Cardiff City v Brighton & Hove Albion: match preview

Cardiff City v Brighton & Hove Albion: match preview

Neil Warnock: Cardiff boss expects lowest Premier League points total for survival

Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock believes a record low points total could be enough for Premier League survival.

The lowest number of points to survive to date was 31 in 2010 when 18th-placed Burnley went down with 30 points.

Brighton dont travel well as a rule and theyve now won just one of their last 19 on the road but theyre beginning to look and play like an experienced Premier League outfit. Theyre very well organised defensively and while the evergreen Glenn Murray is still scoring (only Eden Hazard, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sergio Aguero have scored more this season) theyre a force to be reckoned with. Murrays in search of his seventh of the season on Saturday, which would see him draw alongside the aforementioned trio.

Warnocks Sheffield United went down with 38 points in 2007, while his Bluebirds side currently have just five points from 11 games, yet they are just one point from safety.

Cardiff dont score many and Brighton dont concede so its no surprise at all to see Under 2 ½ Goals is the long odds-on favourite. Only once in their last eight meetings in the Championship did the net bulge more than twice when these two teams met and Hughton will again look to set up tight against Warnocks men so its very hard to envisage anything like a goal-fest. Under 2 ½ Goals is definitely the play but Im happy to combine it with the Same Game Multi option…

Cardiff v Brighton: Solid Seagulls value to beat backsliding Bluebirds

“With Sheffield United we went down with 38 points, let me tell you, I would take that now,” he continued.

“Brighton are 12th but they will still be looking over their shoulder. They wont be looking up, theyll be looking down at the bottom three.

“This is the first season like this I think, and we could benefit from that more than anyone. Because we are hanging in there.”

Brighton travel to South Wales after a 3-1 defeat on Merseyside last weekend, thanks in part to an uncharacteristic mistake by the usually rock-solid Lewis Dunk. Everton are always hard to beat at Goodison Park though and their manager, Marco Silva, described the Toffees performance as their best at home this season. After three wins in-a-row, a bump in the road wasnt a big surprise for Brighton.

Warnock believes the low points totals could end up meaning a host of clubs are involved in a relegation battle, with just three points separating Crystal Palace in 14th and bottom-placed Fulham.

Cardiff have now lost seven of their last eight in the Premier League and the only games in which theyve not conceded were at the beginning of the season when they drew nil-nil with both Newcastle and Huddersfield – two sides that have been really struggling for goals all season. The Bluebirds are long odds-on for the drop now and its hard to argue a case for them avoiding it.

“You cant really predict, but it does seem the bigger teams are pulling away. There arent many shocks anymore are there?” he told BBC Sport Wales.

Twitter Facebook Reddit Glenn Murray – seeking his seventh of the season on Saturday Join today View market Chris Hughton's Brighton travel to Neil Warnock's Cardiff for Saturday's live lunchtime game and our man fancies the Seagulls to fly home with all three points. Read Steve Rawlings' take on the first live Premier League action of the weekend here…

“There is a wider margin, but I think any club in the bottom half really (could go down). Any club can quite easily hit a bad run. Its wide open down there.

“I do think there are six teams involved in the relegation battle at the moment and we are probably favourites to finish bottom.

That result could be misleading though. Its difficult to quantify how hard a game that was for Leicester and the visitors should have gone ahead before the break when (unseen by the ref) Cardiffs Sol Bamba denied Jamie Vardy a goal by pushing the ball on to the bar with his hand. Leicester had the majority of possession and they were the better side.

“I think weve just got to take it on board and try and give it our best shot, but if I am honest, I think there will be a lot more nerves in other dressing rooms, clubs with bigger expectations than us.

“We are quite capable of picking up points. Apart from the top five teams, every game is winnable, home and away.”

Cardiff entertain Chris Hughtons Brighton on Saturday after a difficult game against Leicester last weekend.

This is the first time these two sides have met in the top-flight of English football but it will be their 68th meeting overall and theyve been hard to split historically. Cardiff have won 22 and Brighton 23 but the visitors have lost just one of the last 11 league encounters.

Leicester City beat Cardiff 1-0 on an emotional day as the Foxes returned to action for the first time since the death of their owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four other people in a helicopter crash.

Prior to their visit to Goodison, a 1-0 away win at Newcastle had been sandwiched in-between two 1-0 home wins against West Ham and Wolves and those three victories had followed a decent hard-working performance at the Etihad where they went down 2-0 to Manchester City.

“It was a strange and difficult week for everybody really. To come away with nothing was a huge disappointment if I am honest,” he said.

To their credit, Cardiff put up a fight at Anfield and it took goals in the 84th and 87th minutes to properly separate the two sides and to see the game end 4-1 in favour of the title challengers, and they were only beaten 1-0 at home by the Foxes.

“But there has been no lull in the mood. The team spirit is great and thats the best chance weve got of surviving, to be honest.”

Im not being quite so ambitious this week but I quite like Brighton to win and Under 2 ½ Goals, which pays £5.38 for a £1 stake, as well as Brighton to win, Under 2 ½ Goals and Glenn Murray To Score, which pays a juicy £11.96 for a £1 stake.

Subs from B Murphy, Smithies, Hoilett, Ward, Damour, Madine, Cunningham, Harris, Connolly, Coxe, Brown

Injured Mendez-Laing (knee, Dec), Peltier (shoulder, Dec), Richards (hamstring), Zohore (calf, both unknown)

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