A Betting Guide to the New Season for Brighton and Hove Albion FC
It seems we will not be able to pause for breath before one season of English football comes to an end and a new one starts. The Community Shield – the traditional curtain raiser for the season – takes place on the 29th August, after which there is a break for the UEFA Nations League. The Premier League gets underway on 12th September.
As for Brighton and Hove Albion, it will be the fourth successive season in the Premier League. They will kick off their campaign on 14th September against Chelsea at home. But what can fans expect from the new season? Here’s an overview of Brighton’s hopes, expectations and realities:
The 2019/20 Season: A Quick Review
Like everyone else, it would have felt strange for Brighton’s players to play in front of empty stands in a season with a long break in the middle. The team did okay – surviving relegation is the club’s first priority (see below) – and the club improved on both points and league position from the previous season. It was a little frustrating at times, though, as Brighton never seemed to get a sustained run of form together – never going more than three games without a defeat throughout the season. Lewis Dunk was voted the player of the season, but Brighton fans should worry that Sky Bet have made the captain a 1/3 shot to join Chelsea before the transfer window shuts. Holding on to Dunk should be a priority.
New Arrivals and Farewells
The most eye-catching signing so far this summer was the capture of Adam Lallana from Liverpool. Although the former Southampton man has suffered his fair of injuries in recent years, he is a class act and just the type of player to lift Brighton. Callum Wilson has been heavily linked with a move to Brighton, and he could form part of a formidable attack if feeding off the clever Lallana.
What the Bookmakers Say
As mentioned, the main goal is still avoiding relegation. Bet365, a company listed on the bookmaker offers at Thebookiesoffers.co.uk, quotes 7/2 for Brighton to be relegated and 1/5 to stay up. Fans should take heart from those odds as it puts Brighton ahead of seven teams in the pecking order, but nothing is certain in the Premier League. If you feel Brighton could “do a Leicester”, then that’s 500/1. But a more realistic ambition might be the 7/2 that Brighton finish in the Top 10.
Player to Watch
Everyone is excited by Lallana’s arrival on the south coast, but we have a feeling that 2020/21 might be the season that Aaron Connolly starts to truly shine. The young Irishman has shown glimpses of his talent in the handful of appearances he has made so far for Brighton, but there is almost certainly more to come. A smart, skilful striker, Connolly has a bright future for club and country.
Graham Potter now has a full year in charge at the AMEX Stadium, and fans will have been pretty happy with his performance. He seems pretty secure in his job – 12/1 in the Premier League sack race odds – and there is a sense that Potter is the man that can build over the long term. Still, the Premier League can be unforgiving, and Potter will be well aware that a poor run of results will end what has been a fine tenure so far.
We’ve mentioned times that survival is the main goal. That might not sound terribly exciting, but it’s the reality of the Premier League era for smaller clubs. Conceivably, Brighton could go on a cup run (they are priced at 66/1 and 40/1 with William Hill for the FA Cup and EFL Cup respectively), but that would be seen as a bonus to avoiding relegation. If the club continues to be run properly on the pitch and in the business area, then higher ambitions can eventually be woven into the fabric of the team.