Matt Upson is in line for an instant return to Albion’s watertight defence against his local club.
The veteran centre-half trained yesterday after missing the 2-0 win at Bolton Wanderers through illness as the Seagulls began preparations for Saturday’s visit by Ipswich Town.
The absence at Bolton of Upson, who was born 20 miles from Ipswich, wrecked his ever-present record in the Championship.
Lewis Dunk helped Albion to their 17th clean sheet at Wanderers, the most in the division, but head coach Oscar Garcia is expected to revert back to 34-year-old Upson’s partnership with captain Gordon Greer which has been so dependable throughout the season.
Oscar’s assistant Nathan Jones said: “It was unfortunate for Matt (at Bolton) because it’s outstanding to have got to March and not missed a minute of football in the league. People say especially at his age but I think age is not relative if you do the right things. He’s been outstanding and the clean sheet record is superb. We officially have the best defensive record in the league and that’s no coincidence.”
On-loan midfielder Keith Andrews, ineligible for the victory over parent club Bolton, is likely to be on the bench for his Ipswich reunion.
The 33-year-old Irishman had a profitable spell on loan to Saturday’s opponents two seasons ago. He scored nine goals in 20 games and stood in as skipper under former boss Paul Jewell.
Fellow midfielder Andrea Orlandi remains a doubt. The Spaniard has missed the last three matches with a thigh injury and is still under treatment.
Albion now boast the best defensive record in the Championship, with only 28 goals conceded, after QPR's ten men failed to keep a clean sheet in last night's defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.