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Match Previews

PREVIEW: BRUNO FIT FOR PALACE GAME

3 December 2018

Bennett Dean
Albion captain Bruno showing his support for the Rainbow Laces campaign.

Brighton & Hove Albion host Crystal Palace at the Amex Stadium on Tuesday evening, kick-off 7.45pm, as Chris Hughton’s side look to build on their positive result in Yorkshire over the weekend.

The Seagulls returned to winning ways against Huddersfield Town, as goals from Shane Duffy and Florin Andone sealed a 2-1 victory at The John Smith’s Stadium.

Tomorrow’s visitors also secured three points on Saturday afternoon — James McArthur and Andros Townsend found the back of the net in a 2-0 win over Burnley at Selhurst Park.

The sides met three times last season, twice in the Premier League and once in the Emirates FA Cup, and Hughton’s men will be desperate to win the first of their two guaranteed meetings this time around.

The game is also Albion's dedicated home match for the Rainbow Laces campaign, as the Seagulls promote their equality work and combined commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion for all.

TEAM NEWS

Hughton confirmed that Alireza Jahanbakhsh (hamstring) remains the only injured player, with the Albion boss having an otherwise fully-fit squad to select from.

Palace are expected to be without Conor Wickham (thigh), Scott Dann (fitness) and Christian Benteke (knee) for Tuesday’s trip to the south coast.




FORM

The Seagulls play seven matches throughout December and opened the month with a comeback victory over ten-man Huddersfield on Saturday, which moved Albion up to 11th position in the league table.

It was a second away victory of the season for Hughton’s team, following October’s 1-0 win at Newcastle United, but the Seagulls were only able to take one point from three games in November.

Defeats to Everton and Cardiff City came towards the start of the month, before Jamie Vardy’s late penalty denied Albion all three points in a 1-1 draw against Leicester City at the Amex.

The Eagles claimed their first victory in nine Premier League matches over the weekend, as Hodgson’s side dominated the Clarets — recording 29 shots to Burnley’s four.

Palace ended November with a hard-earned 0-0 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford, but five defeats came in their previous seven league matches.

Hodgson’s team moved three points clear of the Premier League relegation zone thanks to their victory over the Clarets, but the Eagles remain six points behind Albion ahead of tomorrow’s game.

LAST TIME WE MET

Albion visit to Selhurst Park towards the end of last season was decided by five first-half goals, three of which came for the hosts in their 3-2 victory over the Seagulls.

Wilfred Zaha and James Tomkins gave Palace a 2-0 lead after just 14 minutes, but Glenn Murray hit back with a goal against his former club just four minutes later.

But Zaha reopened a two-goal advantage for the home side, and despite Jose Izquierdo’s 34th-minute reply, Albion were unable to find an equalising goal.

LAST TIME OUT: ALBION

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1
Zanka 1

ALBION 2
Duffy 45+2
Andone 69

Albion line-up: Ryan; Bruno (Balogun 78), Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo; March, Bissouma (Kayal 90+1), Propper, Izquierdo; Gross, Andone (Murray 79).

Subs not used: Steele (GK), Bong, Knockaert, Locadia.




LAST TIME OUT: CRYSTAL PALACE

CRYSTAL PALACE 2
McArthur 16
Townsend 77

BURNLEY 0

Crystal Palace line-up: Hennessy; Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt; McArthur (Schlupp 78), Kouyate, Milivojevic, Meyer (Puncheon 90+2); Townsend (Sorloth 88), Zaha.

Subs not used: Guaita (GK), Kelly, Ward, Ayew.




PLAYER TO WATCH: Wilfried Zaha

After scoring nine goals for the Eagles in the Premier League last season, Zaha hit the back of the net three times in his opening four matches this season, with all three goals coming away from home.

Despite not adding to his goal tally over the past eight matches, Zaha remains a big threat for Palace in the attacking third, with his pace and trickery causing problems for opposition defences.

The winger, who is frequently played as a centre forward as well, scored twice against the Seagulls last season, and was also on the scoresheet against Albion at the Amex in 2013.


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