Crawley Town will entertain their third Championship team for their pre-season campaign at the Broadfield Stadium when they take on Brighton & Hove Albion tonight.

Brighton bring along new coach Oscar Garcia, who was the replacement for former boss Gus Poyet, this will be Garcia's first visit to the Broadfield. 

However, Brighton were visitors to Crawley in last year's pre-season too and many of the players will be familiar with the quality that Crawley possess.

The Seagulls were beaten by former Championship side Crystal Palace in the play-off semi-final, who will be Crawley's opponents on Saturday. 

However, Albion have had a successful pre-season so far; clocking up two wins in Spain last week.

Crawley Town boss Richie Barker is anticipating a tough test tonight. Barker, a former Brighton player said to the official club website: "In our two previous home games we came across fairly physical sides in Ipswich and Millwall."

He went on to say: "I would imagine it would be a different type of game tonight. Brighton play a different type of football in a lot of sides and their new manager will encourage them to keep doing that."

However, the Reds have not managed to defeat Championship opposition in their pre-season campaign so far. 

Albeit they have fielded players from the academy and who are not first team regulars, but if they wish to progress to the second tier of English football then they will need a large enough squad that is strong throughout; not just strong on the surface and weak beneath.

Richie also confirmed that Reds' academy striker, Jonte Smith, will be out for 4-6 weeks after damaging his ankle against Millwall ten days ago.

With the exclusion of Smith, Crawley will likely hand starts to Billy Clarke or Jamie Proctor, who have both look lethal in front of goal so far in pre-season. 

It is also likely that the Reds will hand much-needed game time to academy players and trialists in a bid to develop the experience of the young lads.


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#Crawley Town
#Brighton & Hove Albion