Not for the first time this month, Brighton will host Liverpool at Amex Stadium (1.30pm Sunday; TV: Live on ITV). This time the pair clash in the FA Cup. Can the visitors improve on their rather poor recent showing at this venue? Or will the hosts pick up another impressive victory? This BHAFC vs LFC preview tries to answer those questions before concluding with our betting tips.
Brighton’s surge towards the top four hit something of a roadblock last time out. Despite taking the lead inside the opening 30 minutes when Japanese international Kaoru Mitoma beautifully swept one into the top corner, they found themselves behind as the game edged to a close. Though youngster Even Ferguson was there to preserve the Seagulls’ unbeaten run with an 88th minute equaliser.
Roberto De Zerbi’s men are now unbeaten in four games and they have picked up some excellent results during that time. None was more impressive than their crushing win over Liverpool at this venue just over a fortnight ago. A repeat of that performance would see them advance, though surely the Reds can muster better as they try to avoid another embarrassing defeat.
For Liverpool, it continues to be a bumpy ride. The Reds are miles away from where they have been in recent seasons, that is for sure, currently sitting in ninth position. They are ten points off the top four, and a further 11 off top spot, so the FA Cup may just be their most realistic chance of silverware this term.
After losing to Brighton, Klopp’s men bounced back in rather subdued fashion by beating Wolves 0-1 in an FA Cup replay, before drawing with Chelsea last time out. They have not really found their scoring touch, though, which is a worry, especially when Brighton can be very threatening at the Amex.
Not impossible to get at
The hosts have lots of quality, that they have shown time and time again this season. With accomplished ball-playing midfielders like recent World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister in their ranks, they are very good in possession, while someone like Kaoru Mitoma offers them bundles of creativity and dynamism out wide. They have scored plenty of goals, more than all but three other Premier League teams in fact, and on that strength alone have they won plenty of games.
However, as we have seen in recent times, they are far from a sturdy unit. De Zerbi’s men often adopt a cavalier approach and can thus be got at. They have conceded in all but one of their last six games, while they’ve kept a clean sheet in just two of their last 12. During that time, they have conceded multiple goals on five occasions. As the Foxes showed at the weekend, you will get chances against the Seagulls. So as dangerous as they can be, it’s not difficult to envisage Sunday’s visitors getting some offensive joy, even if they failed to score at this venue earlier in the month.
Visitors also giving too much away
The relative failings of Liverpool this season can’t really be attributed to a lack of goals. Even if they have not always been in blistering form offensively, they are still the fifth highest scorers in the league, netting a more than respectable 34 goals in 19 games.
Defending has been a problem, though, or rather it has been a bigger problem than in recent seasons. When they won the Premier League in 2020 and when they pushed Manchester City all the way last term, they were very hard to breakdown, but that is just not the case anymore. The Reds do come here after keeping a clean sheet against Chelsea, while they shutout Wolves in this competition last week too. Prior to that they had gone seven games without recording a shutout, conceding two or more in four of those seven. That is a problem.
Bogey team for the Reds?
The Seagulls have turned out to be something of a bogey team for Liverpool in recent times. Not only did Sunday’s hosts win when the teams met recently, but they have lost just one of their last six against the 2020 Premier League champions. That said, the Reds do have a relatively strong record at the Amex, returning victorious from five of their seven previous trips to the south coast.
Goals on the menu
Whichever way we look at this game, goals seem likely. For starters, neither side looks to have the soundest defence, while the hosts can hardly avoid high-scoring games right now. In fact, three or more goals have been scored in each of Brighton’s last six. Both teams have scored in each of those six too.
Klopp’s visitors have been involved in a few low-scorers of late. Prior to their win at Wolves last week, they had seen three or more goals be scored in seven games on the spin, with them both scoring and conceding in six of those seven.
If we dig a little deeper and look at the underlying numbers, then a high-scorer appeals even more. At home Brighton average a very tidy 1.62 expected goals for, while the visitors have produced an average of 1.58 xG on the road. Liverpool’s last five match xG totals in the Premier League also read 3.0, 2.9, 3.7, 3.2 and 4.1. Brighton’s stand at 2.6, 2.9, 3.5, 4.1 and 2.5.
All in all, the fans in attendance at Amex Stadium on Sunday ought to see plenty of goalmouth action, and punters can profit by siding with ‘Over 2.5 Goals & Both Teams to Score’. So this is our sole betting tips selection for this BHA vs LFC FA Cup game preview:
- Over 2.5 Goals & Both Teams to Score @ 5/6 with Bet365.
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.