Just 116 years old, Brighton and Hove Albion is back in England’s top flight for the first time since 1983. Chris Hughton was and is their guide, a man who has now ushered two teams into the Premier League (Newcastle United).
Top scorer Glenn Murray‘s a bit used to the league as well, and he brings a 23-goal season into Falmer Stadium. Along with star wing Anthony Knockaert (more on him later), attacker Tomer Hemed, backs Lewis Dunk and Bruno, and new import Pascal Gross, the Gulls will look to find survival in Year One of their new Premier League life.
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Best, worst case scenario – The ceiling for Brighton this year is to advance deep into a Cup competition while quickly getting to midtable and avoiding the relegation battle. The worst case scenario is stumbling out of the gates and never getting a foothold en route to relegation and the Football League Championship.
Best possible XI is…
Bruno — Dunk — Duffy — Suttner
Stephens — Gross — Kayal
Knockaert — Hemed — Brown
[ MORE: 2017-18 PL season preview hub ]
Transfers In: Pascal Gross (Ingolstadt), Izzy Brown (loan, Chelsea), Josh Kerr (Celtic), Mathew Ryan (Valencia), Markus Suttner (Ingolstadt), Mathias Normann (Bodo/Glimt), Steven Alzate (Leyton Orient).
— Promoted with weeks to spare
— Fell behind Newcastle United on the last day of the Championship season to finish second in earning an automatic promotion spot. — —- Dropped out of the League Cup and FA Cup tournaments at the third round.
Star player: Anthony Knockaert, right win. The 25-year-old Frenchman didn’t get much of a chance to star for Leicester after helping in their promotion run, refinding his mojo at Standard Liege before exploding for 15 goals and nine assists in a Championship Player of the Year performance.
Coaches’ Corner: Hughton is a gem. In addition to guiding Newcastle and Brighton to promotion, he shepherded Norwich City to an 11th place finish in the PL. A two-time LMA Manager of the Year, including a year his side didn’t get promoted, Hughton has won 50 percent of his matches at Brighton.
PST predicts: Brighton just survives, getting by on the wiles of Hughton and a crucial January addition or two.