Why Brighton fans are thrilled to be planning a trip to Liverpool
Brighton know how to find their way from Liverpool to Wembley...
Gus Poyet’s Brighton masterplan involves visiting Anfield on a yearly basis. So the ardour greeting their prize of an FA Cup fifth round date at Liverpool isn’t inspired by awe at the glamour of the treat that Gaizka Mendieta helped serve up but belief that it is a sign that they are Wembley-bound.
The Seagulls have flocked to the national stadium for the final only once before, in 1983, and back then they defeated Newcastle 1-0 in January before triumphing 2-1 away to League Cup finalists Liverpool in February.
The final two clubs who stood between them and a day out in the smoke on that occasion were Norwich and Sheffield Wednesday and – guess what – they are both still knocking about in this year’s competition too.
Other similarities between the two seasons/straws for Brighton fans to clutch include Spurs in the top four, Swansea in the top division and Chelsea underperforming, though back then that meant fighting to avoid falling into the third tier, not competing for two trophies and a Champions League place.
Of course superstition is as prevalent in football as non-existent fouls on goalkeepers, English wingers who can’t cross and Carlos Tevez transfer sagas, and if Brighton’s not-quite-mirror-image cup campaign has got you spooked, you can find 169/1 on them going all the way on Stan James.