Albion face rock-bottom Blackpool in crunch clash

The Seagulls will be looking for three points from their game with Blackpool.

Chris Hughton should have new signing Beram Kayal available for selection for tomorrow’s (Saturday) match with Blackpool as the Seagulls look to bounce back from FA Cup defeat.

The Celtic midfielder has agreed a two-and-a-half year deal with the Albion and the move has been approved by the FA and rubber-stamped by the Home Office.

All that remains is for the Seagulls to secure international clearance for the midfielder and for Hughton to assess his fitness. If everything goes to plan Kayal should travel north with his new colleagues for what is a vital clash with rock-bottom Blackpool.

Kayal is the second new arrival since Hughton took charge – with his transfer following hot on the heels of the loan deal for Leon Best as the new manager continues to put his own stamp on the Seagulls squad.

Chris O'Grady, who has been in good form of late, will remain at the club despite rumours he could leave the Amex in the transfer window.

One player who is leaving the club is Adrian Colunga. The Spanish attacker has unexpectedly joined Granada on loan until the end of the season, with a deal in place to make the move permanent in the summer.

Brighton have been in superb form under Hughton’s guidance and pushed Premier League Arsenal all the way in last weekend’s FA Cup match.

Recovering from a poor first half, Brighton gave the current holders a genuine fright before losing out by the odd goal in five.

Rohan Ince and O’Grady were among the stand-out performers, while Sam Baldock showed he remains a goal threat with a superb clipped finish to add to O’Grady’s earlier strike.

Had the referee awarded a deserved penalty for a late hand ball, Brighton could have secured a well-earned replay. As it is, the Seagulls fell just short but can take confidence from a second half display which suggested they have more than enough quality to pull clear of any lingering Championship relegation worries.

Tomorrow’s opponents will provide a very different prospect for Hughton and his Albion charges. Blackpool are struggling at the foot of the Championship and were hit for seven by Watford last time out.

They have, however, won four points from a possible six in their last two homes games and the Bloomfield Road outfit were boosted this week by the signing of Manchester United midfielder Joe Rothwell, who arrived on loan for the rest of the season.

The 20-year-old is well thought of at Old Trafford and although he is yet to make a first team appearance for United, he has been capped by England at Under-20 level.

One familiar face in the Blackpool squad will be Andrea Orlandi. The hugely-popular former Brighton player scored against Watford and will surely relish the opportunity to face-off against his old employers.

He has played the full 90 minutes in each of Blackpool’s last three games and is guaranteed a warm reception from the travelling Albion faithful.

The Albion squad could include long-term absentee Kazenga Lua Lua who has been back in training and Dale Stephens, another who has had to endure a long spell on the sidelines, is nearing full fitness and enjoyed a run-out with the club's development squad this week.

Greg Halford is still struggling with a calf problem.

LIKELY LINE-UP: Stockdale, Bruno, Dunk, Greer, Bennett, Holla, Ince, Teixeira, Baldock, Calderon, O’Grady.

LIKELY SUBS: Walton, Hughes, Forster-Caskey, March, Kayal, Mackail-Smith, Best.