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Preview: Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Crystal Palace - prediction, team news, lineups
14/01/2022 14:49:44

The Amex will host the latest edition of the M23 derby on Friday night, as Brighton & Hove Albion welcome Crystal Palace in the Premier League, with both sides enjoying successful seasons to date.

Brighton are currently ninth in the table, boasting 27 points from their opening 19 matches, while Palace sit 12th with 23 points to show from their first 20 games of the 2021-22 campaign.

We say: Brighton & Hove Albion 1-1 Crystal Palace

Three of the last five Premier League meetings between these two sides have finished 1-1, while there has not been more than two goals in this fixture since March 2019, so it is unlikely to be a high-scoring affair. A point would not be the worst result for either team, and we have had to settle on a stalemate here.

Match preview

Only the top three - Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool - have lost fewer Premier League matches than Brighton this season, with the Seagulls suffering just four defeats from 19 matches, while a total of 27 points has left them in ninth spot, just four points behind seventh-placed Manchester United.

Graham Potter's side finished 16th in England's top flight last season but look capable of challenging for a top-half spot this term, and the hosts will bring a four-game unbeaten run into Friday's M23 derby.

Indeed, the Seagulls have picked up seven points from their last three Premier League matches, beating Brentford and Everton, in addition to claiming a welcome point away to Chelsea on December 29.

Brighton also secured their spot in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday courtesy of a 2-1 victory at West Bromwich Albion, with the club due to take on Tottenham Hotspur in the next round at the start of February.

Albion have won 37, drawn 25 and lost 35 of their previous 97 league meetings with Palace, but they are without a victory in their last five top-flight fixtures against the Eagles and suffered a 2-1 defeat in the corresponding match during the 2020-21 campaign.

Palace, meanwhile, will enter Friday's contest off the back of a 2-1 win over Millwall in the FA Cup, with Michael Olise and Jean-Philippe Mateta on the scoresheet at the Den.

The Eagles have lost two of their last three Premier League matches, though, including a 3-2 defeat at home to West Ham United on New Year's Day, with Patrick Vieira's side unable to recover after conceding three times in the opening 45 minutes of the contest at Selhurst Park.

A record of five wins, eight draws and seven defeats from 20 matches has brought Palace 23 points, which is enough for 12th position in the table, four points behind their opponents here.

Vieira's team have again been in strong form in front of their own supporters this season but have found it difficult on their travels, winning just one of their nine league fixtures away from Selhurst Park.

The Eagles, who will host Liverpool in their next league outing, recorded a 2-1 victory at the Amex last season, though, with Mateta and Christian Benteke on the scoresheet for the visitors.

Team News

Brighton will again be without the services of Jeremy Sarmiento on Friday night, while Yves Bissouma is unavailable due to his involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Lewis Dunk has an outside chance of returning to the squad following a knee problem, though, and Enock Mwepu should also overcome a hamstring issue to make himself available for selection.

There are not expected to be many surprises in the home side's XI against Palace, with Neal Maupay and Leandro Trossard set to play as the front two once again, while Alexis Mac Allister's brace in the win at Everton should mean that there is another start for the Argentine.

As for Palace, Jordan Ayew, Cheikhou Kouyate and Wilfried Zaha are all absent due to their involvement for their countries at the Africa Cup of Nations.

James McArthur is also still out with a thigh problem, but there could be a start for Olise, who has now scored in back-to-back matches for the Eagles against West Ham and Millwall.

Conor Gallagher is available, meanwhile, following a spell out of action through illness, and the on-loan Chelsea midfielder should feature in the middle of the park.

Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:

Sanchez; Veltman, Duffy, Burn; Lamptey, Mac Allister, Moder, Lallana, Cucurella; Trossard, Maupay

Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:

Guaita; Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Gallagher, Hughes, Schlupp; Olise, Benteke, Edouard

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