competitions, including all four Premier League meetings. Brighton's previous top-flight away victory at Spurs came at White Hart Lane in October 1981. The Seagulls had lost 12 of their previous 17 matches with Tottenham. Their three wins in that period all came at home. This was a record sixth top flight away win in a season for Brighton.

The "Seagulls" would win one more away game last season - 3-0 at Molineux. Yves Bissouma scored his only Premier League goal of the season at Wolves. His only other goal of the season was in Brighton's 3-1 FA Cup Fourth Round defeat at Tottenham!

Our April defeat against Brighton was our last in the league until Arsenal last week ended a run of 13 unbeaten league games.

Optimistically, I have predicted a 2-1 Spurs win. Emerson Royal is suspended, and we still have to wait for any return of Kulusevski or Lucas Moura to support the front three. Will Conte change his formation and play a 4-3-3? I doubt it. Antonio seems to have more faith in switching Perisic or Sessegnon for the right wing-back slot. I’d like to see Matt Doherty or Djed Spence given an outing.

Referee Tony Harrington is new to Spurs, but not to Brighton. Promoted to Select Group 1 in June 2021, Mr. Harrington refereed Brighton's 1-0 home defeat by Wolves in December last year. He was also at The Amex in September, when Brighton beat Leicester 5-2. That was one of three Premier League games refereed by this official so far this season.

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