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Premier League preview: Brighton v. Burnley

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  • Burnley has never lost a top-flight match to Brighton
  • Brighton has not at home to a PL side outside the top 4 this season
  • Burnley ended a 67-match PL penalty-less streak last time out

A critical relegation battle takes place at Falmer Stadium on Saturday as Burnley travels to Brighton & Hove Albion at 12:30 p.m. ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

Burnley sits in 17th position, just two points and one place above the relegation zone. Brighton is in a safer position, sitting 13th but just three above Burnley in a tight bottom third of the table. The Seagulls started the season brightly, but have not won in league play in 2019, leaving them vulnerable as the teams at the bottom battle for points.

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The hosts will be without striker Florin Andone, who was suspended three matches for violent conduct after throwing a wayward elbow in the 0-0 draw with Watford last time out. Dale Stephens also left the Watford match with a hip problem and is questionable for this weekend, but Jose Izquierdo is reportedly out despite having returned to training from a knee injury.

For Burnley, Steven Defour nears a return from a calf injury that has cost him over two months of this season, but this weekend appears too soon for his return. Matt Lowton has a slightly fractured toe, but will still give this match a try, while defenders Matt Lowton and Kevin Long are looking more likely to play after returning to training. The Clarets are on a good run of form, unbeaten in their last six, coinciding with the return of Tom Heaton in goal who has helped hold opponents to just five goals in that span.

What they’re saying

Burnley manager Sean Dyche on Brighton: “They’re on a tough run and they’ll be wanting to correct that, for sure. We’re on a good run, we’ll be wanting to continue that. It makes for another good game.”

Brighton striker Glenn Murray on poor run of form: “We are absolutely fine behind closed doors, no matter what people are saying. We feel confident. We are happy with the way we are playing. We felt as though we dominated the game on Saturday at home to Watford in the Premier League. Again [Wednesday in the FA Cup] we felt as though we put a good display on and won the game.”

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Prediction

Brighton comes into this match in poor form, and Burnley needs the game more. With the Clarets’ good results of late, they have something to build on, and pulling themselves further away from the relegation scrap is a motivation that can have the team truly rearing to go. Burnley grabs a valuable road win in a hard-fought 1-0 victory.

Premier League Preview: Manchester United v. Brighton

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  • Man United has kept 4 straight clean sheets v. Brighton at home
  • Brighton has won last two matches v. Man United
  • Man United has kept 2 straight clean sheets for first time this season

Manchester United is hoping to take advantage of a Chelsea or Arsenal slip as the Red Devils host Brighton at Old Trafford, Saturday at 10:00 a.m. ET live on CNBC or live online at NBCSports.com.

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The Red Devils sit level with Arsenal on 41 points, six behind fourth-placed Chelsea. With the other two clubs meeting up, it’s the perfect opportunity to pick up ground on whoever drops points.

Alexis Sanchez may be fit to take the field for Manchester United, after a calf problem kept him out of the 1-0 victory over Tottenham last time out. Sanchez has made just one substitute Premier League appearance since the start of December thanks to a number of injuries and poor form, and he has made just a single league start since the start of October.

In addition to Sanchez, Eric Bailly is also available after his red card against Bournemouth in late December. However, Marouane Fellaini, Chris Smalling, and Marcos Rojo are all injured.

Brighton will look to prevent Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from becoming the first Manchester United manager to win each of his first Premier League matches in charge. They will be without Bernardo and Jose Izquierdo due to injuries, while Yves Bissouma is a game-time decision. The Seagulls have won the last two against Manchester United – both by one-goal margins – but those wins came at home, as the club has never defeated Manchester United at Old Trafford.

What they’re saying

Brighton manager Chris Hughton on Solskjaer: “I think the results speak for themselves. They have been able to win games and look like scoring and playing really well. Any manager coming in after Mourinho, I don’t think they could have expected any more from anybody that would have come in. The results and the performances indicate that.

Solskjaer on Alexis Sanchez fitness: “He loves to play football. He’s been hindered by injury – I know all about injuries and how frustrating that can be and how eager you are to get back. In the Reading game, maybe he should have told me at half-time, ‘I need to come off now’. The 15 or 20 minutes he played in the second half, maybe that was a bit too much for him and that gave him a setback. He’s chomping at the bit, he’s working hard in training. His attitude in training has been fantastic and he wants to play. I’m looking forward to seeing him and I’ve got loads of good players to choose from.”

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Prediction

Manchester United’s scorching-hot form will dip at some point, that much is inevitable. Until that happens, it’s near impossible to pick against them. That said, Brighton is poised as any to shock Solskjaer’s squad, and they could have the tools to set the Red Devils back.

Nevertheless, despite Brighton’s solid form of late, playing at Old Trafford will prove just too much, and another 1-0 victory will see Manchester United through to gain ground on either Arsenal, Chelsea, or both.

Premier League preview: Brighton v. Liverpool

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  • LFC is unbeaten in 3 PL games vs. Brighton, winning a combined 10-1
  • Liverpool has not lost back-to-back PL games since 2015
  • Brighton has scored in its last 13 PL home games

Brighton puts its stellar home record on alert as the Seagulls host Premier League leaders Liverpool at Falmer Stadium on Saturday, with kickoff at 10:00 a.m. ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

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The hosts have been fantastic in Premier League play in front of the home fans, with just six losses in its 29 Premier League matches at home over its two-year top flight history. However, five of those six losses have come against the Big Six clubs. They will be without defender Bernardo, who injured his hamstring in early January against West Ham. Also missing is struggling summer signing Alireza Jahanbakhsh who has been out since early November with a hamstring tear.

The Reds, meanwhile, are looking to turn around its first losing streak of the season, with a league loss to Manchester City plus an early FA Cup exit at the hands of Wolves last time out. Virgil Van Dijk is back in contention after missing the FA Cup defeat midweek, but his central defensive partner is still a mystery. Dejan Lovren is out with a hamstring injury of his own, while Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are long-term absentees, so Fabinho could deputize along the back line again. Jordan Henderson, meanwhile, is a game-time decision after a calf problem popped up.

After Liverpool’s riveting loss to Manchester City in league play last time out, the Reds will be looking to turn things around and regain the upper hand in the title race. For Brighton, they sit in 13th place with 26 points, eight above 15th placed Newcastle.

What they’re saying

Brighton manager Chris Hughton on Jurgen Klopp‘I think he’s been outstanding for the game here. When you see how their team work without the ball to get it back and the quality they show, it’s orchestrated by the manager and the demands of the manager. This season shows what a great job that he has done. They are better prepared than any other team with the quality they have got. It is all led by Jurgen Klopp and they are a great team to watch.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on early Cup exits: “I would love to still be in these competitions, but we are not in them. We have to make the best of the time now. I know Pep [Guardiola] said he would prefer to be in four competitions. I would prefer the same. We have to make the best of the time and get as many points as possible.”

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Prediction

Defensive injuries, a tough road destination, and a losing streak. There’s plenty going against the Reds in this Premier League away match, but Jurgen Klopp won’t let them lose three in a row. It’s possible this ends in a disappointing draw, but Liverpool guts out a tough 2-1 victory.

Glenn Murray signs one-year contract extension at Brighton

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Raheem Sterling. Callum Wilson. Mohamed Salah. Harry Kane. Anthony Martial. Richarlison. Sadio Mane. Glenn Murray.

All of these players have six Premier League goals this season. One of these is not like the others.

Glenn Murray – at least nine years older than everyone else on that list – has signed a one-year contract extension at Brighton & Hove Albion, keeping him at the club through the summer of 2020.

The 35-year-old has been absolutely critical to Brighton’s season as the Seagulls sit 12th in the Premier League table. Murray’s six goals have ALL secured points for the club. He has the opening goal in a 3-2 victory over Manchester United, both goals in a 2-2 comeback draw with Fulham, a 90th minute equalizing goal in a 2-2 draw with Southampton, the only goal of a 1-0 win over West Ham, and the only goal in a 1-0 win over Wolves. In the seven games Murray has not scored, Brighton has lost six and won one, scoring four total goals over the seven matches.

“It means a lot that the club has shown another year’s faith in me,” Murray told the official club release. “I just want to carry on in the form I’m in at the minute and continue scoring goals at this level for Brighton. I don’t think at any stage of my career I’d have believed I would be getting another contract in the Premier League at this age, but you just never know what can happen in football.”

Murray originally joined Brighton in 2008 and stayed for three seasons before departing for Crystal Palace on a free transfer three years later. He then rejoined Brighton in the summer of 2016, first on loan from Bournemouth before completing a permanent transfer a year later. He has 231 total appearances for the Seagulls over his career, and his winner against Wolves in late October was his 100th goal for the club.

“Glenn has scored consistently for us, first in helping us win promotion, and now in the Premier League as we seek to establish ourselves at the top level,” said manager Chris Hughton. “He’s proved himself at the very top late in his career, and his professionalism and approach on and off the pitch is a big factor in why he’s still doing it now. After recently reaching the 100-goal mark for the club, I know Glenn will be hungry to add more goals to that tally, and I am pleased he’s extended his time with the club.”

Brighton 1-0 West Ham: Hammers thorn Murray does it again

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  • Glenn Murray scored his 5th goal of the PL season
  • Brighton moved to 10th in the PL table
  • West Ham loses for first time since September 1

Glenn Murray continued his personal assault on the Hammers, scoring the opener 25 minutes as Brighton & Hove Albion topped West Ham 1-0 at Falmer Stadium on Friday. Murray’s goal marked his sixth score on West Ham in his last five Premier League matches against the club.

West Ham had lost all three previous visits to Falmer Stadium in top-flight play, and Friday was more of the same as they were frustrated by the hosts’ solid defensive organization and put under pressure by the counter-attack.

As both teams began to feel the opponent out and build their way into the match, West Ham looked the more dangerous side early on. However, there was little action on goal through the opening 20 minutes, with just one shot on target combined between the two sides. That would change 25 minutes in, as Brighton struck first. A fabulous run down the left by Beram Kayal saw his cross land perfectly at the foot of Murray, who had snuck in between the central defenders and was virtually unmarked.

That was the only real moment through the rest of the first half, and into the second half West Ham began to push for an equalizer. Felipe Anderson delivered a dangerous cross into the area on 55 minutes, but it was deflected out for a corner. Three minutes later, the Hammers came close on another corner as Fabian Balbuena just couldn’t get his head to the in-swinger.

With the visitors unable to make their mark on the scoresheet, Brighton slowly regained the ascendency. With two minutes left in regulation, Brighton appeared to have a second as a shot from Jose Izquierdo was parried by Lukasz Fabianski right into the path of Jurgen Locadia, but the flag went up. Replays showed the decision was extremely tight, and could have been given in Brighton’s favor had VAR been in play.

The ending was chaotic. In the first minute of stoppage time, Marko Arnautovic blasted one over the Brighton bar on a cut-back from Lucas Perez. West Ham pressured the Brighton back line as the game wound down, but the home defensive unit held strong to keep the Hammers from troubling Matthew Ryan.

The victory pushed Brighton up to 12th in the Premier League table with eight points, while West Ham drops to 15th as Brighton leaps them with all three points.