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Match Previews

PREVIEW: ONLY GROSS TO MISS PALACE AWAY

7 March 2019

Paul Hazlewood
Albion warm up for another 90 minutes of Premier League action.

Brighton & Hove Albion will look to build on their positive result at the Amex last weekend, when Chris Hughton’s side take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon, kick-off 12.30pm.

The Seagulls secured their first Premier League victory of 2019 when Florin Andone’s second-half header dispatched Huddersfield Town 1-0 on the south coast, which moved Albion five points clear of the relegation zone.

Saturday’s opponents were the only other side in the bottom half of the table to claim three points over the weekend — Roy Hodgson’s men won 3-1 against Burnley at Turf Moor thanks to strikes from Michy Batshuayi, Wilfried Zaha and an own goal.

Albion claimed a memorable 3-1 victory over the Eagles when the teams met at the Amex back in December, despite playing for more than an hour with ten men after Shane Duffy was sent off.

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TEAM NEWS

Hughton confirmed that Pascal Gross is the only player that will miss the trip to Selhurst Park, as the midfielder continues his recovery from a hamstring injury. Leon Balogun has returned to training for the Seagulls.

For Palace, Pape Souare (shoulder) and Mamadou Sakho (knee) are both expected to miss the game through injury, but Hodgson has an otherwise fully-fit squad to select from.

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FORM

The Seagulls returned to winning ways in the Premier League with a narrow 1-0 win over Huddersfield last weekend, following back-to-back league defeats to Burnley and Leicester City.

Hughton’s team have been successful in the Emirates FA Cup since the turn of the year, beating AFC Bournemouth, West Bromwich Albion and Derby County to set up this month’s quarter-final against Millwall.

Albion have also added to their points total with draws against West Ham United and Watford, since their 1-0 victory over Everton towards the end of December.

The Eagles head into Saturday’s match on the back of an impressive 3-1 win at Burnley, but Hodgson’s team had previously lost by the same scoreline when Manchester United visited Selhurst Park.

Another away victory was recorded against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in February, which has helped the Eagles rise to 13th position in the Premier League table after 29 matches.

LAST TIME WE MET

A crazy opening 45 minutes saw Albion race into a 3-0 lead against Palace, despite being reduced to ten men in the 28th minute after Glenn Murray’s opener from the penalty spot.

Just four minutes after Murray’s goal, Duffy was shown a straight red card for an incident involving Patrick van Aanholt, but Albion stunned their opponents when replacement Leon Balogun scored inside a minute of coming on.

In the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time, Florin Andone chased after a long clearance forward from Bernardo, and the Romanian showed unbelievable desire to keep the ball in play before finishing past Wayne Hennessey.

Albion defended admirably in the second half, and despite Luka Milivojevic’s consolation from the penalty spot, Hughton’s side held on for a breathe-taking 3-1 win against their rivals.

LAST TIME OUT: ALBION

ALBION 1
Andone 79

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 0

Albion line-up: Ryan; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo; Stephens, Propper, Bissouma (Kayal 85); Knockaert, Murray (Andone 57), Jahanbakhsh (Izquierdo 78).

Subs not used: Button (GK), Bong, Burn, March.

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LAST TIME OUT:
CRYSTAL PALACE

BURNLEY 1
Barnes 90

CRYSTAL PALACE 3
Bardsley 15 og
Batshuayi 48
Zaha 76

Crystal Palace line-up: Hennessey; Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Dann, Van Aanholt; Zaha (Townsend 79), Kouyate, Milivojevic, Meyer (McArthur 71), Schlupp; Batshuayi (Benteke 83).

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

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PLAYER TO WATCH: Michy Batshuayi

After spending time on loan at both Borussia Dortmund and Valencia during 2018, Batshuayi joined the Eagles on loan from Chelsea until the end of the 2018/19 Premier League season.

The striker signed for Chelsea after prolific spells at Standard Liege and Marseille, but chances for the Belgian proved limited, prior to his involvement at last summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Following substitute appearances against Fulham and West Ham United, Batshuayi has started three consecutive matches for Palace, scoring twice in away victories over Leicester and Burnley.

With the support of Zaha and Jeffery Schlupp from the wings, the 25-year-old will be looking to build on his recent form when Albion arrive at Selhurst Park this weekend.


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