Blackpool make the long trip down to the South Coast for their FA Cup 4th round meeting with Brighton & Hove Albion, buoyed by dreams of their first 5th round appearance in 9 years.
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It’ll be a tough task for them though, going up against a Brighton side that currently sits two divisions above them and made it all the way to the semi-finals of this competition just two years ago.
The good news for Blackpool is that a win here wouldn’t be their first scalp of the season, having already knocked another Premier League side out in West Bromwich Albion.
Their 3-2 shootout win over Sam Allardyce’s side was the Seasiders first victory over top flight opposition for 45 years, and they will be hoping they don’t have to wait as long for their second.
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Neil Critchley’s side will have to rediscover the away form that has deserted them in the last month or so though, as they’re currently on a 5-game winless run away from Bloomfield Road – and that’s against League One sides!
Brighton, on the other hand, will take encouragement from picking up their first league win in 10 games last time out against Leeds United at Elland Road, and will be looking to overcome their wretched home form.
Their only win in eleven games at the Amex Stadium this season came against another League One side (4-0 v Portsmouth), with five draws and five defeats from their 10 games against Premier League opposition.
In fact, they’ve been victorious in 13 of their last 15 FA Cup sides against lower league sides – despite not making it easy for themselves against Newport County in the third round.
The Seagulls will have thought Solly March’s 90th minute would be enough to send them through to get them in the hat for the next stage, only for 3rd choice keeper Jason Steele to flap at a cross which Adam Webster eventually turned into his own net. Steele did go on to save four penalties in the shootout, and atoned for the error he had made.
They played a fairly strong lineup in that game, and I’m inclined to say I expect Graham Potter to field a good side again. It makes this game somewhat difficult to predict from a betting perspective, though odds of 4/9 about the home side aren’t as short as I was expecting.
If they take this as seriously as I expect them to, I feel good about backing Brighton to win and Under 3.5 goals at 13/10 with betway.
Blackpool have only seen four or more goals in 2 of their last 16 league games, while it’s happened in only 2 of Brighton’s last 16 in all competitions.