Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Beram Kayal is looking forward to playing in his first match against Crystal Palace, and is aware of the significance of the fixture to the fans.
The Israeli international has experienced several local derbies, having featured in the Old Firm matches between Celtic and Rangers, and feels these are the games which every player should relish.
He said, “Here since the first day I arrived, they spoke about how big the rivalry was between Brighton and Crystal Palace.
“It would mean a lot for us to win the game and for the fans as well, especially at home.
“I’ve played in a few derbies, and playing in the Old Firm was the best experience of my life. But now I am a Brighton player, and it’s always a good feeling to play in derby games.
“We love to play in the big games and as players, and it’s something we work hard towards. You can feel the atmosphere around the game with the fans in the street and when you’re walking around the city. They all want us to do well, especially in this game.”
Kayal has had to bide his time in breaking back into the side following a recovery from a broken leg, and feels Monday’s game will be another valuable chance to impress.
“Nothing is better than playing games to bring your confidence and fitness up. Obviously we don’t have the opportunity to play friendly games like we do in pre-season, so the manager tries to give me a chance when he can.
“The only other chance I have to prove myself is on the training ground, and I try to push myself to do some extra work to get my levels up.
“When I get my opportunity in any game, I need to be ready and prove to the manager that I’m ready to take it.”
Monday night’s game will also see VAR technology utilised for the first time, and Kayal welcomes anything that may assist the officials, but insists it will make little difference to the players on the pitch.
“Having this in football will help, but as a player you never really focus on it. A lot of things have changed in football, including the likes of goalline technology, but it doesn’t affect us as players.
“We just focus on our jobs. When the referee makes a decision, you have to accept it. If it is going to help him though, then it’s going to be good for football.”
Albion fans can watch Beram Kayal's full look ahead to Monday evening's game with Crystal Palace on Seagulls TV above and can subscribe by clicking here.