Crystal Palace vs Brighton & Hove Albion

Bottom-half Crystal Palace’s faltering patch faces another stern test as they welcome Brighton & Hove Albion at Selhurst Park.

Inspired by a heroic late effort that helped them haul back a two-goal deficit in a 2-2 draw at Manchester City last weekend, Crystal Palace come into proceedings seeking their first Premier League win since early November. Plagued by injuries, Roy Hodgson’s men are winless in their last six league outings (D2, L4), falling to 15th in the table. But since they still hold a healthy eight-point lead on 18th-placed Luton Town, there’s no reason to panic as the ‘Eagles’ bid to arrest a four-game winless H2H run against Brighton (D3, L1). Selhurst Park would’ve been a perfect setting under normal circumstances, yet Palace’s disappointing four-match losing home league streak speaks otherwise. Hodgson’s side can draw further inspiration from scoring 2+ goals in a top-flight game for only the fourth time this season last weekend.

On the other hand, Brighton slipped to a 2-0 defeat to pacesetters Arsenal at the weekend, giving up a three-game unbeaten run in all competitions (W2, D1). Back-to-back Premier League defeats on the road in the build-up to this trip have demoted the ‘Seagulls’ to mid-table, though they’re still within striking distance of the European spots. With three points separating Roberto De Zerbi’s team from sixth-placed Newcastle United, the Italian is aware of the importance of this fixture. Any success would likely require a significant defensive effort, knowing Brighton’s last four Premier League encounters against Palace have featured under 2.5 goals. But the visitors are still well-positioned to take home three points, having lost just once in ten matches against the sides starting below them in the standings this season (W5, D4).

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