Brighton vs Derby: THREE Battles That Will Shape The Result Of The Championship Play-Off Semi-Finals

Brighton and Hove Albion host Derby County in the first leg of their play-off semi-final tie this evening. Here are three key battles that will shape the game.

1) William Buckley vs Andre Wisdom

Buckley has the pace, the bursts of speed and the tricky wing play that could trouble any full-back. Wisdom, though, has Premier League experience, masses of strength and a tactical awareness that could halt the former Watford winger.

Buckley has been in and out of the Brighton team this season because of injury, but Wisdom has been a permanent fixture in the Rams defence.

2) Chris Martin vs Mathew Upson

Martin has 20 Championship goals this season and will no doubt be the major threat to the Brighton backline. At the heart of that is former England centre-half Upson, who played 43 games of the 46 league games.

Brighton have the second best defence in the league behind Burnley, and have kept the most clean sheets, which Upson has been a huge part of.

This one is likely to shape the game.

3) Leonardo Ulloa vs Richard Keogh

Ulloa’s last gasp header won Albion their place in the top six, and will undoubtedly still be on a high ahead of tonight. The Argentine forward has scored 14 league goals in his 33 appearances this season.

Richard Keogh is a strong, robust centre-half who will be confident he can restrict Ulloa, having averaged 9.6 clearances and 1.3 interceptions per game in his 41 appearances, as well as winning 153 of his 232 headers.