Brighton & Hove Albion vs Crystal Palace
One of the bright young English head coaches takes on the oldest boss in the Premier League in the Monday night clash, when Graham Potter’s Brighton welcome Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace in the M23 derby.
The Seagulls and Eagles are not exactly near neighbours because Palace will travel over 60 miles from South London to reach Brighton on the coast. But there is a serious rivalry between the two clubs who were both founding members of the Football League Third Division in 1920.
The fixture became spicy when the teams met in the opening fixture of the 1974/75 season. Crystal Palace had just been relegated and were managed by the outspoken Malcolm Allison and extra police were drafted in to control the fans as 26,000 turned up and fights broke out inside and outside the ground.
And so the M23 Derby was born.
There will be no supporters at the Amex Stadium on Monday but the stakes remain high. With just over a third of the season to play, neither team is safe as they’re in 14th and 16th place in the table but with a nice cushion above Fulham, who are long time occupiers of the dreaded 18th position.
The Premier League 2021 betting odds are pretty comforting for both teams. But while Palace are currently ahead in the league table, they are at 11.00 to get relegated while the Seagulls are out at 26.00.
Can Brighton bring their good form home?
After a difficult run towards the end of 2020, the Seagulls’ Premier League 2021 results have been impressive.
A run of six matches unbeaten has taken Potter’s side seven points clear of the drop zone and just three behind the Eagles. The standout results were back-to-back league 1-0 victories over Spurs and Liverpool.
But Brighton have won just once at home all season, which is a problem they have had before. And if they can solve that issue then they will pull well clear of danger.
The addition of experienced campaigners Danny Welbeck and Adam Lallana has given the Seagulls more bite up front, though they still struggle for goals.
Centre-back and Captain Lewis Dunk remains Brighton’s most important player. He’s a rock at the heart of his team’s defence and a threat from set pieces, as he showed when he headed the crucial goal in a 1-1 draw with Burnley.
Roy will get it right at Palace
Crystal Palace fans have been expressing their anger at the club’s inability to move out of the bottom half of the league table following back-to-back losses over the past two weeks.
The Eagles followed a 2-0 defeat away to Leeds with a 3-0 home reversal to Burnley. And in an open letter to the club, one fan group criticised the manager’s “spineless, defensive tactics.”
Fans hung a banner outside the club’s training ground which read: “Palace pandemic of apathy. Change the mentality. Restore the pride, ambition and vision.”
They have short memories these guys.
Roy was drafted in to save them in the 2017/18 season in which they lost their first seven games and looked doomed, but he guided them to 11th place and he was quick to defend his players.
“Our fans have been very good through the years so for them to do something like this is not something that one can be happy about,” said Hodgson.
“When you give a couple of performances like the last two, you expect the fans to react. But I see every day here on the training field how hard people work and how much they do want to do well,” he added.
He does need to solve the problem of Wilfried Zaha though. His talisman has nine goals but he’s been absent with injury over the past two games.
The Eagles have lost 18 of the last 20 matches when Zaha has been missing and the manager says he’s been working hard to get fit for the Brighton game but is still doubtful.
Eberechi Eze has become the Eagles’ most exciting player in the absence of Zaha. But if the main man can make an appearance, that will be a huge boost.
Palace have won seven of the 18 meetings with Brighton since 2002, while the Seagulls have won five and there have been six draws.
The two teams drew 1-1 at Selhurst Park in the Premier League clash in October, while the Eagles snatched a 1-0 win here in the 2019/20 season.
Brighton have drawn seven of their 12 games at the Amex this season — winning one and losing four — and they are unbeaten in five at home.
Both teams have won two from the last six games in all competitions, but Palace have lost the other four while Brighton have drawn three and lost one.
In their six games, Brighton neither scored nor conceded more than one goal and there were just five goals in thesaid games.
|Brighton vs Crystal Palace||1×2 Draw @ 3.35|
|February 22, 20:00(GMT+8)|
Brighton are odds on to win this one at SBOTOP priced at 1.82.
Recent form justifies that confidence in the Seagulls, but they have only won once at home all season and 4.27 looks a long price for the Eagles.
Under 2.25 goals @ 1.86 could be interesting, particularly if Zaha doesn’t make it. However, I am backing a draw.
And for an outside bet, 1-1 is available at odds of 5.99.
|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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