GARETH Barry expects a difficult challenge at Brighton for what he describes as a "perfect" return to his old stomping ground.
The midfielder spent his youth career at The Seagulls before being snapped up by Aston Villa in 1997 as a 16-year-old.
“Any team that has been promoted is a tough game, especially when you are playing them away from home,” explained Barry.
“Their home record was good in the Championship so they’ll be looking to continue that in the Premier League.
"It’s the first time I’ve played Brighton home or away since I left the club so it’ll be really good to go there.
“It’s a fixture I’ve always wanted to happen since I left. It’s just never really happened but it’s probably now the perfect time to play them with them getting to the Premier League.
“I have been impressed with Brighton. They went close a few years previous, just missing out the season before last.
“They’ve built a really good foundation there now and they’re a solid club, so hopefully they can keep their place in the Premier League.”