Brighton will take on rivals Crystal Palace at the Amex Stadium in the second M23 derby of the season on Friday, January 14.
Crystal Palace missed a fine opportunity to beat Brighton at Selhurst Park earlier in the season. Wilfried Zaha converted a penalty to open the scoring in first-half stoppage time, yet Naul Maupay's last-gasp equalizer rescued a point for The Seagulls.
All in all, Brighton will be looking to end a five-game winless run (losing two of them) against Crystal Palace and to claim their first win over The Eagles since a 2-1 victory at Selhurst Park in March 2019.
Brighton Betting Preview (+110 @ BetOnline)
Graham Potter's side ended a twelve-game unbeaten run (that started with the 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace in late-September) when they claimed a 2-0 home win over Brentford on Boxing Day. It was followed by three consecutive games away from home as Brighton rounded off 2021 with a 1-1 draw at Chelsea in the Premier League before the back-to-back wins at Everton (EPL) and West Brom (FA Cup).
Now, Brighton will be keen to claim successive Premier League home wins in a single campaign for the first time since November 2019, when The Seagulls won three in a row.
The Seagulls have been well-progressing under Graham Potter's guidance and are now unbeaten in four games across all competitions. They gained momentum and sit 9th in the table ahead of a busy period with three tough games in 10 days, including a home match against Chelsea as well as a visit to Leicester City in the Premier League this month.
Brighton earned a hard fought 2-1 comeback win over Championship side West Bromwich Albion in the FA Cup on Saturday. However, the game went to extra time after a 1-1 draw, with Neal Maupay's extra-time winner sending them into the fourth round.
Yves Bissouma – Albion's best midfielder – joined Mali for the Africa Cup of Nations and is not available for selection, while fellow African Enock Mwepu should embrace the opportunity. The Zambian midfielder, who joined Brighton from Austrian giants Salzburg last summer, picked up a hamstring injury and was forced off early in the FA Cup clash at the Hawthorns, but Graham Potter is hopeful he should be fine to play against Crystal Palace.
Alexis Mac Allister netted a brace during Brighton's 3-2 win at Goodison Park and will hope to get another start under his belt, while defender Adam Webster, who recovered from a calf injury, missed the FA Cup game with fatigue, but should be ready to face Crystal Palace.
Captain Lewis Dunk continues his recovery from a knee injury sustained in the 1-1 draw at West Ham on December 1 and even though there is “an outside chance he should be good to go against Palace”, Graham Potter could be cautious with his best defender.
Ecuador international Jeremy Sarmiento underwent surgery on his injured hamstring but looks likely to be on the sidelines for another two months.
Meanwhile, Experienced striker Danny Welbeck, who scored the late equalizer against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, is gradually regaining his fitness after a spell on the sidelines. The former Arsenal and Manchester United man played an hour in the FA Cup victory at West Brom at the weekend and should be available for the derby against Crystal Palace.
With Bissouma on international duty and Mwepu questionable, Potter could opt for Jakub Moder alongside Alexis Mac Allister and Adam Lallana in the middle of the park.
Crystal Palace Betting Preview (+285 @ BetOnline)
Patrick Vieira's Eagles are fairly inconsistent and have collected 23 points after 20 Premier League games – four points behind their fierce rivals. They have won only one of their 9 Premier League away games this term (1-3-5) and will hope to improve these numbers by extending their unbeaten form against Brighton.
Crystal Palace will be eager to end their poor away form in the Premier League as the South London outfit have lost their last three outings, failing to score in each of them. Moreover, The Eagles are winless in their last four Premier League games away from Selhurst Park (0-1-3) – since a sensational 2-0 win at Manchester City in late-October.
Patrick Vieira's side suffered a 3-2 home defeat to top-four hopefuls West Ham United on New Year's Day but Vieira himself should be pleased with his side's late push, even though it was not enough to earn a point.
Influential playmaker Conor Gallagher returned from illness to help Crystal Palace defeat Championship side Millwall in the FA Cup third round at the weekend and will surely start on Friday night. The New England International is one of the Premier League revelations this season with six goals and three assists to his name.
Elsewhere, with Cheikhou Kouyaté, Jordan Ayew and Wilfried Zaha all on international duty at the AFCON, Patrick Vieira will be forced to make changes to his starting XI against rivals Brighton.
Surprisingly (or not?), Jeffrey Schlupp was not called up by Ghana for the Africa Cup of Nations and should start in central midfield on Friday night, while skipper Luka Milivojević may have to settle for a place on the bench.
Michael Olise is one of the players who will benefit from the absence of several pivotal figures as the summer signing starts to reveal his potential, scoring and assisting in back-to-back games.
Deadline Day signing Odsonne Edouard finally ended his goal drought as he scored in back-to-back league games against Norwich and West Ham. He will be aiming to score in three consecutive Premier League matches and should start along with Christian Benteke and Michael Olise in Brighton's front line.
Scottish midfielder James McArthur continues his recovery from a hamstring injury and the upcoming clash against Brighton could be too early for the 34-year-old veteran.
Possible Starting Lineups of Brighton and Crystal Palace
Brighton: Robert Sanchez – Dan Burn, Shane Duffy, Joel Veltman – Marc Cucurella, Jakub Moder, Adam Lallana, Alexis Mac Allister, Tariq Lamptey – Leandro Trossard, Neal Maupay. (3-5-2)
Crystal Palace: Vicente Guaita – Joel Ward, Joachim Andersen, Marc Guehi, Tyrick Mitchell – Conor Gallagher, Will Hughes, Jeffrey Schlupp – Michael Olise, Christian Benteke, Odsonne Édouard. (4-3-3)
Spooky Express Betting Prediction
Brighton are a tough nut to crack, losing only four of their 19 Premier League games this season. However, they have drawn 9 of them – joint most draws in the English top-flight.
Roy Hodgson's Crystal Palace earned a 2-1 victory on their last trip to the Amex Stadium last February, with just two shots on target, but we expect a completely different game this time, with the Eagles posing a different threat under new boss Patrick Vieira.
To be fair, both teams are too inconsistent and unpredictable, yet they are both capable of scoring. We pick BTS – Yes – as we already did in the first leg.
In the meantime, you can get odds of +235 on another draw, while Brighton are listed +110 Money Line favorites against Crystal Palace's +285 with BetOnline.