Brighton’s meteoric rise continues and the Seagulls are now 5/6 to finish in the Premier League top five and 2/1 to finish in the top four.
bet365’s Steve Freeth said: "Those hardy souls who braved Priestfield and the Withdean must be rubbing their eyes at the rise of their football club as we wait to see how high the ceiling is for Brighton & Hove Albion.
"They’re just embarking on a European tour having qualified for the Europa League and the early signs suggest they’re well on the way to upgrading to the Champions League next season with the prospect of a top-five finish being enough.
"Some Seagulls fans might be uncomfortable at the prospect of losing the impressive Roberto De Zerbi, but the Brighton board have already shown they’re more than capable of pulling a rabbit out of the hat whether it’s a replacement manager or player."
Brighton Premier League odds:
|Brighton to win the Premier League||33/1|
|Brighton to finish in the top 2||8/1|
|Brighton to finish in the top 4||2/1|
|Brighton to finish in the top 5||5/6|
|Brighton to finish in the top 6||8/15|
|Brighton to finish in the top half||1/25|
For those unaware, an extra Champions League place will be awarded to the two best-performing countries in Europe this season, and England’s representatives look well placed to ensure the Premier League gets five spots.
It’s 11/10 that an English club wins the Champions League, Liverpool and Brighton are the two favourites for the Europa League at 7/2 and 12/1 respectively, while Aston Villa are 4/1 favourites for the Europa Conference League.
It’s not a certainty by any means, but it may be that Brighton and Hove Albion are not just odds-on to finish in the top five, but odds-on to be playing Champions League football next season.
And – look away, Palace fans – who would begrudge them that?
Both Brentford and Brighton have attracted countless admirers for the way their clubs have been run over the last 10-15 years. Smart acquisitions, selling players at the right time and ensuring the right managers are in place.
Brentford were promoted three times in 13 years; Brighton twice in seven. The last time Brentford were relegated was 2007; Brighton 2006.
Thomas Frank is the third longest serving manager in the Premier League and the sixth in England as he closes in on five years in London with the Bees looking like mainstays in the division.
But Brighton’s ceiling just seems to keep getting higher and higher, and no one person can be credited with that.
Graham Potter did a sterling job on the south coast, earning a big move to Chelsea and we all know how that turned out. Did Potter suddenly become a bad manager overnight? No. Was the job too big for him? Perhaps. But the point is Potter could thrive at Brighton because all the tools were there, just as Roberto De Zerbi is now.
Brighton know how they want to play and they ensure the right players are signed with the right manager in the dugout; that’s down to a savvy recruitment team, put in place by the higher-ups. Manchester City are similar, though they have vastly more resource with which to implement their ambitions.
It’s a contrasting approach to some of the league’s bigger hitters, who sign whatever player the manager likes or others who sign whatever player the owner likes.
It means Brighton are able to remain competitive when their stars are sold. Take this weekend; Manchester United were odds-against to beat Brighton at home and that’s not simply a reflection of the hosts’ disorder on and off the pitch.
Brighton didn’t just turn up to Old Trafford and record a smash-and-grab win; they were the better side, picking off United at will, flitting between passing Erik ten Hag’s side to death and breaking at speed with great numbers in attack.
Brighton have posted the most shots on target, the third highest xG and are the top scorers in the division. They do, however, have the seventh-worst xGA in the league, which could be attributed to the overhaul in midfield and their adventurous style of play.
Alexis Mac Allister was sold in the summer after Liverpool seemingly triggered a release clause allowing them to sign the Argentine below his true value. A rare misstep from Brighton, but that was made up for with the sale of Moises Caicedo for in excess of £100m.
Based on resource if nothing else, the Premier League has a ‘big seven’ and Brighton aren’t in it. But are they one of the best seven teams in the country?
Right now, most certainly.
Brighton finishing position odds:
|Brighton to finish 1st||33/1|
|Brighton to finish 2nd||9/1|
|Brighton to finish 3rd||8/1|
|Brighton to finish 4th||7/1|
|Brighton to finish 5th||5/1|
|Brighton to finish 6th||4/1|
|Brighton to finish 7th or lower||11/8|