It is not Chris Hughton's style to make wholesale changes to his Albion team.

He prefers continuity. It tends to be alterations in ones, twos and threes, not fours, fives and sixes.

This consistent approach has worked spectacularly well - but it is worth contemplating a re-think when the Seagulls face the Big Six in the Premier League.

So far they have faced Manchester City and Liverpool at home, Arsenal and Manchester United away.

Each time Hughton has started with something close to what he would regard as his strongest eleven, except at the Emirates where his striking options were restricted by Tomer Hemed's suspension and a troublesome ankle injury affecting Glenn Murray.

The result? Played four, won none, drawn none, lost four, goals for one, goals against 10.

The goals against figure has been skewed by Liverpool's 5-1 win at the Amex but being competitive in three of the four games does not reduce the case for making more widespread changes. If anything it makes the case.

Even with their best eleven, the prospects of Albion getting a result against the Big Six, home or away, are remote.

Especially when the fixtures fall at awkward moments in a hectic period.

Is it coincidence that sub-standard home performances against Crystal Palace and Liverpool followed hot-on-the-heels of that herculean effort at Old Trafford, unfortunately unrewarded?

Albion face the same situation in the next two clashes with the top six.

The glamour trip to Wembley to tackle Tottenham a week tomorrow lands between Saturday's significant visit to Huddersfield and a home game the following Saturday against Burnley.

Although Spurs have struggled for form since the international break - and have struggled generally at their temporary home - that match is still the toughest of the next three and the one in which Albion are least likely to profit.

It is a poignant game for Hughton, of course, with his ultra-strong Spurs connections.

The Argus: It will also be a game that regulars like Lewis Dunk (above) and Shane Duffy, Bruno and Gaetan Bong, Dale Stephens and Davy Propper, Anthony Knockaert and Glenn Murray will be desperately keen to play in.

Some of the supporters travelling to Wembley as well will expect to see the strongest possible team to give Albion the best possible chance of picking up an unexpected result - and will moan if they do not.

Tough on all counts. These considerations are trumped by the one that really matters - Albion giving themselves the best chance possible of staying up this season.

The difficulty for Hughton is that replacements for his regulars are under-cooked. They've had precious little game time and training, no matter how hard, is no substitute.

Connor Goldson, for example, played in the League Cup against Barnet in August and Bournemouth in September, hardly the ideal preparation for meeting Harry Kane.

Nevertheless, it is worth considering playing the likes of Goldson, Ezequiel Schelotto (below) and Markus Suttner, Beram Kayal and Tomer Hemed against Spurs.

The Argus: They will all be desperate to show what they can do and will it really make that much difference to the limited prospects of springing a surprise?

The workload on the regulars is beginning to take its toll. Far better they come back fresh for another Amex test against robust Burnley, after a week's rest from a high-intensity challenge at Huddersfield, than expending more energy - both physical and mental - at Wembley.

The same applies to the Boxing Day trip to Stamford Bridge against champions Chelsea.

That is the second of four matches in ten days over the festive period. The others, at home to Watford and Bournemouth and at Newcastle, are far more likely to produce points.

There are additional benefits to Big Six rotation. A heavy defeat, if that happened, would not be felt to quite the same extent by those returning to play in the next game.

It will also provide precious Premier League game time for those on the edge of Hughton's first-choice eleven. They will then be better prepared when he has to use them due to injuries and suspensions.

Albion are on course to survive after their healthy return of 17 points from the first 15 games. Another 20 or 21 points are probably needed to stay up from the remaining 23 matches.

Regard any points from eight of them as an almighty bonus and target six wins and three draws from the other 15 - requiring only a marginal improvement to results at the Amex - to get over the line.