If it's necessary and poets

I like Friday football matches because it gives you the weekend to enjoy and I like Sunday afternoon football matches because you can have a nice lunch and a few pints. Midweek games are nice too because it's a bonus. And you all know this.

But I don't think I like matches at 8pm on a Saturday.

My thoughts on kick off times to one side, it's important to not forget that there is money to be made and if they can make it, they'll do it. So instead of having a few beers on Saturday and falling asleep at 8pm after the traditional 3pm, I'll be nervously waiting until kick-off and then I'll either fall asleep if I couldn't wait for a few beers or be drinking until the early hours of Sunday morning and that isn't good for anyone.

Either way, we'll be playing Brighton and it will be a game that tells us something. We beat Brighton and it's that we can do what is necessary when necessary and tomorrow it is necessary. If we don't beat Brighton, then it's going to be something else, essentially that we are closer this season than last. We can't lose.

That isn't to say I don't want to win. I guess it's me saying I'm happy with this season and if it ended tomorrow, I'd be very much looking forward to next season. If the second half of this season ended badly, I'd still be looking forward, because we know now we can do it.

And I write that because I know that Dean Smith sides do better in the second half of the season than the first. So I'm writing it without a care. I also don't want to claim credit for that statement and it might not be true. I just seem to remember it from last season or the season before and I'm running with it.

Either way, it's nearly 1pm and because I have to do my best to stay sober tomorrow afternoon and because tomorrow is Saturday, I've planned a sort of workshop that has something to do with work, but isn't directly linked to an activity I'm working on and it starts in a moment, in the pub. Sorry, I know I shouldn't write that because most of you are stuck at home, but in sunny Sweden, pubs are open!

Until tomorrow my locked in homies. And no, I don't know what is happening either. It's like I've morphed into a teenager.

Match facts from the BBC


  • Brighton are attempting to complete a league double over Aston Villa for the first time.
  • Albion's solitary home victory against Villa in the past eight attempts in all competitions was by 1-0 in the top flight at the Goldstone Ground in December 1980 (D4, L3).

Brighton & Hove Albion

  • A Brighton win on Saturday would give them 28 points, their highest tally after 24 top-flight games since 1981-82.
  • The Seagulls have equalled the club Premier League record of five successive matches without defeat (W3, D2).
  • They can remain unbeaten in six successive top-flight fixtures for the first time since a club record run of eight from October to November 1981.
  • Albion haven't won consecutive home league games since November 2019.
  • Brighton can match the club top-flight record of three home clean sheets in a row, set in 1979.
  • Goalkeeper Robert Sanchez has conceded a league goal every 98 minutes on average, a rate only bettered by Ederson and Edouard Mendy among the regular starters this season.

Aston Villa

  • Villa have earned 11 Premier League wins in a season for the first time in a decade.
  • They have kept 10 clean sheets in those 11 victories, with the exception being a 7-2 dismantling of Liverpool.
  • Dean Smith's side have only taken one point from the other nine matches in which they've conceded.
  • The three goals conceded by Villa in the opening 30 minutes of their league games is the joint-best record in the division this season, along with Manchester City.
  • Jack Grealish has scored four goals in his past five appearances against Brighton in all competitions.