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AFC Bournemouth: Spotlight on Brighton & Hove Albion
IF anyone wanted to highlight the unpredictable nature of the Championship, Brighton & Hove Albion’s December would make a gift-wrapped case.
In the month since Seagulls flew away from Dean Court with a point, both Cherries and their Sussex counterparts have snared a solid 10 points from six matches.
Three wins and a draw for Eddie Howe’s men has pretty much maintained the status quo in terms of league position but has given Cherries a cushion over the Championship’s trap door.
But it would be fair to say that the up and down nature of this competitive division’s results have proved less gratifying for Brighton.
A home defeat to back-markers Barnsley (2-1) was followed by a rousing success over table-topping Leicester (3-1).
And as if his players had not done enough to make boss Oscar Garcia splutter over his Christmas turkey, Brighton went and won at Middlesbrough (1-0) before following up with a stalemate against Huddersfield (0-0) and defeat at Charlton Athletic (3-2), the struggling Addicks’ solitary win in their past seven league matches.
Inigo Calderon, who missed a sitter in the 1-1 draw at Dean Court, bagged Brighton’s three points at Blackpool (1-0) on Sunday to keep his side in touch at the top.
There is little to choose between the rivals’ records over the season with Albion registering just 16 points from 11 league fixtures at the Amex while Cherries have taken 12 from 11 on the road.
Victory would hand Cherries three consecutive away wins in the Football League’s second tier for the first time in their history and their first win at Brighton in ten attempts, a run which dates back to September 1988.
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