The big question mark over Albion's Premier League survival is whether they can score enough goals.

The encouraging point-a-game start has set the tone, at least until January, when they get another chance to add to the strike force.

The strength of Chris Hughton's side lies more in defence than attack.

They only conceded twice at home to Manchester City and away to Arsenal. Liverpool in seventh and Watford in eighth have each let in a lot more goals.

The reverse side of the coin is four blank sheets in the first seven matches. Only Sunday's visitors Everton and the current bottom three have scored fewer goals.

The prospect of that statistic improving will be enhanced by the return to peak fitness - and form - of the two attacking players instrumental to promotion, Glenn Murray and Anthony Knockaert (below).

The Argus: Between them they contributed 38 of the Seagulls' 74 goals in the Championship last season. Knockaert also provided countless assists.

Neither Murray nor the French winger have scored or set up a goal in the Premier League so far. The parts they have played have been conspicuously limited, although there are good reasons for this unexpected turn of events.

When Murray was sent-off in the penultimate pre-season friendly in Spain against Girona, it opened the door for centre-forward rival Tomer Hemed to claim the role of opening day spearhead against Manchester City.

Then Murray suffered ankle damage in his first start against Leicester, an injury which continued to cause him discomfort in the weeks that followed.

As a result, he has yet to complete 90 minutes. He has also not yet started a home game, a situation which could change against Everton with Hemed in the middle of a three-match ban.

Knockaert has also been handicapped. Ankle damage ten minutes into the opening pre-season friendly against Fortuna Dusseldorf in Austria disrupted his preparations.

His solitary full appearance to date came in the convincing home victory over West Brom. At Arsenal last time out Knockaert was relegated to the bench, as record signing Jose Izquierdo made his full debut.

Although Hughton made the decision for tactical reasons, Knockaert spoke in a moving interview with the Daily Mail ahead of the trip to Emirates about how the death of his father Patrick almost a year ago continues to affect him deeply.


Some of the pond life inhabiting social media platforms were moved only to ridicule and berate Knockaert for bearing his soul.

He has deactivated his Twitter account as a consequence, which may actually be a good thing, removing an unhelpful distraction.

Instead of being tormented by cruel jibes, Knockaert can concentrate on torturing opposition defences and proving, after his restricted opportunities with Leicester, that he can make the step up to the Premier League.

We have already seen glimpses that he can, at Watford both before and after the red-carded Miguel Britos almost cut him in half, and in the opening 20 minutes against Newcastle.

The Argus: Murray and Knockaert (above) have hardly been on the pitch together - 15 minutes against Manchester City, four minutes at Leicester, seven minutes versus West Brom, 14 minutes at Arsenal.

Murray has demonstrated previously at Crystal Palace - once he recovered from knee ligament damage - and at Bournemouth that he can score goals at Premier League level if he gets the type of service from wide areas which he thrives on.

Pascal Gross could be good for him. Murray nearly halved Albion's arrears at Arsenal from the German's cross in the closing stages.

The deliveries from Gross for Hemed and Solly March headers against West Brom and Bournemouth, together with the free-kick which led to Hemed's decisive strike against Newcastle, are meat and drink to Murray's predatory instincts inside the penalty box.

The likelihood is that Murray and Knockaert will start a match together for the first time this season against Everton.

Having the pair of them firing again will help camouflage the striker shortage, which is the largest obstacle to Albion's safety ambition.