Albion striker Craig Mackail-Smith has great respect for Billy Sharp – but he is determined to outscore him this season.

The two hotshots will be on duty at opposite ends of the pitch as the Seagulls host Nottingham Forest at The Amex today.

Mackail-Smith is Albion’s leading scorer this season with ten goals in 18 league appearances.

Sharp, who is on loan for the season from Southampton, has six in 18 for Forest including three in his last four games.

Mackail-Smith will be looking for the 100th goal of his Football League career this afternoon while Sharp currently sits on 125 from 20 more appearances.

The Albion marksman said: “Billy Sharp is a fantastic striker, he has scored lots of goals in this division. He will be a player to watch and we need to make sure he doesn’t enjoy himself today.

“He is a great player and we have got to make sure we mark him properly and don’t give him any chances.”

Mackail-Smith is currently eighth on the list of Championship top scorers this season – a list jointly led by Burnley’s Charlie Austin and Crystal Palace’s Glenn Murray with 18 apiece.

Like the so-called goalkeepers’ union, Mackail-Smith admits there is a lot of mutual respect among the leading strikers – and also plenty of competition.

He said: “There are a lot of very good strikers in this division and you do your best to outscore them.

“It is always best when you come up against another good striker. It is good competition to see what they are like.”