This is a big match, but they all seem to be at the moment don't they, or is that just me? League matches are important, because we are now seventh in the table and when it comes to us playing our game in hand, if we win and as things stand right now, we would go into the top four, but win today and we are in the fifth round of the FA Cup and another step closer to something special.
We have possibly the most important match under O'Neill coming up next month too, but that is what it is all about. If matches were not important, then what would be the point?
FA Cup Matters
But, all that matters today is Brighton and on paper, this should be easy. They play in the old third division and the difference in quality is like the difference between home made lager and a pint of something special from a Belgian brewery (you can swap that for a lager you really like).
The last time we played Brighton in the FA Cup was in January 1955. We drew 2-2 at Brighton, with two goals from Thompson and won 4-2 in the replay at Villa Park with goals from Lockhart (2), Southren and Thompson. If we get the same result today, we will all be happy and I think it is possible and you can get 35/1 on 4-2 today at PaddyPower.
But, the FA Cup does matter. It is a fantastic competition and one that we would all love to do well in and it will be taken seriously today, but there will likely be changes.
Early Team News
We will put the team up as soon as we get it, but like I've said, there will be changes. Not that I have a crystal ball or anything, but the manager has told us.
We will make a couple of changes - the prime reason for that, of course, being I have gone in with a group of players who have, in effect, played three games in six days.
I can't predict who will be coming in, but don't be surprised if Dunne doesn't start, I read something yesterday I think that said he had picked up a strain. I would guess that Cuellar would move over to the middle and Young would come in at right back, but I am just guessing.
Petrov, I think, played the second half against Blackburn after having an injection at half time, so I'd expect to see someone come in for him and while I think it will be Sidwell, I'd like to see Delph get a chance alongside Milner.
I also wouldn't be surprised to see Gabby get a rest. Now, I would love to see Delfouneso get a chance against opposition that he should be able to more than cope with, but again, I would expect to see Carew start, if Gabby doesn't. But, this is just me speculating although changes are going to happen.
We will be doing something, but not much today as the match isn't on TV anywhere, but it is on the radio I believe. We will also be doing the t-shirt thing, so whoever leaves the best comment in relation to the match, will win a t-shirt. It isn't about who leaves the most, it is about the best comment and well, if you leave it, a t-shirt will be on its way to you.
Guzan, Luke Young, Beye, Collins, Warnock, Sidwell, Delph, Albrighton, Ashley Young, Downing and Delfouneso.
The bench: Friedel, Milner, Agbonlahor, Davies, Petrov, Lowry and Clark.