Selhurst Park plays host to Patrick Vieira’s first M23 derby on Monday evening, as Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion conclude the latest round of Premier League fixtures.
The Eagles went down 3-0 to Liverpool last weekend, while the high-flying Seagulls progressed in the EFL Cup at the expense of Swansea City.
After coming out on the correct end of a 3-0 thriller against 10-man Tottenham Hotspur, the Eagles were quickly brought crashing back down to earth at Anfield, where Liverpool notched up a trio of unanswered goals to temporarily halt Vieira’s momentum.
There were no surprises for guessing who notched up the Reds’ first on the day – new 100-club member Sadio Mane found the back of the net for the ninth league game in a row against Palace, a new Premier League record – while Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita completed the job in the second half.
Palace had started to build up a head of steam with four points from fixtures with Tottenham and West Ham United before their humbling at Anfield, and a total of five points from their opening five fixtures sees them occupy 14th spot in the rankings before the weekend’s fixtures kick off.
However, Vieira’s side have navigated their first two home games unbeaten without conceding a goal, and following their early EFL Cup exit at the hands of Watford, the Eagles – unlike most of their top-flight counterparts – have no midweek fatigue to contend with.
Not since the days of the ever-eccentric Ian Holloway have Palace kept three clean sheets in their first three league games of a domestic season, and that mettle will be tested to the extreme against Graham Potter’s inspired outfit.
Brighton may not have always garnered the results that their performances deserved last term, but the South Coast side are in dreamland following a stellar start to the campaign, with 12 points from the opening 15 on offer in 2021-22.
After claiming a hugely impressive 2-1 win over Leicester City in their most recent Premier League battle, the Seagulls swooped to sink the Swans in the EFL Cup on Wednesday evening, as Aaron Connolly’s brace sealed his side’s progress into the fourth round.
Only Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool have taken more points than Brighton so far this term – with the fourth-placed Seagulls ahead of Manchester City for the time being – but their tally of seven goals scored is by far the fewest in the top six.
Nevertheless, Brighton have only shipped four at the other end of the pitch and have plenty of reasons to be positive ahead of the first M23 derby of the season, especially seeing as they have a 100% success rate on the road this term with wins over Burnley, Brentford and Cardiff City.
The Seagulls head to the capital winless in four against Palace, though, with Roy Hodgson’s side claiming a 2-1 win during the last meeting at the Amex in February, but the last two meetings between the sides at Selhurst Park have finished 1-1.
Crystal Palace Premier League form:
Crystal Palace form (all competitions):
Brighton & Hove Albion Premier League form:
Brighton & Hove Albion form (all competitions):
We say: Crystal Palace 2-2 Brighton & Hove Albion
There is no reason for Palace or Brighton to play for a draw in front of a raucous Selhurst Park crowd, especially with compatriots Edouard and Maupay both aiming to keep their golden touches going.
Brighton’s remarkable start to the season and perfect away record must be applauded, but we think Vieira’s Palace will use their own firepower to rescue a point on derby day.