This weekend’s early kick off sees Crystal Palace make the short trip down the A23 to face ‘local’ rivals Brighton in what is sure to be a very feisty game between the sides. Do not underestimate the importance of this lunchtime kickoff, with Brighton edging ever closer to the relegation zone, this game may somewhat take on more significance than it does for Crystal Palace, who sit two places and five points above their rivals. Both managers will be doing their utmost to outwit one another and gain a vital three points.
Both teams have managed to pick up a lowly four points from their previous 5 games. Crystal Palace overcame Newcastle 1-0 at Selhurst Park in a tightly fought contest with Patrick Van Aanholt firing home a delightful freekick. Brighton have drawn 4 of their previous 5, with a run of 3 successive draws. The latest being a well-earned point away to high fliers Sheffield United. This weekend’s clash gives both teams a huge opportunity to secure victory with both teams somewhat faltering of late.
Brighton gave a good account of themselves away to Sheffield United. Facing adversity and an early set back, they valiantly fought back and equilised through a pure striker’s instinct close range header from their top star Neil Maupay. He has seamlessly made the transition from Championship to Premier League with relative ease. Brighton have a fully fit squad apart from Izquierdo who had suffered a long-term knee injury back in December, whilst influential defender Dale Stephens should be back for this crunch fixture
The Mid Season winter break seemed to have done the trick for the South Londoners. A dreadful run of results meant that the break allowed the team to recharge their batteries and give their season a final push. They possess the 8th best defense in the division. The weakness this season has been up front. Star man Wilfried Zaha has been starved of quality support alongside him and he is unable to carry the team’s hopes on his own shoulders. Palace have 5 players out through injury, with captain Luke Milivojevic poised to make a well-timed return for this weekend’s crunch match.
From the 102 matches to have taken place in the history of this fixture, Brighton have won 40, Crystal Palace have won 36 and there have been 26 draws. Thus indicating a closely fought fixture between the two teams. Below are the previous five match ups between the teams
This one is very tough to call, both teams will be weary of losing and not wanting to give the other team the advantage in the league table. A win for Palace will see them go 8 points clear whilst a Brighton win will see that advantage cut down to just 2 points. There are plenty of goals in this fixture and we fancy a high scoring draw. Brighton 2-2 Crystal Palace.