Brighton & Hove Albion get their new season officially underway this evening in the first round of the Capital One Cup, with a tie against Swindon Town that’s being screened live by Sky Sports.
The Seagulls had a healthy run in this cup competition last year (then known as the Carling Cup) as they entertained Premier League sides Sunderland and Liverpool in their first full season at the Amex. While this game doesn’t hold quite the same glamour, victory here could set up a lucrative tie with top-flight opposition in the next round.
Gus Poyet has been a relatively busy man over the summer as he looks to assemble a squad that’s capable of challenging for promotion in the coming campaign. New signings Tomasz Kuszczak, Bruno Saltor and Wayne Bridge are all available to make their competitive debuts, but their other summer capture, former Norwich midfielder Andrew Crofts, is on international duty with Wales.
With both Craig Mackail-Smith and Will Hoskins set to sit this one out through injury, the pressure to bulge the net falls on the shoulders of last season’s top scorer, Ashley Barnes. The former Eastbourne Borough man has had a productive pre-season, most notably scoring in the Albion’s deserved 3-1 victory over European Champions, Chelsea.
Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio is always entertaining, with his side playing with just as much passion as we saw from Di Canio in his Premier League days. He has a fully fit squad to choose from for this tie, and the newly promoted League One side will want to kick off the new campaign with real momentum.
Catch Swindon Town Vs Brighton & Hove Albion live on Sky Sports from 19:30.