Brighton well rested after free weekend
Brighton have benefited from a free weekend and the hosts will be aiming to take advantage of this at home to Wolves on Wednesday night. Graham Potter’s side were due to face Tottenham on Sunday but a Covid outbreak among the visitors forced the match to be postponed. It means Brighton have not been in action since their 1-1 draw at Southampton at the start of December.
It continued a run of stalemates for Brighton with the draw specialists proving hard to beat this season.
The Seagulls have only lost three matches but eight of their 15 league games have ended in a draw.
Brighton are sitting mid-table in the Premier League but are in need of a victory – their last win was at home to Leicester in September.
Wolves without Jimenez after red
Wolves will be without striker Raul Jimenez after the Mexican striker was sent off, for two daft bookings within seconds of each other, during the 1-0 defeat at Manchester City on Saturday. Bruno Lage had every right to feel aggrieved after Joao Moutinho was adjudged to have conceded a penalty despite the ball hitting his armpit. Raheem Sterling converted the penalty with the champions having to work very hard to overcome ten-man Wolves.
It was a typically resilient performance by Wolves with their defensive solidity the foundation to their place in the top half of the table. Wolves have conceded just 14 goals in 16 matches but their problems have been at the opposite end. Only Norwich have scored less than Wolves’ return of 12 goals this season.
Brighton are 2.1 favourites for the match but this looks exceptionally short considering their form in recent months. Potter’s side have gone ten league matches without a victory and Wolves are extremely difficult to break down. Despite the extra rest time, there is no interest in siding with the hosts.
Wolves are 4.2 outsiders for the midweek match and the visitors certainly merit consideration at the odds. The loss of Jimenez is a blow but Wolves have won two more games than their opponents this season. Wanderers are preferred to Brighton but the best bet by some distance in this market is the draw.
Brighton have drawn their last three matches and five of their last six games have ended level. The draw looks a huge runner at [3.3], especially in a match featuring two teams short on goals. Wolves will set up to be obdurate opponents and Brighton’s lack of ruthlessness suggests the stalemate is the most likely outcome.
Wolves and Brighton are two of the four lowest scoring teams in the division and there looks a strong chance of under 1.5 goal backers profiting from this game.
Wolves’ last five matches have all produced no more than one goal.
There have only been three goals during this run and the visitors’ defensive reliability, coupled with a lack of punch in attack, should lead to another low-scoring affair. Under 1.5 goals looks generously priced, based on the teams involved, at 7/4.
Another appealing bet is to back the match to be goalless at half-time. The argument for a stalemate between these teams has already been laid out, with the draw a strong runner, while the lack of end product points strongly towards a dearth of goalmouth action.
Wolves’ last six matches have all been goalless at the break and they face a Brighton side held 0-0 by Leeds in their last home game.
Expect another cagey contest and a 0-0 draw at half-time must be backed at 7/5.
Wolves have failed to score in any of their last four Premier League games since beating West Ham 1-0 last month. They have not gone five league games without a goal since 2003.
Follow Simon’s bets on Twitter @watfordtipster