Eagles to prey on Gulls in Palace v Brighton derby
It is derby day as Crystal Palace hope to make it four unbeaten when they meet Brighton on Monday night. Can the Seagulls continue to sour under the guidance of Graham Potter? Have a read of our preview here:
Can Palace keep it going?
The last three games have seen Crystal Palace collect three consecutive clean-sheets for the first time since March 2017 and bag seven points. It is an upturn in form that was needed following a disappointing spell during October and November which saw them lose four of five and win precisely zero.
That 2-0 win against Burnley has lifted everyone and beating Bournemouth and drawing with Nigel Pearson’s Watford have moved the Eagles back to within seven points of the top four.
Palace fans know they will not make the coveted Champions League places but they can dream of Europe. Wilfried Zaha is still a key man but does need better protection from the referees.
Since his Premier League debut in December 2013, Zaha has been fouled 503 times, with only Eden Hazard winning more fouls in that time (521).
This will be a tense game with plenty of drama but you do feel Palace are better placed to take advantage.
Brighton’s mixed fortunes
Sacking Chris Hughton was meant to be bringing in a new era for the South Coast club and, in one sense, it has. The only issue is the results have and league position are not measurably better with Brighton still sat just four points above the relegations zone as it stands.
They have tried to play a different style and will be delighted to have taken four points off Wolves and Arsenal in the last two games yet still struggle against the bigger sides.
In fairness, the Seagulls have had one of the toughest starts to the season but they will have a good chance over the Christmas period to put right their ‘big club’ bogey affair.
They will face both Chelsea and Spurs while also hosting high-flying Sheffield United in the run up to New Year. If they can produce the defensive performance that saw them beat Arsenal then they could be a tricky nut to crack for Palace – it should be an enthralling game.
Crystal Palace vs Brighton betting tip
Palace have been on a superb run and will be looking to continue in front of their own fans and although Brighton beat Arsenal, they have only won twice on the road all season. That’s why we are tipping Roy Hodgson’s men to win this one at odds of 8/5 with betway.