Brighton host Crystal Palace in M23 derby


A match dubbed the ‘M23 Derby’ between Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace lights up a midweek round of fixtures, both coming into the game off positive results.

Chris Hughton’s Brighton come into the game after a much welcomed 2-1 win at Huddersfield, where his side used their man advantage to full effect to come from a goal down in the opening minute to win the game. Summer signing Florin Andone scored his first goal for the Seagulls to push them up to 11th in the table, above West Ham and Wolves.

Crystal Palace meanwhile earned a deserved, but long awaited, home win over Burnley. Andros Townsend took the plaudits with a stunning goal to kill the game off after an opener by James McArthur. Roy Hodgson will see the result as a timely morale boost, after the Eagles have struggled immensely at Selhurst Park this season.

Brighton are awaiting results on a fitness test for Bruno Saltor, the right back suffered cramp and is a slight doubt for Tuesday night. They are still without record signing Alireza Jahanbakhsh who is not expected back to full fitness until the turn of the year.

Crystal Palace meanwhile have injury concerns which may leave them short of options upfront.

Christian Benteke has a knee problem which will see him miss at least another 3-4 weeks of action. Connor Wickham came back into training this week, but may not be ready for such an intense game this early on. In defence Scott Dann edges closer to a return, the centre back has been training in recent weeks, but lacks match fitness.

This derby has not been played too often in recent years.

Brighton languished in the lower league whilst Palace flirted with Premier League football.

The last time these sides met resulted in a 3-2 win for Crystal Palace in a supremely entertaining game at Selhurst Park, Wilfred Zaha dazzling the Brighton defence with two goals in the win. The reverse fixture saw Brighton beat Palace for the first time since 2013, a 2-1 victory with Glenn Murray scoring a late winner.

Both sides and sets of fans will be up for this, if Zaha plays to his maximum potential, he may be the one to put Brighton to the sword again.

Prediction: Brighton 1-2 Crystal Palace



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