TWO former international footballers feel Albion have what it takes to survive in the Premier League.

Alan Smith and Andy Townsend, now commentators for Sky Sports and BT, have said Chris Hughton’s men have the talent but will need a bit extra to help them through the season when times get tough.

The eyes of the footballing world will be on the Amex tomorrow as the Seagulls prepare to take on title favourites Manchester City. The football fairytale has captured the imagination and TV crews have been in the city to tell Albion’s amazing story.

Bookmaker Marathonbet is offering Albion fans odds of 5,000/1 for Albion to win the league.

The bookies persuaded Smith and Townsend to fly model pigs attached to drones over Brighton Palace Pier to launch the offer.

Smith, the ex-Arsenal and England striker, said: “It’s difficult to say how they will do, but in terms of statistics, I think around 33 per cent of newly-promoted teams stay up – usually one team out of the three.

“Last year all of the players got around seven out of ten most weeks. If you offered Chris Hughton 17th now, he’d take it.”

Despite Marathonbet’s enticing offer, Townsend, an ex-Republic of Ireland and Southampton player, said fans’ money would be better spent on them just staying in the league.

He said: “I think they can do it. What Brighton need to do is get their home form right.

“They don’t need to worry about going to the Etihad and Old Trafford, they need to beat the teams around them like Bournemouth and Swansea. They also need quality, some luck, but, more than anything, the unwavering support of their fans.”

Having played against Albion on multiple occasions during his career, he has seen the club rise from the ashes. Townsend said: “I love to see success stories and Brighton is one of them. That’s why I will be keeping my fingers crossed for them this season.”