Preview - Brighton Hove Albion

Brighton. Brighton. Brighton.  Jon Rogers speaks to season ticket holder Jem Stone about this top of the table clash. He isn't the biggest fan of Alex Pritchard. At all.  But we talk Hoots, Pies and how we're going to bring Newcastle down.

JR: So, Norwich are limping into town to play Brighton. Top of the table clash. Newcastle want a draw....I'm sure you’re aware Brighton is a very sacred place to play football, as it is the birthplace of THE Russell Martin.

JS: Yes. Russell's famed Academy is based here!. I'm sure many of the kids at the Amex on Saturday will not realise he's a #NCFC legend. And we're of course not going to fall for that  - you're on a bad run, can't beat Leeds even, embarrassed at home to Preston - won't mean you won't be in the right mood for Saturday.
 
JR:  See, we've led you into a false sense of a security, so we can turn up, do some ols and leave the Amex and shuffle onto that train platform in fine voice.  Kinda. Maybe. So, Hughton. We could talk for years about him. I was a fan of what he was trying to do, we just couldn't warm to it.  How is he for you?
 
JS:  We love the bloke. Nicest man in football right? Remember he's taken us from a horror show of a season 2014/15 when we were close to relegation to last year where we missed out on the glory land by 2 goals. His signings, without your obscene parachute budget of ££££s mind, have been smart recruitment of ex Prem players with something still to give (Murray, Sidwell, Rosenior), some vfm foreign steals (Kayal, Hemed), up and coming L1 talent (Murphy, Goldson) as well as in Duffy and Knockeart two of the best players in the league. Of course there's one player he didn't quite manage to land. (who can't take penalties)
  
JR: You seem really bitter towards us? Did you get dumped during the Alan Partridge Movie or something...We're the nice ones. We don’t have a rich owner. We earned our parachute payments. Unlike Bournemouth, Villa, Newcastle..
  
JS: Nah. The Pritchard saga left a bitter taste in the mouth but that's his agent. And the discrepancies between Prem yo-yo clubs and Champ teams in finance aren't your doing. But they make getting out of this league harder than ever. Last time you were down we did the conga on the concourse with you.
  
JR: I was in the conga line last year.  I love that  discos.  See that's the issue...Premier League clubs will RUIN it. Both Norwich and Brighton have similarities in the way.  Good ground, good fans base and family orientated - you don’t get that in the Manchesters..
  
JS: Yep. Carrow Road is a lovely ground. My in-laws are from Norfolk so i've been there a few times. We even share a proper tradition of proper pre-match songs. Sussex by the Sea is up there with On The Ball, City as some of the most evocative and moving communal moments in football. Oh god. Its a right old love in now

JR: Its good to love. We're on the good side....In an era of chairs bottles knifes being tossed about in soulless stadiums. Let’s be John Lennon, instead of...some arsehole.

JS: Are you going to be wearing that stupid away shirt on Saturday ?
  
JR: I fucking hope so. Beautiful piece of fashion.. So, let’s talk the game. You've highlighted your dangers. Never heard even of them! Who do you think you'll need to keep an eye on... in the Norwich team?

JS: Not to flog a dead horse but obviously Pritchard coming (off the bench ?) to really ruin things is written in the script. But where do we start ? Jerome and Brady aren't bad for starters are they. We're lucky we'll have £10m rated Dunk back alongside Duffy in the back four (8 clean sheets !) keeping them at bay. But watch out for 36 year old Bruno at RB. Prone to incomprehensible risky trickery at times which caught us out at Preston.
  
JR: Pritchy hasn't really featured much. One league start.  I'll swap Duffy for Prich, deal? We can't buy a clean sheet currently, but Preston was first time we have't scored two goals in a game...since September so...GOALS GOALS GOALS... on Saturday. Hit me with your score prediction.
  
JS: There was a lot of mirth about landing Duffy given his own goal shenanigans at the beginning of the season but he heads bloody everything. EVERYTHING.
  
JR:  Does he tackle with his face? I like that in a defender.
  
JS: Just tattoos everywhere. Like all of youngsters these days. Ok. the score. We're both going to score even without our rock solid defence. 2-2 then.
  
JR:  I'd happily go with a 0-0  Get this clean sheet monkey off our back. and a good solid point at a tough place.
  
JS: Lets face it , we're both fighting to be runners up to the Geordies.
    
JR: We should join forces together....to defeat SportsDirect United. 

JS: Enjoy the £4.30 pie. It’s very good
  
JR: WAIT. £4.30!!!?
  
JS: Locally sourced ingredients no less

JR: For a pie? Does Chris Hughton hold it as you eat it at that price?!
  
JS: Its Brighton for gods sake.
    
JR: Fine. Eat a pie. 0-0. What a weekend to look forward to!

Jem Stone is a #BHAFC season ticket holder and has been a fan of the Albion for 43 long years. His day job is heading up social media for BBC Radio and BBC Music. He tweets at @JemStone