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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Big Match Preview

League One
Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Exeter City
Saturday February 27, 15:00, Withdean Stadium

It promises to be a nervy afternoon for all involved at the Withdean Stadium this weekend as Brighton host fellow strugglers Exeter in a relegation six pointer.

The hosts moved out of the bottom four with their surprise 2-1 win at Charlton in midweek, however they remain just two points above the drop zone - in which the Grecians find themselves.

It was a welcome victory for Gus Poyet's side and came off the back of a creditable 1-1 draw at Leeds last weekend. Indeed, the Sussex outfit have the fourth most impressive away record in the division.

It's their form at their Withdean Stadium home which has really let them down this season however.

Just two wins and nine points have been garnered from on home soil so far this term - a record Poyet will be keen to improve upon against Exeter.

The Uruguayan took over as Albion manager in November after the departure of Russell Slade. However, he's been unable to steer the club away from a second successive fight against the drop to League Two.

Despite their woes though, in Glenn Murray and Nicky Forster, Brighton have two strikers who have got into doubled figures on the scoring charts.

With one of the leakiest defences in the division though, it's not hard to see where the Seagulls need to improve if they are to beat the drop once again.

Brighton's rookie manager Gus Poyet is in a relegation battle in League One

That ambition to stave off relegation is shared by their opponents this weekend. Exeter were promoted from League Two last May and have found the step-up in quality a difficult one.

Paul Tisdale's side have particularly struggled on the road with just two wins being gained from their 16 games away from St James Park.

After their midweek game against Bristol Rovers was postponed, City come into the game in poor form, still with only one win in 2010. Surprisingly though, this came against high-flying Leeds.

It's a sign that the Devon club do have the quality on their day to pull out results, but their surprise loss to rock-bottom Stockport is evidence of their inconsistency.

Goalscoring has been the Grecians's biggest problem this term with former Hereford man Adam Stansfield their top scorer with just eight goals.

Other threats going forward for Exeter include forwards Richard Logan and Barry Corr and midfielder Ryan Harley.

The visiting side will certainly be the fresher of two teams seeking to improve upon poor home and away records respectively.

However, their recent results will have given Brighton a huge boost in confidence and with the psychological advantage of being above their hosts, Albion can edge this six-pointer.

Nobes' Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Exeter City 1

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