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Club News


24 October 2017

Brighton & Hove Albion meet Southampton for the first time in five years this weekend, in a game which probably doesn’t have the same edge it did between 2009 and 2012.
During the three seasons the Seagulls and the Saints were paired in the same league, a rivalry ensued, mainly down to inflammatory comments from Nigel Adkins but also due to the Seagulls’ charge towards the League One title.
Southampton were a big scalp for League One sides in 2009, considering they had not long been out of the Premier League. But the south-coast club’s financial problems and following points deduction left them unable to escape the third tier at the first attempt.
Enter Gus Poyet for Albion, who steered the club away from League One relegation before creating a promotion-pushing team in 2010/11. It was sheer coincidence that the Uruguayan’s first game in charge was away at Southampton, but it would not be the first time Albion got the better of the Saints.
A 3-1 win on that Sunday in November 2009 proved to be a marker of things to come, as the Seagulls clinched promotion as League One champions the next seaon, beating Southampton to the title despite Adkins’s claims that the only way Brighton would go up is if they could keep up with his Saints side.
Adkins had made himself the pantomime villain in Albion supporters’ eyes, and two fiery contests in the 2011/12 Championship season showed that there had been no love lost between the two clubs, with the two meetings that season producing three red cards, nine yellows and a host of controversy.
However, as Southampton reclaimed their positon in England’s top tier, the two clubs have seen previous animosities dwindle. With neither Poyet or Adkins at either club, that two-year rivalry has now subsided, but with the riches of Premier League survival at stake, the contest has taken on a whole new meaning as the teams go face-to-face at the Amex on Sunday.

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