Crystal Palace vs Brighton – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 11th February 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we took a look at Brighton’s visit to Selhurst Park. Can Brighton continue their impressive form in 2023, or will Palace record their first win? Read on with our Crystal Palace vs Brighton prediction.
Crystal Palace vs Brighton Match Preview
Crystal Palace come into the M23 derby (as dubbed by certain sections of the press) on the back of a relatively poor patch of form that has seen them caught by the chasing pack of Premier League relegation battlers – of which there are expected to be a number of this season. Sitting in 19th position in the form table over the last five games, Palace have had to face some difficult opposition in the form of Manchester United (twice), Newcastle, Tottenham and a struggling Chelsea side where they were a little unfortunate not to grab a point.
Last time out, Palace were the beneficiaries of a red card for United’s Casemiro following an incident involving Palace’s Schlupp and United’s Antony that quickly descended into a somewhat farcical ruckus. Out of the game at 2-0 down, Palace immediately went on the front foot at Old Trafford, grabbed a goal and pushed for an equaliser but the hosts held on to condemn Palace to their ninth Premier League defeat of the season. A win here would potentially solidify Palace’s grip on a mid-table position, depending upon results elsewhere.
Brighton are in superb form after an initial shaky transitional period following the appointment of de Zerbi to replace outgoing manager Graham Potter. In a run of form that has seen the Seagulls win six of their last eight matches in all competitions, including defeating Liverpool twice, Brighton are well-poised to mount a credible challenge for a European spot via the league standings.
It’s noteworthy that Brighton have scored 38 times in 20 matches this season for a goal average of 1.9 goals per game, as opposed to last season’s 42 goals in 38 matches (1.11). On the surface of it, this appears to be the primary reason for Brighton’s ascension from mid-table this season. Last time out, perhaps as a tribute to their attacking proficiency, they faced a Bournemouth side who were determined to dig in and prevent Brighton from finding space in the final third. Bournemouth were successful until the 87th minute when in-form attacking midfielder Mitoma finally broke the deadlock to give Brighton a crucial home win.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Andersen, Ferguson, McArthur, Zaha
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Colwill, Ferguson, Lallana, Moder
Crystal Palace vs Brighton Lineups (Predicted)
Crystal Palace (4-2-3-1): Guaita; Mtichell, Guehi, Richards, Clyne; Schlupp, Doucoure; Eze, Olise, Ayew; Edouard
Brighton (4-2-3-1): Sanchez; Estupinan, Dunk, Webster, Lamptey; Caicedo, Gilmour; Mitoma, March, Sarmiento; Welbeck
Crystal Palace vs Brighton Analysis
Palace Must Be More Direct in Possession
It has to be said that before the red card at Old Trafford, Crystal Palace never seriously looked like scoring. They were too passive in possession, and as a result, registered just one shot on target in the first half and two attempts in total. United were very comfortable for much of the game, and the primary reason was that Palace couldn’t get their front quartet involved in space for large parts of the match.
An important and perhaps obvious reason for Palace’s poor showing for much of that match was the absence of their talisman Wilfried Zaha, and he will be missing here again which doesn’t bode well for the Eagles. Brighton will not be an easier task for Palace – they keep the ball well, are inventive and they demand respect. They’re making a real case for inclusion amongst the Premier League’s elite teams, and therefore we expect Palace will have to play on the counter from deep again. Therefore, it’s imperative that this time out for Vieira’s men to hit Brighton in transition and hopefully catch a few of their players out of position.
Simply put, if they don’t do a better job of attacking quickly, directly and stretching the play in wide areas, they’ll most likely find themselves outplayed and on the back foot for large periods of this match. In recent matches, Arsenal and Leicester, somewhat surprisingly, perhaps showed us the blueprint for attacking against this Brighton team.
In a stark case of ‘believe it or not’, Arsenal had just 32% possession against Brighton as they managed to successfully draw Brighton onto them and hit them repeatedly in transition, registering seven shots on target and scoring four of them. Brighton had their success, scoring twice and hitting the target five times, but the game was put beyond Brighton. Palace must play in the same manner to have a chance of success in this match, if they are passive they could risk a heavy defeat.
Brighton Can Unlock the Palace Defence
Last time out at home, Palace managed to earn a 0-0 draw against Newcastle. It was an impressive result no doubt – however, Newcastle aren’t as impressive when tasked with finding a breakthrough against teams who sit in against them and concede possession as Palace did that day. Newcastle drew 0-0 with Leeds (59% possession), won 1-0 against Fulham (Mitrovic missed penalty, 62% possession, 20 shots with just five on target), had 61% of possession against Palace and drew 1-1 at home with West Ham with just two shots on target from 62% possession.
The point is, Newcastle are struggling against teams who ‘sit in’ lately, and Brighton are proving to be more adept at breaking down teams who adopt this tactic, so the impressive result against Newcastle will have little bearing upon this match. The goals have dried up for Vieira’s men – 7 goals in their last 10 Premier League matches, and therefore Brighton will have little fear of being exposed in transition as they were against Arsenal and Leicester.
Palace have averaged precisely one home goal per game all season, which has to be considered to be a poor attacking return considering that last season they scored 50 goals. Therefore, we expect that Brighton will be able to commit men forward in their customary manner and win the numbers battle in the final third against Palace. This supplements their ability to press high up the pitch, which in turn yields attacking opportunities and potentially, goals.
While we accept that football isn’t as cut and dried as this, and Palace can potentially have a measure of success attacking into vacated space, it would appear that Brighton essentially hold all the cards in this particular tactical battle.
We believe that Brighton are simply too strong for this incarnation of Crystal Palace at the moment. Palace tend to have more success against teams who play with a lower tempo – and that would include Manchester United away from home this season, who demonstrated that they are a different proposition at Old Trafford.
It would appear that from a tactical standpoint that Brighton are perfectly suited to playing a Crystal Palace side shorn of their most potent attacking weapon, and one which is struggling for goals. This plays into Brighton’s hands in a multitude of ways; their ability to press high up the pitch and the confidence they’ll have in their ability to get their full-backs involved high up the pitch without being overly worried about being exposed in this match.
Crystal Palace 0-2 Brighton
Crystal Palace vs Brighton Betting Tip – Brighton Odds:
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