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Brighton and Palace is that fixture, isn’t it? The one where everyone goes: ‘Hang on, isn’t that the derby of sorts?’ And yes, by some minor miracle, the footballing community has allowed this to enter ‘derby’ territory despite being miles away from each other.
Sometimes you just need to shoot your shot. And while Palace who are the outliers in London per se, could have done with a derby, they’ve now found one against a side whose primary identity is that their pier looks nice between June and August. But, for these two right now, there’s nothing between them, nor is there a credible threat to either being relegated.
Monday 20:00 – Brighton v Crystal Palace
Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Premier League
Which in a way kind of sums up this rivalry doesn’t it? They don’t have even a domestic reason to dislike each other for 90 minutes. Hopefully, Roy Hodgson says something inappropriate and winds up the entire Brighton bench.
However, that doesn’t mean we can’t be grateful for Premier League action on a Monday night, no matter what way it falls to us – and of course, the chance to land a few quid. Here’s a Bet Builder for you to follow.
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- TRADER TIPS: Our ace selections for Brighton v Crystal Palace
Brighton have built their current run of form on keeping it tight, which, while it goes against the attacking intent that Graham Potter was once flaunting around Sussex, they’re now (in his own words) in the best place since he arrived at the club. Is that a big flex? Probably not as big as he’d like it to be.
I understand that backing Palace, a side who’ve failed to score in either of their last two games, coming up against one of the best defensive units in the league over the last month seems unwise. But, they always end up frustrating people and that won’t be today.
Palace are drilled to just do enough, and Hodgson is a manager in every sense of the word.
Brighton’s run isn’t sustainable and a draw here isn’t the worst result for either. Sometimes you just need to play the percentages.
For as likely as I think Palace are to score, I also possess no desire to back them to keep a clean sheet. Given the side is managed by Roy, you’d imagine they’d have some level of tenacity, but they’re hopelessly slow to second balls.
Brighton aren’t as shoot on sight as they once were, but they’ve got players with quick feet in the final third and that’s enough to take advantage of a side without a semi-functional holding midfielder to help with overloads.
It just seems the obvious play to me now given how I expect the game to go. I know we’re all used to Monday Night Football being a snorefest and making you grateful that Champions League nights are midweek, but neither side really have a reason to play this game slowly.
Being conservative here doesn’t benefit either, and I’d expect us to be in a very handy position even by half-time.
Look at Palace’s last game. Their front two were whipped off and that’s because their lack of innovation in central areas is crippling them. It slows down ball retention and makes them predictable. Eze has been their wildcard this year and I suspect he’ll go onto bigger things before long.
I also believe he’ll start carrying the ball far more often than he has been – and he’ll be the focal point of The Eagles attacks between now and the end of the season.
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