Football Previews

Crystal Palace vs Brighton preview, predictions & possible XIs

By Harry Edwards

Published: 19:55, 15 December 2019

One of the Premier League’s lesser known rivalries, Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion face off on Monday evening.

Although the rivalry goes back as far as the 1970s, the Eagles and the Seagulls only really revived their dislike of each other in the 2010s as Brighton overcame off-field problems.

Now both in the Premier League, fans of each side look to the calendar immediately to find out the dates for the “M23 derby”, and this is set to be a close one.

Crystal Palace sit just three points ahead of Brighton in the Premier League this season and know victory will help them climb towards the Europa League places – and push their rivals back down towards the relegation zone.

However, it’s a close run thing as Brighton can leapfrog the Eagles with a win of their own, something the fans will be eager to do even at this early stage of the season.

Read on for our Crystal Palace vs Brighton preview, predictions, team news, TV coverage information and more.

When is Crystal Palace vs Brighton and where can I watch live?

Competition: Premier League

Venue: Selhurst Park

Date: Monday, 16 December 2019

Kick-off: 7:45 PM (UK time)

TV coverage (UK): Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Premier League

Last five meetings: Crystal Palace vs Brighton

09 March 2019: Crystal Palace 1-2 Brighton (Premier League)

04 December 2018: Brighton 3-1 Crystal Palace (Premier League)

14 April 2018: Crystal Palace 3-2 Brighton (Premier League)

08 January 2018: Brighton 2-1 Crystal Palace (FA Cup)

28 November 2017: Brighton 0-0 Crystal Palace (Premier League)

Aggregate Score: Crystal Palace (LLWLD) 6-9 Brighton (WWLWD)

Ones to watch

Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha

As we reach the middle of December, the January transfer window is edging closer. One player whose name has already been thrown around regarding a move is Wilfried Zaha.

The Ivorian has taken Eden Hazard’s crown as the Premier League’s top dribbler and is being linked with replacing the Belgian at Chelsea following the reduction of their transfer ban.

If Zaha is to push through a move away, having failed to do so in the summer, he will need to up his game even more starting with the visit of Brighton. The 27-year-old certainly enjoys playing Brighton and played a big part in Palace’s Championship play-off semi-final win over the Seagulls in 2013.

Key stat: Wilfried Zaha has scored five goals against Brighton in all competitions. Against no other side has the Ivorian scored more.

Brighton: Pascal Gross

Although Neal Maupay has received most of the attacking headlines, Pascal Gross continues to prove just how important he is to Brighton.

The German has started 12 games so far, while adding another three substitute appearances, playing across the midfield. Pushed out to the right in recent games, Gross is likely to return to a move central position to fill a gap but he can be just as effective there.

Gross is Brighton’s best creator and, as a result, their best chance of hurting Palace’s defence if his link-up play with Maupay and Leandro Trossard is good enough.

Key stat: Pascal Gross has created 38 chances in the Premier League this season, at least 20 more than any other Brighton player.

Team news

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace have a host of injury problems and will be without Jeffrey Schlupp, Patrick van Aanholt and Joel Ward for Monday’s game. Mamadou Sakho joins them out with suspension, which could lead to an interesting defensive line.

Elsewhere, Jordan Ayew is expected to continue to lead the line ahead of Christian Benteke, joined by Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend.

Predicted XI: Guaita; Kelly, Tomkins, Cahill, Riedewald; McArthur, Milivojevic, Kouyate; Townsend, Ayew, Zaha.

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Aaron Connolly is a doubt for Brighton with a dead leg, as is Solly March. Dale Stephens misses out through suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season last week, so Graham Potter could make a slight shift to his formation to accommodate the absence.

Yves Bissouma is a potential replacement for Stephens, but he has played just 145 minutes so far, so Potter may want to avoid putting him into such a big game.

Predicted XI: Ryan; Montoya, Webster, Dunk, Burn; Mooy, Propper, Gross; Alzate, Maupay, Trossard.

Squawka prediction

Neither side will want to lose this once, such is the heated rivalry between the two sets of supporters, but both will also do all they can to win.

Such a game could see Palace and Brighton ultimately cancelling each other out, with the Eagles not having the greatest attack while the Seagulls have been open at the back.

Scoreline prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 Brighton