Cardiff City-Brighton & Hove Albion Preview
If Cardiff City had not felt a sense of urgency to generate some positive results in the last few games, they most certainly do now. Interestingly enough, so should Brighton & Hove Albion.
Atop the Premier League relegation zone, visiting Cardiff must do all they can to gain three points and move closer to catching Brighton in the table Tuesday night, when these sides meet at the Amex.
Both Cardiff (8-4-21) and Brighton (9-6-17) are mired in three-game league losing streaks, but the 17th-place Seagulls still sit five points ahead of the Bluebirds. Brighton also have a game in hand, and should they win Tuesday at home, they would be eight points clear of the Bluebirds, who would have just four games left to make up the ground.
That's assuming Brighton struggles to earn points in the final weeks of season, as they appear to be the only team Cardiff can realistically catch in the table at the moment. The Bluebirds dropped their second straight 2-0 decision on Saturday, this time at Burnley.
"We're still fighting and smiling, but gutted underneath," manager Neil Warnock, who once again took issue with the game's officiating as seems to be his case most weeks, told Cardiff's official website.
"It's another kick in the teeth, but we've got to get over it again, and we live to fight another day. So, we'll give it our best shot away to Brighton."
Though the Bluebirds have lost six of seven and been blanked four times during that stretch, they might have some confidence knowing they can do the double versus Brighton this season after winning the reverse fixture 2-1 at home on Nov. 10. Sol Bamba's tiebreaking goal in the 90th minute sent the Welsh faithful into a tizzy of excitement.
Cardiff have just two road wins on the campaign and failed to score in their last three away from home, but Brighton have been a hot mess no matter where they've played whilst being outscored 9-0 in losing their last three contests. The Seagulls were last shut out in four consecutive matches during the 2015-16 season in the Championship.
It would be hard to believe things can get worse for Brighton than they looked during Saturday's embarrassing 5-0 home loss to Bournemouth. It was the worst showing of the season for the Seagulls, who managed just one shot on target and displayed no semblance of defence after the visitors got on the board in the 33rd minute. They also played with 10 men from the 68th minute on after Anthony Knockaert was sent off for a challenge on Bournemouth's Adam Smith.
"The fear is that it could have been worse," manager Chris Hughton told Brighton's official website. "We don't have a choice but to turn it around&The character of the players will be important come Tuesday night. You ask them to show their character. There isn't any player (with the club) that hasn't been through hard times, or been on the back of a big or embarrassing defeat.
"Once those players cross that line, it's only them that can do it. If we thought (Saturday) was a big game, then Tuesday night's game is an even bigger one."
Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press
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