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brighton

Seagulls aim to prove their critics wrong after being tipped for relegation

General preview 2019/20

Tactical tweaks from Potter must produce on-field improvements

It felt like an era-ending summer as three great favourites moved on. Boss Chris Hughton was sacked, Anthony Knockaert joined Fulham and Brun retired. So what follows must feel a bit like a trip into the unknown.

A new head coach in Graham Potter did not immediately mean a flood of signings, though Belgian star Leandro Trossard is an interesting addition. But there will be tactical changes, a more modern way of playing and, one hopes, improved production from some players who flattered to deceive.

Albion’s voyage of discovery must see them improve on the second half of last season. If not, they will sink without trace.

Pre-season news

A formation switch and plenty of goals as pre-season goes largely to plan

FC Liefering 2-5 Brighton

Dunk, Murray, Locadia, Trossard, Andone.

Crawley Town 0-1 Brighton

Richards (P).

Fulham 2-1 Brighton

Gross.

Birmingham City 0-4 Brighton

Murray, Locadia, Duffy (2).

Brighton 2-1 Valencia

Murray, Duffy.

transfer window

THE NEED TO GET MORE FROM PREVIOUS SIGNINGS AS IMPORTANT AS ANY NEW ONES

A slow-burner of a transfer window in the knowledge or hope that Graham Potter might also get more from signings of 2018 who have yet to really excel. Leandro Trossard was a top arrival although more firepower was still needed.

Rating: 6/10

Rating: 6/10

Matt Clarke

Promising young defender signed for what could be a bargain at £3.5 million if he shines on his subsequent loan deal at Derby.

Rating: 7/10

Leandro Trossard

The star turn of the Genk side which won the Belgian League and will offer something a bit different.

Rating: 6/10

Taylor Richards

Initially an under-23 addition from Manchester City but with a view to a first-team breakthrough.

Rating: 6/10

Adam Webster

Could cost Albion £20 million or more if he fulfils the potential which persuaded Albion to take him from Bristol City.

Rating: 7/10

Neal Maupay

One-time Ligue 1 teen sensation who has an eye for goal, competitive streak and only turns 23 in the first week of the season.

Season predictions

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED FROM ALBION

Chris Hughton worked wonders as Brighton boss and you generally knew what to expect from his side. Until that shocking run in the second half of last term, that is.

By contrast, Graham Potter comes with a reputation for modern, passing football – as showcased by Swansea’s first half against Manchester City in the FA Cup last term – but no pedigree as yet in the Premier League.

The pillars of Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy at the back, Davy Propper and Dale Stephens in midfield and Glenn Murray up front remain and a new shape and approach could make Albion easier on the eye.

A tentative prediction would be for 16th place - but then the aim this season is to be less predictable. We don’t really know what to expect.