Premier League Brighton host League Two Grimsby Town in the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup. Grimsby’s place in the cup is the story of the tournament. They’re the first team ever to knock out five teams from a higher division in a single campaign. They famously beat Southampton in the last leg with two penalties converted by Gavan Holohan, but travelling to their neighbours Brighton could be a huge step up given they’re 76 places above them in the English Leagues.
I’ve compiled as many of the stats I could for both sides, admittedly harder to find for League Two, so you can pick a winning bet builder. If you’re not 100% sure on how to use the data, be sure to check out my Stats Pack Guide.
Robert Sanchez will return in between the sticks for Brighton. He has recently been usurped by Jason Steele as the #1 GK in the Premier League but the manager confirmed the Spaniard gets the start here. There could also be some changes with the likes of Van Hecke, Gilmour and Sarmiento getting some game time. Promising youngster Evan Ferguson will probably be given another FA Cup start upfront. Wing back Tariq Lamptey is ruled out injured.
Grimsby strikers George Lloyd and Mikey O’Neill are both cup tied along with midfielder Stephen Warne. Grimsby are otherwise in fairly healthy condition. The Mariners have been mixing up their formations and tactics this season, but since the turn of the year seem to be employing a 3-4-3 style more often than not. That was how they approached the last 16 tie vs Southampton and they are expected to try the same tactic here at the Amex Stadium.
Brighton average 1.84 goals per game and 1.24 against. These numbers correlate very closely to their xG and xGA metrics. The Seagulls only average 9.20 shots against per game and exactly 3 SOT which has massively aided their cause.
It is noticeable how many corners Brighton have obtained per match (6.08). They have only conceded 3.68 in each fixture which is a significant difference in numbers. De Zerbi’s men have been well disciplined this season only racking up 1.32 cards in each game but managed to draw 2.44 from their opponents.
Grimsby average 1.09 goals per game and 1.21 against. They have fired in 12 shots per game and just 10.85 against. It is noticeable that their SOT against ratio is quite decent at 3.59. They only conceded three shots on target vs Southampton in the previous round. Cards have been middling in Grimsby games with 1.76 for and 1.59 against. These stats are from League 2 football though.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Striker Evan Ferguson averages a hefty 3.28 shots per 90 mins with an impressive 1.74 SOT. Mitoma is one of the most talked about players this season but is fairly selective with his attempts, averaging just 1.63 shots per 90 mins and roughly one SOT. Both Solly March and Sarmiento are two others to look at in this market.
The man who scored a brace to put Grimsby into the FA Cup quarter final Gavan Holohan averages 1.57 shots per 90 mins and might feel confident enough to try his luck at least one here. McAtee and Orsi-Dadomo both average over 3 shots per 90 min but this will be much tougher for them vs Premier League opposition. Grimsby only attempted four shots in the last round and are unlikely to pepper the Brighton goal too much.
Player Goals and Assists
Solly March is now the joint leading scorer for Brighton with 7 goals, along with Alexis McAllister. Pascal Gross and Mitoma have six goals each and the assists are generally spread around evenly with March and Gross leading the way with four each. Young striker Evan Ferguson is one to watch with 3 goals and 2 assists but from more limited minutes.
Clifton is the top Grimsby scorer with 6 goals. McAtee and Holohan have two goals each and the former also has four assists. Another notable mention goes to Lloyd who has chipped in with a few goals and assists this season.
Brighton average nearly 60% possession and that figure should surely rise even more in a fixture like this one. The centre back duo of Dunk and Webster average 79.4 and 69.5 passes per 90 mins respectively and are the most likely to rack up the numbers here.
There are no passing numbers for Grimsby at League 2 level.
The Seagulls are generally a clean team, but midfield enforcer Moises Caicedo stands out as a key man to watch in this category. He averages 2.03 fouls per 90 mins and obtained 8 cards. The next highest foul average is from right winger Solly March who will press from the front and likely give away a couple of cheap free kicks. Both full backs Estupinian and Veltman stand out in this category as well. They get far enough forward to give away fouls in less dangerous areas.
Players who could maybe cause Brighton some problems are out wide Efete and Driscoll-Glennon. Of the attacking players Harry Clifton gets fouled the most. Brighton will have to give midfielder Holohan some respect after his performance vs Southampton in the previous round.
Match ups to watch:
Moises Caicedo vs Gavan Holohan
Pervis Estupinian vs Michee Efete
Joel Veltman vs Anthony Driscoll-Glennon
Three starters who might find their way into the referee’s book here are Driscoll-Glennon, Waterfall and Clifton. The former could be potentially up against Sarmiento who will definitely cause grief with his high dribbling rates. Waterfall will hope to dry up Evan Ferguson, whilst Clifton will press from the front and probably have a few clashes with Joel Veltman.
Two elusive players to watch out for in this match are Jeremy Sarmiento and Alexis Mc Allister. Both also have high dribbling rates and Sarmiento could especially be a big problem in a game like this vs League 2 opponents. Right back Joel Veltman is fouled at a decent rate (1.52) and knows how to win a free kick.
Match ups to watch:
Anthony Driscoll-Glennon vs Jeremy Sarmiento
Luke Waterfall vs Evan Ferguson
Harry Clifton vs Joel Veltman
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
Looking through the pack, there’s a few bet builder selections that caught my eye at 10/1. There’s always room for an upset in the league, but I’m backing a Brighton walkover here.
Brighton vs Grimsby Town
Evan Ferguson has 3 goals and 2 assists in just 466 minutes this season. That’s a goal contribution every 93.2 minutes in the Premier League.
Ferguson scored in the last round against Stoke.
Brighton games average 3.08 goals.
Grimsby games average 2.30 goals.
Brighton games in the FA Cup this season have averages 3.00 goals.
Grimsby games in the FA Cup have averaged 3.33 goals.
Brighton earn an average of 6.08 corners per game.
This increases to 7.31 at the AMEX.
Driscoll-Glennon has received 7 cards this season in League Two.
He commits 0.92 fouls p/90.
Possibly up against Jeremy Sarmiento, and Joel Veltman or Tariq Lamptey.
They draw an average of 2.00, 1.52, and 2.80 fouls p/90 respectively.