Brighton & Hove Albion currently have a squad which looks pretty much fit bar long-term absentee Steve Sidwell who is out for the rest of the season with a back injury.
Club-record signing Jurgen Locadia, who joined from PSV for 14 million nearly three weeks ago, is fit and ready to be involved after recovering from a hamstring injury which he picked up in his last appearance for PSV against Ajax. This begs the question of how will Brighton lineup with him now fit and available to play a part on Saturday away at Stoke City. There are three possible formations Brighton could go with and incorporate Locadia into and below are the three and where Locadia would fit in.
Current formation (4-4-1-1):
The Seagulls could well carry on with their current formation of the 4-4-1-1. This would mean that Locadia could potentially come in for top goalscorer Glenn Murray to make his debut. Locadia is tall and strong meaning he can hold up the ball like Murray would. He also is a very capable finisher of the ball like Murray meaning Brighton would not lose that. The one thing Locadia has over Murray is that Locadia is much quicker and would give Brighton a much more potent counter-attacking strike force with him and wingers Jose Izquierdo and Anthony Knockaert charging at the opposition on the counter. However, it is hard to see manager Chris Hughton dropping Murray due to his form with him scoring five in his last seven games.
The 4-3-3 could be another option for Albion. This means you would drop Pascal Gross into the midfield alongside Dale Stephens and Davy Propper and then put Locadia in the front three with Izquierdo and Knockaert. I could see Hughton adopting this policy against one of the top sides to drop an extra man into midfield and then sit back and rely on the front three to counter the opposition when you get the ball back with their sheer pace.
This is the least likely of the options Hughton would go with because of the fact he would not want to drop Gross meaning he would have to drop him into central midfield but then he would not be too keen on dropping either Stephens or Propper meaning it would be tough to drop any of the three. The perks of this formation are that it would give them the option to play two up front and this would mean Hughton would probably go with a target man in Murray, Leonardo Ulloa or Tomer Hemed alongside a pacey striker in Locadia or Sam Baldock. This could be quite a useful option for Brighton as you could get a target man flicking on the ball for the pacey striker to run onto and this could help to create chances and gives Albion another way to open up defences.
Whatever formation Brighton decide to use it out of the three or potentially another one it will be great to see Locadia in the squad on Saturday whether that it in the starting eleven or coming off the bench. It will also be to see what he can bring and see whether he can be the answer to the complete prolific striker that Hughton has been looking for.
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