Brighton & Hove Albion vs Crystal Palace
I bet not many of you us followers realise that this is a derby!
I certainly didn’t until last season when the clubs were reunited, for the first time ever in the Premier League.
The rivalry stems back more than 40 years ago when Alan Mullery and Terry Venables, former Spurs team mates, were the high-profile figures in charge.
And so began an unlikely grudge match which has now reached the modern daytop flight of English football.
Some of the Premier League 2018 news has been provided by these clubs bucking the trend.
Brighton are currently in the heady heights of 11th spot with 18 points from 14 games and are enjoying the relative comfort of midtable.
For a side with one of the smallest squads and wage bills in the top flights, the Seagulls are punching above their weight under the steady tutelage of Chris Hughton—his feat in keeping them in the top flight last year one of the achievements of the season.
Palace are currently in 14th spot, only three points clear of safety. However, they already look set to defy some of the Premier League 2018 betting odds after their veteran boss Roy Hodgson worked wonders last term.
The Eagles certainly are on the up, as shown by their fine draw at Old Trafford and first home victory of the season against Burnley which saw them end a run of eight league matches without a win.
The likes of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend (when on form) can trouble any opponent and will surely spearhead a run to midtable safety in the months ahead.
Glen Murray reacts during Brighton & Hove Albion’s Premier League match against Huddersfield Town
Brighton, who are due to welcome back top-scorer Glenn Murray after he was given a rest in their 2-1 win at Huddersfield, are also in upbeat mood. Despite having less individual match-winners, they have collectively excelled and are six points clear of their opponents going into this one.
That is reflected by the fact Brighton have lost just one of their past nine home Premier League games (won four, drawn four) and scored in each of their last seven league fixtures—their longest Premier League scoring streak.
Behind every good frontman is a creator, and midfielder Solly March has largely taken that mantle with four assists in his last four top-flight games.
And if Palace are in any doubt where one of the main threats will come from, they only need to be told that 11 of Brighton’s 16 Premier League goals this season have come from set pieces. It’s the division’s joint-highest tally (alongside Tottenham).
Equally, Brighton should know where Palace’s main threat will be.
Zaha may have failed to score in his last eight Premier League games, but he is still contributing since returning from injury and has five goals in his eight league games against the South Coast club.
Palace are also keen to preserve and maintain some fine runs.
Since a 3-0 defeat at Manchester City in 2014, Palace are unbeaten in nine Premier League away games played in December, albeit drawing seven of them. Moreover, the Eagles could equal the club record of three consecutive clean sheets with a shut-out at Brighton, something they last achieved in March last year.
Last season, the M23 derby at the Amex Stadium ended goalless in a fairly low key affair when both sides were struggling. This time, it is unlikely to be as cagey.
The return fixture at Selhurst Park saw Palace emerge 3-2 winners.The sides actually met three times last season with Brighton emerging 2-1 victors at home in the third round of the FA Cup.
Before last season, you have to go back to the 2013 Championship play-off semi-finals for the last time these sides met.
After a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park, Palace won 2-0 at the Amex with a Zaha double steering them through to the final at Wembley, which they eventually won to seal promotion.
They have been in the top flight ever since.
||Brighton & Hove Albion vs Crystal Palace
||Over 2.25 @ 2.20
|December 5, 03:45 (GMT+8)
Palace are slight favourites, priced 1X2 @ 2.75 with the hosts 1X2 @ 2.81.
The draw is at 2.94, which also shows how evenly matched these sides could be. Likewise, with Asian Handicap betting, it’s -0.25 Palace @ 2.36 and -0.25 Brighton @ 2.42.
A repeat of last season’s goalless draw will give you odds of @ 6.40. However, I see the two sides scoring this time, and more than two in fact.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:
| = €20 (Highly confident)
|| = €10 (CONFIDENT)
|| = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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