Pressure is on Brighton to return to winning ways.
Brighton and Hove Albion face Wolves tomorrow (Saturday) with supporters calling for Sami Hyypiä to be thrown to the lions.
Defeat last time out against Millwall saw fans, frustrated with the team’s poor start to the Championship season, vocally vent their collective spleen in the direction of the side’s under-pressure manager.
It was the first time tensions had threatened to boil over during the Albion’s wretched run of form which has seen them record just three wins in 20 league outings. Hyypiä, then, could be forgiven if he is thankful his Albion team have a trip to the Midlands this weekend rather than a return visit to the increasingly agitated Amex.
His hopes of addressing a run of five games without victory, including three defeats on the spin, have been hit by the news his captain and defensive lynchpin Gordon Greer will not return until the New Year.
The Scotland international, who has forged a relatively impressive central defensive partnership with Lewis Dunk, has not played since Brighton’s 3-3 draw away at Norwich City was hoping to be back in contention for tomorrow’s match but his troublesome knee will keep him out for the remainder of the month.
His eventual return could prove vital to an Albion side which has given the impression of lacking leadership at vital times in recent weeks. The defender has spoken out in defence of his under-fire manager, suggesting the players need to accept the blame for the Albion's frustrating start to the season.
Sam Baldock also misses out again, leaving the Seagulls reliant on loan signing Darren Bent to provide the attacking impetus. The absence of Kazenga Lua Lua has hit Hyypiä hard while the Brighton manager has found his selection hamstrung in recent weeks by the number of loan signings in his squad, with league rules stipulating only five can be named in a match day squad.
Against Millwall it was Joe Bennett who missed out - a decision which baffled supporters given his consistent form and attacking intent. Adam Chicksen deputised for the Aston Villa defender and looks set to continue at left back again tomorrow with Hyypiä opting to take an unchanged squad for the trip to Molineux.
The Albion’s hosts have themselves been struggling of late, having lost five games in a row prior to beating Sheffield Wednesday in their last fixture. Those five defeats saw Wolves ship 16 goals, with hefty defeats at the hands of Derby (5-0) and Brentford (4-0).
Attacking talent Nouha Dicko, who has three goals and three assists to his name in the Championship, could return to the Wolves squad while emerging defender Ethan Ebanks-Landell is hoping to recover from a hamstring injury in time to face the Seagulls.
With seven goals from his 20 appearances this term, Bakary Sako looks to be Wanderers’ chief goal threat, with support from experienced goal-getter Danny Graham.
LIKELY LINE-UP: Stockdale, Bruno, Dunk, Halford, Chicksen, Forster-Caskey, Gardner, March, E. Bennett, Teixeira, Bent.
LIKELY SUBS: Walton, Hughes, Calderon, Holla, Ince, McCourt, Colunga.