How much would Albion love a scrambled goal from a yard or two, coupled with a clean sheet, at Norwich?

It might not be a pretty thought but a repeat of a sketchy 1-0 success at struggling Swansea two seasons ago, secured via Glenn Murray's right thigh, would do the Seagulls just fine tomorrow.

It would leave them nine points clear of the drop zone as Bournemouth kick off at Old Trafford at 3pm, Watford head to Chelsea for 8pm and Aston Villa prepare to visit Liverpool a day later.

Graham Potter probably knows what sort of a hole that Albion win at the Liberty Stadium helped push Swansea into.

He also knows his recent Albion history, despite being in his first season at the club.

He appreciates success at Carrow Road would take them to the tally of 36 points with which they finished last season.

He probably has not done the maths in terms of how the club fare away from home when they visit teams below them in the table.

But he might understand why it feels like playing at home to Albion is everyone else’s must-win game.

That much has become clear from following match previews from the opposition viewpoint ever since the Seagulls arrived at this level in the summer of 2017.

A top to mid-ranking Prem side has to be thinking in terms of beating teams from further down the table.

And poor teams struggling for a win – like West Brom and Stoke two seasons ago, Cardiff and Fulham last year and Southampton on a couple of occasions – rub their hands together when they see Brighton (h) on the fixture list instead one of the giants.

So, yes, Potter sees Carrow Road tomorrow as a great opportunity to take a massive step forward.

But his answers in yesterday’s press conference suggested he is also aware it is a big game too for the Canaries.

Tomorrow’s fixture will be the 19th time since arriving in the Premier League that Albion have played away to opponents who were below them in the table at kick-off time.

They have lost half of the previous 18 with five draws and four wins.

Curiously, they have never played away to a team who were bottom of the table at kick-off, as they will at Norwich.

But they have visited a team lying 19th on eight occasions - the first and last of which were at Bournemouth early in 2017-18 and again this January.

Their last three away points have come in draws when probably little was expected of them outside Sussex – at Wolves, Sheffield United at Leicester.

And their last three away wins have comprised two at teams above them – at Crystal Palace last season and Arsenal this – plus Watford on the opening day when everyone was on zero.

If that is meant to be a negative view of things, it is not meant to be.

It is the idea of guarding against complacency which Potter will be keen to see among his men.

The prize is there if they can then emulate wins against teams below them they enjoyed at West Ham and Swansea in 2017-18.

And at both Newcastle and Huddersfield last season.

Potter said: “We want to try and win the game.

“We were disappointed with the result against Manchester United.

“We don’t like losing, it’s not a nice feeling at all so we want to bounce back from that and we know that it’s against a team that are fighting for their lives.

“They will see it as an opportunity as well.

“It’s just another complicated game in the Premier League where nothing is straight forward and you have to fight for everything.”

Albion have a great opportunity to do what has not been achieved in the last two seasons.

That is snuffing out any lingering flame of hope at a struggling rival rather than allowing them the oxygen of a win.

They have allowed West Brom, Stoke, Cardiff and Fulham to believe in the impossible over the last two seasons – and they led in three of those games.

They can put that right at a venue where a few of the squad will remember they allowed a chance to clinch the Championship title pass them by three years ago.

If we are talking about memories, by the way, think back to two weeks ago, when it looked like Albion were in a very tricky situation.

They still are to a degree – but the value of Premier League points has increased in the bottom six without home crowds to cheer on the underdogs.

So four from three games is a valuable haul.

Potter said: “As you reflect, you think could we have done this, could we have done that?

“But if you had have offered Dean Smith or Daniel Farke or all these managers four points they’d probably have said the same – ‘Thank you very much’.

“What I’ve learnt about the players is that they are there to fight, that there’s a real togetherness, there’s a real quality, that they work really hard for each other, we’re a really committed, together group and, whatever happens, we’re going to give anything.

“That’s probably been the pleasing thing. Their response over lockdown, professionalism over lockdown and then their awareness of the situation now has been really, really good.

“There’s pressure because you spend six months without a win and then you’re reminded of that pretty much all the time.

“Then you know you’ve got a lot of games coming up which are very difficult and you’re only two points above the bottom three and that feels like it’s been like that for four or five months.

“I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t external pressure but it’s about perspective.

“If we win on Saturday that gives us 36 points.

“That’s the same total we had last year and we still have five games to play and 15 more points to play for.

“I suppose it depends on what your expectations are and where your perspective is.

“We know we’ve got to fight. We know we’re in the Premier League, we know that every game is so tough and so difficult.

“It would strange if I sat here and thought we should getting 50 or 60 points.”

It would be just as strange if anyone who has followed Albion on their travels since setting off for Leicester in August, 2017, looks at the league table and assumes they will win in Norfolk.

We have learnt across 18 away games in particular since then that things are not as simple as one would sometimes like. Certainly not as predictable.

But the opportunity is there.



Bournemouth (19th) v Albion (14th) lost 2-1

West Ham (15th) v Albion (14th) won 0-3

Swansea (17th) v Albion (12th) won 0-1

Huddersfield (16th) v Albion (12th) lost 2-0

Newcastle (15th) v Albion (12th) drew 0-0

West Brom (19th) v Albion (12th) lost 2-0

Southampton (19th) v Albion (16th) drew 1-1

Stoke (18th) v Albion (13th) drew 1-1

Crystal Palace (17th) v Albion (13th) lost 3-2


Newcastle (19th) v Albion (13th) won 0-1

Cardiff (19th) v Albion (12th) lost 2-1

Huddersfield (16th) v Albion (12th) won 1-2

Burnley (19th) v Albion (10th) lost 1-0

Fulham (19th) v Albion (13th) lost 4-2


Newcastle (18th) v Albion (16th) drew 0-0

Aston Villa (15th) v Albion (14th) lost 2-1

Bournemouth (19th) v Albion (15th) lost 3-1

West Ham (17th) v Albion (15th) drew 3-3