Brighton: 3-0 unlikely

Having been beaten 3-0 at home by a strong, workmanlike Ipswich team last week, Charlton now head down to Brighton to face the cream of the crop - the only unbeaten team in the entire top four divisions.

Last season Brighton appointed a new manager - Sami Hyppia - who had little management experience and very limited knowledge of The Championship.  It wasn't surprising that they struggled and, when Hyppia was sacked, they were in the relegation places despite having flirted with the play-offs in the previous two years.  New manager Chris Hughton was well seasoned in British football but even he was only able to steer the club to 20th position.

This week the club announced that they had made a loss of over £10m to achieve that 20th place. Their chairman Tony Bloom was quoted as saying:  "any Championship club wishing to compete for promotion will inevitably make significant losses". Interesting.........

Hughton made a number of changes to the squad over the summer and the team are currently sitting top of the table.  The Israeli - Tomer Hemed is their leading goalscorer with 5 but Jamie Murphy (signed from Sheff Utd) and returning hero Bobby Zamora have notched 4 each.  The squad has been further strengthened by the loan signing of James Wilson from Manchester United for the rest of the season.  In midfield Solly March is grabbing the headlines alongside Dale Stevens who has yet to make a lasting impact.

It has come to something when Charlton supporters are comparing 0-3 defeats to find a crumb of comfort. It is generally agreed that 0-3 to Preston was the worst of the lot and that the Ipswich 0-3 perhaps the most promising.  Surely Simon Makienok can't be that ineffective again. Maybe Vaz Te and Reza (useful scrabble score there) would be a better partnership?

Brighton have won ten of their eighteen unbeaten league games this season but their goal difference is only +10.  Every win has been by the odd goal.  Will Charlton be the first side to lose by more than one goal or could we frustrate the hosts sufficiently to gain a point? It is only just over a year ago that we went to table topping Norwich and beat them 1-0 so we know it can be done.  The problem is just that our goalscorer that night was the inspirational Johnnie Jackson whose departure against Ipswich seemed to be the catalyst for the capitulation.

Nothing to lose on the south coast. It's Leeds and Bolton at home that matter.