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Dec 16, 2019 at 8pm UK
Crystal Palace
BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion
Zaha (76')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Maupay (54')

Preview: Crystal Palace vs. Brighton & Hove Albion - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Crystal Palace vs. Brighton & Hove Albion - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Monday night's Premier League derby between Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
By , Editor | 1mo

One of English football's more unorthodox rivalries enters its latest chapter on Monday night when Crystal Palace welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to Selhurst Park in the 'A23 derby'.

Just two places separate the two sides in the table ahead of the weekend's action, with Palace sitting 10th and Brighton three points behind in 12th.

Match preview

While it is unusual for two teams who are situated 37 miles apart and rarely challenge for trophies to be considered rivals, this fixture still stands out as much as any other for these two clubs.

Both have come a long way since the animosity truly began in the old Third Division some 45 years ago, with only three points now separating the two teams in the middle of the Premier League.

Palace come into the match in slightly better form having taken seven points from the last nine available, taking advantage of a welcome relief in the fixture list after playing Manchester City, Arsenal, Leicester City, Chelsea and Liverpool during a five-match winless streak before that.

The most notable improvement in that time has been in defence, where the Eagles are now looking to keep four top-flight clean sheets in a row for the first time since September 1970.

Indeed, only Sheffield United outside the top two have conceded fewer goals than Palace, with Roy Hodgson's side boasting a better defensive record than the like of Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

It is at the other end where many of the problems lie, with only rock-bottom Watford having scored fewer than Palace's 14 goals from 16 games so far this term.

Speculation that Wilfried Zaha will once again be the subject of interest in the January transfer window could hardly come at a worse time, then, but a run of positive results heading into the new year could be enough to convince their star man to stay until at least the end of the season.

The fixture list certainly makes that look possible with their next five fixtures all coming against teams currently below them in the table, and with seven points separating them from both the top four and the bottom three, Palace can confidently begin looking up the table rather than down it during the festive period.

By the time they kick off on Monday it will be more than a year since they registered back-to-back Premier League wins at home, though, and Brighton will be hopeful of extending that wait having impressed in their last two outings.

The Seagulls picked up their first ever win away to Arsenal earlier this month and followed that up with a 2-2 draw at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend.

Like Palace, Brighton had endured a losing streak against top opposition before that, but they must still face Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea during the festive run so getting a result in more winnable fixtures such as this becomes even more important.

It is almost exactly a year since Brighton last went three league games without defeat and victory would see them move above Palace courtesy of what would be a superior goal difference, but defeat would leave them looking over their shoulders again.

Just four points currently separate them from the relegation zone despite their recent improvement, so the main priority for Graham Potter this season is still very much survival first and foremost.

Brighton will no doubt take confidence from their victory at Arsenal in their last away match, though, and should they repeat their 2-1 triumph over Palace on their last visit to Selhurst Park in March then it would be back-to-back Premier League away wins for the first time since November 2017.

Crystal Palace Premier League form: LLLWWD

Brighton Premier League form: WLLLWD

Team News

Palace have something of a defensive crisis ahead of this game, with Mamadou Sakho's continued absence through suspension not helping matters.

Jeffrey Schlupp became the latest to be struck down by injury during last weekend's goalless draw with Watford, leaving Jairo Riedewald set for his first Premier League start since February 2018 at left-back.

Joel Ward and Patrick van Aanholt are also sidelined, but Max Meyer is expected to be available following a bout of illness.

Brighton are also missing a key player through suspension after Dale Stephens picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in the 92nd minute against Wolves.

Aaron Connolly will be handed a late fitness test as he looks to overcome a groin issue, while Solly March and Jose Izquierdo remain sidelined.

Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Guaita; Kelly, Tomkins, Cahill, Riedewald; Townsend, Kouyate, Milivojevic, McArthur, Zaha; Ayew

Brighton possible starting lineup:
Ryan; Alzate, Webster, Dunk, Burn; Propper, Bissouma, Mooy; Gross; Maupay, Connolly

We say: Crystal Palace 1-1 Brighton

It is difficult to separate these two sides, with both coming into this match in good spirits following a recent upturn in form. Palace generally tend to be better away from home, while Brighton were impressive on their last away outing at Arsenal, so we are backing the Seagulls to get something from this game.

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