Crystal Palace vs BrightonEnglish Premier League, KO: 20:00 Dec 16, 2019, Selhurst Park
THE Eagles and the Seagulls will land at Selhurst Park on Monday night when Crystal Palace meet Brighton in the M23 derby.
Both rivals will go into this battle only three places apart in the Premier League table – Brighton are currently positioned 13th place – three points adrift of Palace who sit 10th.
Roy Hodgson's men are unbeaten in their last three top-flight outings – a stretch of games that has seen the capital club clock up three consecutive clean-sheets.
The south London side recorded back-to back wins against Burnley and Bournemouth before playing out a dour 0-0 draw away at Watford last weekend and the Eagles will be aiming to continue their momentum against Brighton.
The Seagulls are a different proposition under Graham Potter's stewardship with Brighton now playing a more possession-based game – quite a contrast from the south coasts sides conservative style of play under predecessor Chris Houghton.
The Betting Odds
Only one draw has been played out in this fixture following Brighton's promotion to the Premier League two and a half years ago – and that outcome on Monday night pays 9/4 (Bet 365)
The Betting Angles
Crystal Palace's stable season thus far can be pinned on the hosts well-schooled defence, however, Hodgson is currently dealing with a heavy defensive injury list and I suspect attack-minded Brighton could capitalize.
The Seagulls have scored in all but one of their last nine league games – Brighton have recenlty made the net bulge at the likes of Old Trafford, Anfield and the Emirates.
Therefore, with that in mind, I'm going to back Brighton to score at least one goal, to take two or more corners and to collect 10+ booking points at 4/6 (Betfred) – a combination that landed with ease during Brighton's recent triumph at Arsenal.
Given that this is a derby match under the lights it may also pay dividends to delve into the cards market for what could be a feisty affair.
Ill-disciplined Palace skipper Luka Milvovjevic is a prime candidate for a card at 15/8 (William Hill), however, I'm going to take a bolder approach by backing Brighton right-back Steven Alzate to be booked at 11/2 (Bet 365)
Granted, the Colombian defender has only been cautioned on one occasion this term, however, Alzate looks set to be given the thankless task of trying to tame Eagles talisman Wilfred Zaha.
Zaha's speed and physicality presents defences with problems on a weekly basis and that coupled with the fact that this a derby match has me attracted to the lofty looking 11/2 (Bet 365) on offer for Alzate to have his name taken.
In considering who will come out on top in this showdown – this looks like a tough one to call – and with that in mind I'm going to steer clear of backing an outright winner and instead back both teams to score at 10/11 (Bet 365)
Indeed, Palace have been lean at the back this season, however, Hodgson will be without all of his recognised full-backs and as such he will be forced to field a patched up back four against a Brighton outfit who are very adept at putting the ball in the back of the net.
However, at the other end of the park Brighton are defensively vulnerable – the Seagulls have only managed to secure a solitary shutout in their last eight attempts – and six of that sequence have seen both sides score – all of which adds to the appeal a backing both teams to score on Monday night.
This English Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Brighton will be played on Dec 16, 2019 and kick off at 20:00