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Premier League Tonight column: Bruno lifts the lid on life at Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton captain Bruno will be our special guest on Saturday, joining debutant Rachel Brown-Finnis, Owen Hargreaves, Steve McManaman and myself to analyse their battle against the drop, the impact of Chris Hughton at the club and living on the south coast.

I think the Premier League Tonight audience will notice a slight shift in the way the show looks over the next couple of months.

Early in the season when league positions and results are less important week-by-week, we tend to cover lots of the topics around the games themselves.

Whereas now we’re reaching the latter stages of the season where every result looks like it has a defining impact on the race for the Premier League title, a Champions League finish and the fight against relegation. We’re going to start focussing much more on each weekend’s football as it were, so it’ll be really interesting to get the guests’ views on matches that have happened earlier that day.

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Another something that’s a little different this week is that we’re going to be joined by Bruno (not Frank) but the Brighton captain for part one.

Bruno is almost my age which is nice because it’s not often we get a footballer on the show that’s in his late thirties! It’s going to be really fascinating because I feel more experienced players approach the show differently to others.

I think that as players get a little older, are more comfortable in the environment, and relax when chatting to us a little – perhaps thinking about a potential punditry career once they’ve hung up their boots – you get quite different views on the game.

I think that’s going to be the case with Bruno, who spent years playing in his native Spain, before joining Brighton in 2012. He is absolutely the elder statesman – at 38 he’s the third oldest, and the oldest outfield player, to feature in the Premier League this season.

So I just can’t wait to pick his brains – and as always I want viewers to get in touch with us using #PLTonight – to ask him about promotion and when he knew he was in a team that had something special about it, what Chris Hughton has done at Brighton and just the change the club has undergone during his time there.

I remember when I started out covering football, back in 2008, going to Brighton’s Withdean home – which was an athletics stadium – and that was just over 10 years ago! So the change at the club has been incredible but I think the key to what they’ve achieved over the last couple of season has been Hughton. I’m sure any Seagulls fans reading won’t appreciate me saying this, but I’m permanently amazed that he doesn’t get linked with 'so called' bigger jobs.

I’m also hoping, as we have former England goalkeeper, Rachel Brown-Finnis making her debut on the show that we’ll have time to get into the discussion about female pundits.

It seems to me that the likes of Rachel and Karen Carney, who joined us for a Europa League game earlier this season, are opening doors for others. But I’d like to find out what that experience is like for them.

How much do they think about the social media reaction to a show? How much does the reception impact their daily lives?

I think Premier League Tonight is the perfect forum for us to have this conversation because we can put those questions to Rachel and hear her honest assessment.

As always, tune in from 8pm on Saturday as Premier League Tonight follows our live coverage of Brighton v Burnley on BT Sport 1 and 4K UHD!

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