"Blades will need to adapt to deal with a very unpredictable Albion side" - a Brighton writer gives us the inside track ahead of Sheffield United clash

In-form Sheffield United will make the long trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday defending an unbeaten away record which stretches back to the beginning of the year.

Friday, 20th December 2019, 10:56 am

The last time the Blades suffered travel sickness was when they succumbed 1-0 at Swansea City in the Championship on January 19.

But that run will be tested when they come up against a Seagulls side unbeaten in three and which has impressed under new boss Graham Potter – the man in charge of Swansea when United last experienced defeat on the road.

But who are the players that make Brighton tick and what should Chris Wilder's men be on their guard against tomorrow?

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Brighton & Hove Albion manager, Graham Potter. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

We asked Brighton writer Adam Stenning, of The Argus, for the inside track.

What was the reaction among the Albion fan base when Graham Potter was appointed?

Most were surprised by his appointment and some were probably unaware of who he was. But, they certainly know who he is now and are enjoying what he is doing at the club.

Have they bought into what he's trying to achieve at the AMEX?

Striker Neal Maupay has been in fine form for Brighton & Hove Albion since his summer move from Brentford. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

They certainly have one thing that many fans didn't enjoy under Hughton was his rather defensive style especially against the big teams.

Under Potter it is completely different fans are getting the edge of your seats attacking football, which they have wanted for years.

Also, they are buying into Potter's policy of giving younger players a chance to show what they can do.

They have enjoyed seeing Aaron Connolly and Steven Alazte break into the first team and become regulars, as well as becoming senior internationals due to their form for Albion.

Are Brighton fans happy with the start to the season?

They seem happy with the start to the season, Albion have not sat back and been convincingly beaten any team.

The Seagulls have played their attacking football against the big side which some success.

They went narrowly close to getting a point against Liverpool at Anfield, which was unthinkable. Albion have also beaten the likes of Tottenham at home and Arsenal away, which shows progression from under Hughton.

Also, in games Albion are dominating the ball more like against Palace at Selhurst Park there were points where Albion were having more than 70 per cent of the ball for pretty much the first half.

Who have been the stand out performers for Brighton?

There have been a few of note.

The first is Maty Ryan, the Australian keeper has been phenomenal so far this season, making countless saves which have helped Albion to hold onto points.

Add to this his distribution has come on leaps and bounds since last season, with him now rarely putting the ball out of play.

Someone who is leading by example at the back is skipper Lewis Dunk. The centre-half has been in great form this season and has seemed to step it up a gear under Potter. He poses a real threat from set pieces and the long raking passes he plays across the field or over the top are a joy to watch when he gets them right.

Another player who has been catching the eye is Neal Maupay. The 23-year-old striker has had an up and down start to this season, but is starting to find his feet in the top flight. He has scored seven goals this season in all competitions and is proving to be a real handful for defenders with his desire to get on the front foot.

Who are the main threats?

Maupay has a real handful for defences recently. He has scored three goals in his last three games and will be looking to make it four in four on Saturday and I certainly wouldn't put it past him to do that.

Another player who can cause problems with his quick movements and creativity is Leandro Trossard.

The Belgian has the ball glued to his feet when he gets it and has already shown how much of a handful he can be scoring two goals and also having two assists to his name so far this season.

What style of football (or system) should United expect to come up against?

United will need to expect an attacking Albion side who will look to use their quick movement and fluid passing to create opportunities to get in behind their defence.

In terms of a system that is a bit harder to identify as Potter has used a number including sometimes two or three formations changes in one game. He has used five at the back, four at the back and three at the back so far this season and has changed between one or two upfront, so United will need to prepare to adapt even in the game to deal with a very unpredictable Albion side.

What is Brighton's target for this season/where do you think they will finish?

Well their long term aim is to become a top 10 side, which is certainly achievable given how they have played so far under Potter so far. However, this season Albion would settle for a mid-table finish in Potter's first season at the helm, but there no reason if they can string a good run of results together why they couldn't force them way towards the top 10.