No wonder Chris Hughton describes any points for Albion from their next two matches as a bonus.

The Seagulls have found it pretty difficult against the top six just over halfway through their second season in the Premier League.

They have beaten Manchester United twice, Arsenal once. They have also drawn with Arsenal and Spurs, all of them at the Amex.

That record suggests they have more chance at home to Liverpool on Saturday than at Old Trafford a week later.

It adds up to three victories, two draws and 13 defeats in 18 cracks at the biggest clubs in English football.

Hughton's side have scored 12 goals over this period, conceded an average of around two per game (37).

The Argus: Thirteen of their 25 defeats overall since promotion have been inflicted by the 'Big Six'.

It is a modest record to contemplate for supporters, some of whom complain that Hughton does not give it enough of a go.

That Albion are inhibited by an inferiority complex when they take on the major players.

If, and it is a big if, that is the case, then they are by no means alone.

In fact, contrary to popular perception, Albion are faring better against the giants than the majority of comparable rivals.

Take the teams they came up with, for instance, Newcastle and Huddersfield.

Newcastle have a similar record, 19 matches yielding three wins, one draw and 15 defeats. They have taken a point less than Albion from one game more.

The victories include beating Chelsea 3-0 at St James' Park in the final fixture last season, when the visitors had one eye on the FA Cup final six days later.

Huddersfield under David Wagner (below left)? They have suffered to a far greater extent.

The Argus: In In 18 matches against the top six they have won once, drawn two and lost 15.

The scale of some of those defeats has been considerable. Huddersfield's goal difference over the 18 games is seven for, 43 against.

What about the promoted teams this time around?

Cardiff and Fulham have both found it extremely tough going.

They have each lost all seven clashes against the Big Six, with almost identical goal differences (five for, 25 against and four for, 23 against).

Nine of the 14 defeats between them have been by three or more goals.

Albion, by contrast, have always been competitive, apart from losing 4-0 at home to Chelsea and 5-1 against Liverpool last season.

Three of their four defeats against the top six so far this season have been by a single goal, the other was 2-0 at Manchester City.

The exception to the giants dominating the newcomers are Wolves.

Their performances give credence to a widely held view that they are the best side ever to be promoted from the Championship to the Premier League in its 28-year history.

Wolves have defeated Chelsea and Spurs (away), held Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal at Molineux.

The Argus: Only Spurs (3-2) and Liverpool (2-0) have managed to beat them. Wanderers, for good measure, avenged the latter result against a much-changed Liverpool in the FA Cup on Monday evening (above).

Their stats are particularly impressive, because well-established Premier League clubs still struggle consistently against the top six.

Bournemouth, Albion's FA Cup victims last Saturday, for example.

It was a rare moment of respite for the Cherries when Glenn Murray, Albion's leading marksman, scored the only goal at Chelsea in their first season following promotion.

They also won 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in their third season, but the overall record against the top six is grim. Played 43, won five, drawn four, lost 34, including seven defeats out of seven in the current campaign, their fourth since going up.

It is sobering to think it will not get any easier in future seasons for Albion.

They will, in all probability, continue to depend on taking enough points from 26 fixtures, not 38.

How they fare in the six matches remaining this season against the top six could, nevertheless, have a significant impact on the balance sheet as well as the kudos of claiming a scalp.

They are 13th, within three points of Watford in eighth. Every place higher at the finish is worth nearly £2 million extra in prize money.

Goal difference could make a £10 million difference, worth remembering if they continue to keep the score down against Liverpool and company.

Albion v Big Six

Man City: (h) 0-2 (a) 1-3 (a) 0-2

Liverpool: (h) 1-5 (a) 0-4 (a) 0-1

Spurs: (a) 0-2 (h) 1-1 (h) 1-2

Chelsea: (a) 0-2 (h) 0-4 (h) 1-2

Arsenal: (a) 0-2 (h) 2-1 (h) 1-1

Man Utd (a) 0-1 (h) 1-0 (h) 3-2.

P18 W3 D2 L13 F12 A37 Pts 11