Brighton v Stoke
Live on Sky Sports Main Event/Premier League
Seagulls soaring beyond expectations
After a stuttering start to life in the top-flight, Brighton have steadied themselves somewhat and go into Monday night's game looking to maintain a four game unbeaten run. Moreover, Manchester City are the only side to come away from the Amex with three points so far this season which should buoy the hosts considerably.
Former Crystal Palace and Bournemouth striker Glen Murray has rolled back the years in recent games, finding the back of the net on four occasions in his last three. He's fired the south coast outfit to the heady heights of eighth in the league - six points clear of the bottom three. Chris Hughton will be looking for his side to continue their good run of form before having to face Man Utd, Liverpool and Spurs over the next fortnight.
Stoke still searching for some consistency
After being swept aside 7-2 by Man City and beaten at home to Bournemouth, Stoke have bounced back with three points against Watford and a hard fought draw to Leicester City. They may well be coming into a bit of form now but throughout this season they've flattered to deceive, slumping to defeat just when seemingly turning a corner.
Perhaps a worrying sign for Mark Hughes will have been their dependency on Peter Crouch's goals from the bench. The 36 year-old has filled in where summer signing Maxim Choupo-Moting has failed in the first 12 games of the campaign.
There are some more positive signs from the middle of the park however with Darren Fletcher picking up where he left off at West Brom and Xherdan Shaqiri - acting now as their primary creative outlet - finally fulfilling his initial promise when signed from Inter Milan.
Brighton aim to go five unbeaten
Stoke have recorded just one win away from home this season and considering Brighton's excellent record at the Amex, the Potters may be in for a tough night. In addition, Chris Hughton has a phenomenally well organised back four who have leaked just 11 goals, second only to Burnley outside the top four.
Both sides have the potential for goals through their respective creative outlets of Groß and Shaqiri but this will likely end up as a tight encounter that will favour the home side. The 2.40 available for Brighton to win and go five games unbeaten is worth taking.
Entertainment could be in short supply
While Brighton's defense has been one of the most miserly in the league, Stoke have opened the floodgates on more than one occasion, shipping 22 goals so far this season; albeit seven of those came against Pep Guardiola's Invincibles.
In turn, it doesn't take too much imagination to envisage Brighton finding the net on Monday night, especially given Glen Murray's recent form; he's 11/5 on the Betfair Sportsbook to score anytime. They put three past both West Ham and West Brom but Mark Hughes' side have been made of sterner stuff in recent weeks and I can see this likely being restricted to a single goal. Brighton to win 1-0 is 7.80 on the Exchange and Under 1.5 goals is 2.88.
Ref Watch - Lee Mason
Lee Mason has been handed the officiating duties for this clash and he's been somewhat card shy so far this season with only 18 yellows shown across eight fixtures. Stoke find themselves second and Brighton fourth in the fair play table so the officials will likely be in for a quiet night.
Brighton to win v Stoke @ 2.40
Glen Murray to score anytime @ 11/5