Is Brighton and Hove Albion's clash with Southampton the club's most important game since Hereford?
With my best Clive Dunn impression, “Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring”. Apparently all is not lost, well at least not according to something called the 538 website which is predicting that via the Soccer Power index (SPI) ratings that the Albion won’t go down.
After the weekend’s set of results, it appears that both West Brom and Sheffield United have a 99% chance of going down, with Newcastle on 41% the next most likely, followed by Fulham on 32% and then both the Albion and Burnley on 12%.
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Don’t ask me how, it’s way above my head, in fact I’m not seen anything so complex since Jack exchanged his mother’s prized cow for some magic beans at the market!
That said, despite the overall gloom currently enveloping the Amex, I still believe the Albion will finish in 17th place or above at the end of 38 games. But when this does happen will the question on fans lips be, did we stay up because of Graham Potter or despite him?
Saturday night’s home defeat against Leicester City provided more frustration for the absent Amex faithful.
I was totally bemused after 65 minutes, in last week’s column I did suggest that maybe it might be an idea to start with our two most experienced players, Adam Lallana and Danny Welbeck , I’m not suggesting that Mr Potter took my constructive criticism on board but Lallana did start, scored after 10 minutes, hit the post in the closing stages of the first half, and on the hour had put in an impressive shift, but was clearly tiring.
Every time the subs board appeared I expected to see No 14 in lights, and Lallana getting hooked, but no, three subs used but the clearly fatigued Lallana got the full 90 minutes!
But Saturday’s gone, as things stand with other games taking place beforehand the Albion could kick off at St Mary’s in the relegation zone, for the first time since 2017.
One could argue given the precarious situation, that the Southampton game on Sunday, live on BBC TV, is the most important game in the club’s history since Hereford in May 1997? Perhaps I wouldn’t go that far, but anything less than a point will be deemed as failure.
That said the Albion are unbeaten in live league games on the BBC - it’s the first one ever in the club’s history! Maupay and Welbeck have to start up top, play 3-5-2, hopefully Lallana will have recovered enough to also start, and then as Doris Day once famously sung, what will be will be.