Brighton & Hove Albion F.C kick-off the English Championship play-off fixture via an away trip to Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night.
Brighton finished third in the Championship regular season, level on points with the second placed Middleborough, lost out on automatic qualification to Premier League on goal difference. The Seagulls will be hoping to make amends for the lost opportunity by getting a good result to take it to the home for the second leg on Monday.
Their hosts on Friday night, Sheffield Wednesday were sixth in the league standings, 15 points behind Brighton. The Owls didn’t have the best of the finishes to the season and their head-coach Carlos Carvalhal will be hoping an inspired performance at home in the first leg.
Sheffield Wednesday have just one win from their last six league games, with 3 draws and 2 losses. They scored 7 goals during the period and conceded 8, with a goal difference of -1. Owl’s home form is better as they won in 3, drawn 2 and lost 1 from their last 6. They also kept clean sheets in their last two home games.
Brighton drew their last two games, which cost them the automatic qualification. They finished the season with a 14 match unbeaten run, 9 wins and 5 draws. Their away form in the last 6 matches is 4 wins and 2 draws and scored 10 goals in their last 5 away games.
Sheffield Wednesday: Team News
Ross Wallace will be available for selection after serving his three match ban for the red card he picked up against M. K. Dons on 19th March 2016.
Modou Sougou and Joe Bennett are both sidelined due to injuries and is likely to miss both the legs of play-off.
Sheffield Wednesday: Predicted Line-up (4-3-3)
Westwood – Hunt, Lees, Loovens, Pudil – Lee, Lopez, Bannan – Hooper, Joao, Forestieri.
Brighton: Team News
Brighton will be without Dale Stephens for both legs of the play-offs after the 26-year old midfielder was sent off in the 1-1 draw against Middleborough on Saturday.
While Solly March, Uwe Hunemeier and Bobby Zamora are all sidelined through respective injuries.
Brighton: Predicted Line-up (4-4-2)
Stockdale – Bruno, Greer, Goldson, Rosenior – Knockaert, Sidwell, Kayal, Skalak, Hemed, Baldock.
Sheffield Wednesday vs Brighton: Head-to-Head Stats
- Sheffield Wednesday have a strong head-to-head record against Brighton as they won in 6, drawn 7 and lost 3 of the last 16 meetings between the two sides.
- Sheffield Wednesday have never lost in any of the 8 home matches they played against Brighton so far, with 4 wins and 4 draws.
- The last three meetings between the sides end in a 0-0 draw.
- Sheffield are unbeaten in the last 7 matches against Brighton; 3 wins, 4 draws.
- Brighton have failed to score a goal in the last 5 meetings with Sheffield Wednesday.
Sheffield Wednesday vs Brighton: Prediction
Sheffield didn’t finish the season well and managed just one win from their last six matches. However their home form is strong as they are unbeaten in the last 5.
Brighton will be very disappointed after dropping 4 points from their last two matches, which cost them the automatic promotion. They are on strong form both home and away and look like the stronger team of the two.
The last three matches between these two sides were 0-0 stalemates and Sheffield are a better team on recent head-to-head record. They are unbeaten in the last 7 matches against Brighton and will be looking to grab a win here.
A draw is very likely outcome on Friday and my score prediction is 1-1.
Safe Bet: Sheffield Double Chance (Win/Draw)
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals.
Big Money Bet: Both teams to Score and Draw at Full Time.