Sunday’s encounter is a huge opportunity for Brighton to showcase themselves to the world - Johnny Cantor

Brighton celebrate their equaliser at Arsenal on Sunday. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Brighton celebrate their equaliser at Arsenal on Sunday. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

And so it all comes down to this. Two teams that have been neck and neck throughout the season are separated by just one point going into the final Gameweek of the season.

The destiny of the title is still uncertain and the football world will be focussed on the final stage of this enthralling race.

Both Manchester City and Liverpool deserve huge credit for their campaigns already. They have amassed 189 points between them. They have scored 178 goals between them. There is a 24 and 23 point gap respectively between them and the rest. They have two different styles of play but both have produced results.

As you would expect we discussed the huge amounts of money involved in the Premier League this week on the Albion Unlimited podcast on BBC Sussex with football finance expert Kieran Maguire and the size of these top clubs will be reflected in the television audience for the two games.

New figures from the University of Liverpool demonstrate there remains a huge gulf between the top six clubs and the other teams below.

Where do Brighton and Hove Albion fit into all this? Well as Maguire stated the club has to be cautious as it still yet to establish itself in the division. The fate of Fulham, Cardiff and Huddersfield show how precarious things are.

The Seagulls’ narrow advantage over those bottom three teams is a cautionary tale. There is no doubt that the Albion is not, as yet, a global brand, despite its latest valuation of £224m. However, Sunday’s encounter at the Amex is a huge opportunity to spread the word.

The club prides itself on its roots in the community but is also attempting to become regular performers on the biggest stage. Chris Hughton’s side have not been ripped apart by the frontrunners although they have suffered regular defeats.

I would imagine the manager will be very keen that with the stakes so high for City they are not embarrassed in front of millions. The performances in recent weeks and some of the results against Arsenal and Manchester United over the last two seasons will give them some hope.

The players themselves will want to do themselves justice as well. They may be galvanised by the events this week. There have been some incredible moments, including a rare Vincent Kompany rocket and a comeback of all comebacks by Liverpool against Barcelona.

Who knows what we have in store this Sunday at the Amex but I truly think there will be more drama as well as dollops of tension.

Everyone involved at Brighton and Hove Albion will want to feel proud of the club, the players and manager, whatever the result. They all have a part to play. Let’s hope the supporters leaving the stadium have smiles on their faces as they roll away into the off-season.

There may yet be a few new converts in the homes and bars across the world, some of whom who may be tempted to buy a blue and white striped shirt. The stage is set.


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