Match Preview – Brighton & Hove Albion vs Leicester City

It seems some people will never forgive Joe Mattock. If he plays, Mattock will make his fifth appearance against Leicester City since leaving in 2009. He will be representing his fourth different club in three seasons. If the former England U21 international makes the starting eleven it will be for only the 46th time since he signed for West Brom. Spending a season and a half on the substitutes bench and the treatment table probably wasn’t what Mattock had in mind when he handed in his transfer request. After auditioning Bruno Berner, Tom Kennedy, Greg Cunningham and Patrick van Aanholt as his replacement at left-back, City finally settled on Paul Konchesky.

Konchesky has proven one of Leicester’s most reliable performers in an up and down season. Whether Leicester are on the up now depends on how you look at it. City are unbeaten in four in all competitions, winning three and drawing one. Alternatively the Foxes have won only two of their last nine league games. Then again, Leicester have won their last two away matches.

What is clear is that few City fans expected Leicester to emerge from an away trip to Southampton and a home match against Middlesbrough with four points, at least not the way round they actually managed it. Perhaps we should have more faith, after all Leicester have won more points against sides in the top half this season (21) than against sides in the bottom half (18).

Brighton are in good form having shaken off four defeats at the end of 2011 to begin the New Year without defeat in any competition so far. When these sides last met a victory for the Foxes was the start of a nine match winless run for Gus Poyet’s side. But Brighton are more resilient now, winning enough matches to stay in playoff contention despite having attempted fewer shots on goal (238) than any other Championship side.

Expect it to be tight.

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