Our prediction for this Championship match:
Brighton will be aiming to extend their winning run to five games in the Championship when they host Aston Villa at their American Express Community Stadium. The Seagulls have been impressive at the back of late and they did well to keep a clean sheet in each of their previous four league fixtures. Brighton are on the right track to secure automatic promotion to the Premier League, but the season is long. Chris Hughton’s men need to keep on collecting points if they are to return to the English top flight and, no doubt, the hosts will stick to their attacking style of play in Friday’s football game. The Villans did not kick off the new Championship campaign in style, but it has to be noted that they recorded three wins in previous four league matches. Anyhow, Brighton are a real force to be reckoned with at home and we predict that the Seagulls will extend their winning run in the English second tier.
Highlighted Player (Niki Maenpaa):
Niki Maenpaa played for the likes of Kasiysi and HJK during his youth career and in 2003 he joined RC Lens II. The Goalkeeper who was born on 23 January 1985 in Espoo, Finland made 17 appearances for Lens II and in 2006 he signed a contract with Dutch side FC Den Bosch. Niki Maenpaa made 67 league appearances for Den Bosch until 2009 and then he joined Willem II on a free transfer.
After playing 18 matches for the club (league) he joined AZ Alkmaar in October, 2011, but he was a third-choice goalkeeper in the 2011/2012 Eredivisie campaign. Maenpaa was eager to leave the club at the end of the season and he turned his dream into reality on 29 May, 2012 as he signed a three-year deal with VVV-Venlo.
After his contract with Venlo expired Niki Maenpaa joined Brighton in July, 2015 on a free transfer. The goalkeeper made his Finland debut on 2 June 2008 in a friendly match against Belarus. Maenpaa made three appearances for the Finnish national team in the 2016 World Cup qualifiers.
Highlighted Team (Aston Villa):
Aston Villa is one of the three clubs that dropped to the Championship at the end of the 2015/2016 Premier League campaign. The Villans host their rivals at Villa Park, the stadium that was opened in 1897 and its’ capacity is 42,682. However, it has to be noted that the highest attendance recorded at the stadium was 76,588 when Aston Villa faced Derby County in the FA Cup back in 1946.
Aston Villa’s fiercest rivals are Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion. Nonetheless, the rivalry between Aston Villa and Wolves and Coventry City is big as well. Aston Villa have won seven First Division (Premier League) trophies, with the team clinching seven FA Cup trophies as well.
The team’s biggest success, though, came in 1982 when they won the European Cup. The Villans defeated Bayern Munich (1-0) in the title game and Peter Withe was named the man of the match.