Brighton vs Crystal Palace – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Wednesday 15th March 2023
AMEX Community Stadium
As part of our midweek Premier League predictions, we take a look at Crystal Palace’s visit to rivals Brighton. Palace are winless in 11 matches in all competitions, but are difficult to break down. Can they get a result? Read on with our Brighton vs Crystal Palace prediction.
Brighton vs Crystal Palace Match Preview
Brighton have had a fantastic season so far. Indeed, they come into this match third in the form table over the last eight league games (with 15 points), and only having lost once in that period (at home to Fulham last month). Their match at the weekend was somewhat disappointing, however. Away at struggling Leeds, they took the lead twice but were pegged back both times. They had 62 per cent possession, but goal attempts and xG were relatively even, so a point was probably fair.
Nevertheless, this result likely won’t derail Brighton’s season. They play with a settled first eleven most weeks (though Steele has recently taken Sanchez’s place in goal) and therefore have consistency. They have won six of twelve at home, including three of the last four, so they are pretty good at the Amex. They are also well-placed in the FA Cup, with a quarter-final tie against Grimsby to follow at the weekend. They are seventh in the table with 39 points from 24 games, and there is still an outside chance they could qualify for Europe through their league position.
Palace travel south for the A23 derby in desperate form. Indeed, Palace sit at the bottom of the form table over the last ten games, with five points. They are also the only Premier League club yet to win a game in 2023. After things had started well for coach Patrick Vieira, he is experiencing his first challenging moments as Palace manager. His team gave quite a good account of themselves last weekend against Man City – only losing 1-0 to a Haaland penalty. However, four goals for and 12 against in that run will worry him. In eight of Palace’s last nine games, fewer than three goals have been scored, so they are not often involved in thrillers.
Furthermore, Palace haven’t scored in their previous three league games. Struggling for output and lacking a finisher, Palace are fortunate that they picked up points earlier in the season – they sit in 12 place with 27 points after 26 games. However, if they don’t start improving, they will undoubtedly be dragged further down; they are only three points above the relegation zone. Palace have won 2 and drawn four of their 12 away games this season, so it will take quite an effort to get something here.
Brighton vs Crystal Palace Lineups (Predicted)
Brighton (4-2-3-1 / 4-3-3): Steele; Estupinan, Dunk, Webster, Veltman; Caicedo, Gross; Mitoma, Mac Allister, March; Ferguson
Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Guaita; Mitchell, Guehi, Andersen, Clyne; Lokonga, Doucoure, Schlupp; Zaha, Ayew, Olise
Brighton vs Crystal Palace Analysis
Brighton Will Likely Control The Game
Brighton are one of the better possession teams in the league, with an average of 59 per cent this season. Palace are lower at 44 per cent. Furthermore, Brighton have completed over 3,000 more passes than Palace. Therefore, the flow/pattern of the game will likely be Brighton dominating and controlling against a deeper-lying Palace side. The outcome will largely depend on how well Brighton can use their territorial advantage to break through Palace and create clear-cut chances.
As always, Brighton will build from the back. Dunk’s short passing into the midfield and longer balls down the channels allow them to both retain control and offer a threat in behind. Caicedo will be his usual energetic and powerful self in midfield. He and Gross will look to control the game and dominate the Palace midfielders. They will maintain the ball and find the front players with passes. They will also try to nick the ball in midfield to attack in transition when Palace are more adventurous.
Mac Allister is an essential player for Brighton. He connects the midfield and attack and finds spaces between opposition lines where he can hurt them. His ability to drive into the box and his propensity for finding March and Mitoma out wide will be crucial. The two wide players are pacey, tricky, and good dribblers. Mitoma, especially, is a real livewire and can both score and create. Ferguson is also very good at leading the line and linking play. Brighton will look to these four and the pace and guile of Estupinan from left-back to create and get behind Palace.
Palace Will Probably Play More On The Counter-Attack
The visitors are likely in for a long day here. Palace (as stated) haven’t won a game in 2023 and are struggling for goals, and have also been conceding. Therefore, their best game plan is to sit deeper and try to soak up pressure, then hit on the break with the pace and ball-carrying abilities of Zaha and Olise. Perhaps Palace could have been more expansive earlier in the season, but as a team struggling for confidence and goals, they might have to go back to basics.
Schlupp, Lokonga and Doucoure must be industrious in midfield and try to close gaps or areas Brighton look to exploit. Brighton are excellent in tight spaces, so the Palace midfielders must try to win 50/50s. They can then manipulate any counter-attack opportunities when Brighton have exposed themselves. These situations will likely be their best bet – where Olise, Zaha, or Eze can attack the full-backs or create in any spaces they vacate. Ayew up front is a workhorse, and he must defend from the front and try to stop Dunk from getting a grip of the game from centre-back.
Set pieces might also be an area that Palace can target. They have some height in their team and might be able to score from corners of free-kicks – Olise has already demonstrated his set-piece ability with the final-minute equaliser against Man Utd in January. Mateta, Edouard and Eze are potential starters or attacking replacements for Palace, as are Sarmiento and Welbeck for Brighton.
This game could be more comfortable to call. On the one hand, Brighton have superior players, and coach Roberto De Zerbi has done a fine job since he came in. Palace have also been struggling massively this year. On the other hand, the match is a derby, and Palace will be pumped up for it. Every game can be its own entity and exist in a vacuum – we mean by this that sometimes form goes out of the window. As good a team as Brighton are, they are not impenetrable, and Palace have been involved in low-scoring games. Hence, Palace will be hopeful of a point.
However, we think Palace will get nothing. Brighton have so much creativity and pace out wide and an abundance of energy and technique in midfield. They are a classy, professional outfit where everyone knows their role. They can beat any team on their day with the players and system at their disposal, including an out-of-sorts Palace side. Although the last three games between these two have finished 1-1, we think Brighton will win. We were going to predict 2-0, but we will back the Londoners to score a goal and be involved in a three-goal game for a change.
Brighton 2-1 Crystal Palace
Brighton vs Crystal Palace Betting Tip – Brighton Odds:
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