Brighton manager Graham Potter has shrugged off potential concerns about playing the rest of this season’s Premier League home games at an empty Amex Stadium.
The remaining top-flight fixtures in 2019/20 will be played behind closed doors, with fans not allowed to attend matches amid the coronavirus pandemic, although the Seagulls boss doesn’t think that his team will be overly affected by the lack of supporters at their games.
As per Brighton Argus, he said: “It’s not like the Amex was a massive fortress before and we haven’t got that now.
“Everybody would say that the main thing about home advantage is the crowd. I think the hostility of the home crowd in the Premier League is where the advantage is. It’s not always the case because sometimes the home team can be in a moment of bad form and you can use that against you.”
Brighton have already played 14 home games in the current Premier League season but have won just four of them and emerged victorious from just one of their last eight league games at the Amex (as per TransferMarkt). They have the 14th best home record in the division, which is one place higher than their actual position of 15th.
Their five remaining home matches are against Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City and Newcastle, with the Seagulls welcoming the division’s top two teams and three of its current top five in their relegation run-in as they sit just two points above the relegation zone.
Will Brighton be negatively affected by playing home games behind closed doors?
While that run of home games may seem daunting at first glance, Albion have beaten the Red Devils at home in each of the last two seasons, while they have also beaten and drawn with Arsenal at the Amex in their time in the Premier League. Plus, by the time Liverpool visit in July, there is a strong chance that they will have already been crowned champions and therefore may not be at full strength.
A report on ESPN this week showed that the percentage of home wins in the Bundesliga has halved since the league returned behind closed doors last month, while Brighton did not have a particularly impressive home record prior to the Premier League’s shutdown in March.
Therefore, Potter may have a point in indicating that his team may be less affected than others by the loss of home fans for the rest of the season, even though the club’s chief executive Paul Barber was vociferous in his opposition of the league’s previous plans to use neutral venues as part of Project Restart.
Brighton fans, how big a factor will the absence of home support at the Amex be for the rest of the season? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below!
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