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Brighton v Reading FC: 3 Festive Things To Look Out For

Bobbins stealthily slips down the chimney and delivery three baubles of joy for the Boxing Day encounter at the Amex.

Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

1) Merry Managerial Presence

The grand total of games managed by the respective bosses of Brighton & Hove Albion and Reading will hardly be Fergie-esque, with a grand total of one amassed by either team, due to Sami Hyypia's overriding urge to sack it all off and spent time with his little 'uns on Christmas Day, rather than going training with the Seagulls.

The timing of the Finn's festive falling on his sword may seem a tad odd, considering the difficulty of appointing a new boss just before Christmas . Maybe this instability can be play into Reading's hands (since we are in an ever so stable set of affairs ourselves). At least Steve Clarke will have had a little more time to build on what was a confidence building exercise against Watford, despite the game ultimately ending in defeat.

2) Unlucky Albion?

It's hard to believe, but Albion are actually in worse form than we are, no really - they are. In the last six games, Brighton have yet to splutter to a win. Just three draws have they gained in that time. If there's any glint of a bright side for them is that their goal difference in those six games is better than ours. But then again, one would have to consider that mauling from the game that we dare not speak its name.

Over ten games, we still have the upper hand, albeit still slim. Whilst Reading have won three in ten, Brighton have won just the once, against fellow strugglers Wigan Athletic. Otherwise, in ten games, with five draws and a goal difference of just -5, whilst hardly stellar form and unable to buy a win, they aren't quite the pushovers that the league table might suggest.

As such quite a few of their defeats are by a single goal, and they have not suffered a total tonking like we have lately. Only Derby have been out of sight with a 3-0 win at the iPro. Otherwise, the defeats to Millwall (H), Fulham (H) and Bournemouth (A) have been by a single goal.

3) Will the real Glenn Murray please stand up?

If football being football has its way, then surely it will coincide with Murray scoring a Santa sack load against his former club. That kind of stuff happens, right? Glenn scored 53 goals for Brighton before his move (on a free transfer!) to Crystal Palace at the end of the 2010/11 season. Whilst known more for his exploits at Selhurst Park, he actually scored more goals for Brighton than Palace, albeit with a very similar average.

Given that he left the Seagulls for their arch-rivals, he could expect a rather hostile response from the Amex faithful. Fingers crossed that this will spur him on to score away from home for the second game in a row. In fact, his last two goals have been away from home too. The fact that both were in defeats we'll conveniently gloss over!