Crystal Palace host Brighton & Hove Albion on Monday night in the 2021/22 Premier League season’s first M23 derby.
The Eagles have made a mixed start to life under Patrick Vieira, suffering a couple of heavy defeats, while also dishing out a 3-0 spanking of their own against Tottenham Hotspur. The Seagulls, meanwhile, are soaring this year, having won four of their opening five matches.
The two sides will be desperate to hold the initial bragging rights in this fiercely-contested derby, although the hosts are in greater need of a securing three points than Graham Potter’s all-conquering Brighton.
Here’s 90min’s preview of Monday’s big matchup.
When is it being played? Monday 27 September, 20:00 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Selhurst Park
TV channel? Sky Sports Main Event (UK), fuboTV (US), DAZN (Canada)
Referee? Andre Marriner
VAR? Chris Kavanagh
The big decision for Vieira is whether to hand summer signing Odsonne Edouard a start against the Seagulls. The Frenchman came on as a substitute to score twice against Spurs in the 3-0 win, but found himself on the bench once again in the defeat to Liverpool.
Vieira could opt to hand him his full debut ahead of Christian Benteke on Monday. Eberechi Eze is still out of contention, but Jeffrey Schlupp may well feature. Loanee Conor Gallagher will be crucial in the midfield, while Wilfried Zaha revels in playing Brighton.
Potter has significant injury concerns to contend, with midfield talisman Yves Bissouma facing a race against time to return to full fitness. He suffered a knock during the win over Leicester City but is in the squad to face Palace.
Fellow midfielder Enock Mwepu suffered an injury of his own in the midweek Carabao Cup victory, but like Bissouma, should be good to go. Tariq Lamptey played in midweek, but may need more time to get up to speed.
Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Guaita; Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; McArthur, Kouyate, Gallagher; Ayew, Edouard, Zaha
Brighton (3-4-3): Sanchez; Veltman, Dunk, Duffy; March, Bissouma, Lallana, Cucurella; Trossard, Maupay, Welbeck
This derby often proves a fair fight between two evenly matched sides, and it’s not easy to separate the pair. In fact, only one game has been won by more than a one-goal margin in the past nine meetings, when Brighton ran out victorious with a 3-1 scoreline in 2018.
Palace won the most recent encounter thanks to Christian Benteke’s injury-time strike, and Brighton’s last success in this fixture came back in 2019 – when Anthony Knockhaert became the hero. The Seagulls did the double over the Eagles that year, and they’ll be hoping to kick off their rivalry in similar fashion this time round.
Both sides will be pumped and ready to go.
Palace need to start getting consistent points on the board, while Potter won’t want Brighton to come crashing down from the wave they’re currently riding – particularly against the Eagles.
The Selhurst Park faithful will generate a raucous atmosphere, adding bite and needle to a game that needs little invitation to get spicy. Who wins? Hard to call, but you can’t bet against Albion in the form they’re in – particularly as they can go top of the table with three points.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-2 Brighton