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Match Previews

Play-Off preview: Brighton and Hove Albion v Derby County

7 May 2014

Brighton and Hove Albion and Derby County get the Play-Offs of the Sky Bet Football League under way on Thursday evening at 7:45pm.

The match is live on Sky Sports and official updates will be provided via @SkyBetChamp and on the Play-Offs of the Sky Bet Football League blog. Join in the conversation using #PlayOffs.

The Seagulls finished sixth in the Sky Bet Championship with Derby - the division's highest-scorers - claiming third place. The two were separated by 13 points but both come into the match after finishing the season in good form.

Oscar Garcia's men have drawn four and won four of their past eight, making them unbeaten since the start of April, and claimed their place in the Play-Offs with a dramatic last-day 2-1 victory at Nottingham Forest.

The Rams, who finished eight points behind second-placed Burnley, last lost on 5th April and since then have won five and drawn once, with that stalemate coming on the final day of the regular season against Leeds United.


Derby completed the double over Brighton this term with a 2-1 success at the Amex in August coming before a 1-0 triumph at the iPro Stadium in January.

Prior to that the Seagulls were unbeaten in four against the Rams, winning three of those, without conceding a goal.

But it is County who have the upper hand in the overall head-to-head record with 17 victories compared to Brighton's 13. Four of their encounters have ended level.

In the Media

Derby striker Chris Martin, who scored both of the Rams' goals in their win at the Amex this term, told "There are certain teams that you seem to score more against and some you can't break your duck against. I scored against them [Brighton] for Norwich as well, so hopefully that's a good omen.

"I'll take confidence from the fact that I can score against them, but every single game is different. We've got momentum going into it, though - we're unbeaten in six games to end the season and we won five of them, so we're confident."

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Brighton manager Oscar Garcia told "Big players want to play in these games and tomorrow is a big game. Everyone needs to enjoy playing in these games, whether you are a manager or player.

"We know that we are the underdogs as they finished third and are the top-scoring team in the league.

"They beat us home and away this season, but anything can happen in football and we trust that all the players in the squad will fight for our place."

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Brighton front man Leo Ulloa was the man who sent the Seagulls into the Play-Offs with a late winner at Forest and he is confident ahead of the first leg.

"We can beat the best in the Championship," the 16-goal striker said to The Argus.

"I think in general we have played really well against the teams up at the top. Leicester, Burnley, QPR, Reading - we have done well against all of them. That's a good sign for the Play-Offs.

"We didn't have good results with Derby but they were very close games. They have been up there all season and playing well but this is the Play-Offs with extra motivation."

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For all the latest news on Derby County please click here

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