BRIGHTON vs BURNLEY: Match Preview, npower Championship, Saturday 17th December

By Jamie Spoor

Despite a 1-0 defeat at high-flying Middlesbrough last Saturday, Albion are still only three points off the top six ahead of the visit of the in-form Clarets.

The Seagulls, who have recovered from a September-October sticky patch, have won four of their last five, but boss Gus Poyet says his side “need something different”.

In the continued absence of Spanish playmaker Vicente, Poyet feels that his side are lacking a creative spark in the final third, something he hopes to address in January.

“It is a difficult situation as he was and is a key player, we need to get him fit.

“We are on standby, keeping our options open as we need something more in the final third, it is frustrating for all of us.

“I had the possibility of bringing someone in for that position, but it looked like he was coming back, so we stopped.”
Vicente is one of five absentees ahead of Saturday’s Amex clash, with Gary Dicker (broken leg), Marcos Painter (hamstring), Will Hoskins (knee) and Tommy Elphick (ankle) joining the Spaniard on the sidelines.

Attacking midfielder Ryan Harley is available again after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury.

Eddie Howe’s Burnley currently sit in 15th position, following three successive wins over Hull, Ipswich and West Ham, after occupying the bottom three for the opening months of the season.

The sides’ last meeting was a 0-0 draw at Withdean back in January 2006

Form guide

Kick off: 3 pm (Amex Stadium)

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