The Eagles take on The Seagulls in what should be an entertaining derby match
Crystal Palace 1-1 Brighton
The Premier League’s least local derby arrives for the first time this season, with ‘rivals’ Crystal Palace and Brighton going head to head with pride and three points at stake in the lower half of the table.
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson will be reasonably happy with how his side have performed so far this season, starting with two wins but then following that with two defeats. They have exciting, attacking players who can cause plenty of problems on their day.
Brighton have also showed some good performances, though have fallen to three defeats from their four games before the International break. They sit three points ahead of the relegation places, but should have more than enough quality over the course of the season to finish comfortably.
This is shaping up to be an exciting match between two teams full of quick, technical players. Both would prefer a win, though a draw at this stage of the new campaign would not be disastrous.
Form Guide (all comps): WLWLL
Reasons to be cheerful:
Started the season superbly in first two matches before fading
Michy Batshuayi can return to the side
Reasons to be fearful:
Multiple defensive injuries to deal with
Played poorly against Chelsea before the break
Crystal Palace started the season like a house on fire, seeing off Southampton on the opening day of the season, before blitzing Manchester United in a brilliant counter-attacking performance the week after.
It’s been a struggle since then however, losing their next two plus going out of the Carabao Cup to Bournemouth.
Their defeat to Everton was a close affair, but by going down 4-0 against Chelsea showed there are defensive weaknesses that must be improved.
What isn’t helping is the amount of injuries they have in this area, with Van Aanholt, Cahill and Tomkins all out. Connor Wickham is also likely to miss out in attack.
The positive news is that Brighton’s defence has looked leaky all season, so creating chances won’t be as difficult as against Chelsea or Everton.
Star Man – Wilf Zaha
Three goals in four games shows he is in great form at the moment. His trickery should cause Brighton problems.
Form Guide (all comps): WWLLL
Reasons to be cheerful
Have impressed going forward
Unlucky defeat against Man United distorts full picture
Reasons to be fearful
Defence has been leaky so far
Also have injuries to worry about
Manager Graham Potter will not be too concerned about registering three defeats in four games so far this season, especially when you analyse their performances.
They were desperately unlucky against Manchester United and on another day would have come away with all three points after hitting the woodwork on five occasions.
Brighton will be concerned if this run of form is to continue, but with West Brom, Burnley and Aston Villa all coming up within the next month, there should be opportunities to pick up points.
Their attacking play has been good – Leandro Trossard in particular has been bright and direct with the ball, whilst Neal Maupay has four goals in five matches.
But their defence is a worry, having conceded three more goals than their opponents this weekend. Propper, Lamptey and Jahanbakhsh have been carrying knocks so it’s touch and go whether they are fit enough to play.
Star Man – Neal Maupay
Four goals in five games is a fine way to start the season.
A closely fought game with few chances
Will come down to one or two moments of quality
The team with the best defence is likely to come out on top
Matches between these two are always close affairs – just one goal has separated the sides in their previous three meetings.
Both teams have top attacking players who can cause damage to their weak defences and therefore the match could favour the team which is most solid at the back.
With tougher tests to come down the line, a point may well suit both of these sides come the final whistle and that may be just how it ends.
Crystal Palace 1-1 Brighton