Although there’s a slight difference in terms of results, Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion are ultimately separated by a single victory. You’d think – considering that, and how far along we are in the Premier League – that would make this game pretty close to a coin flip in terms of the odds. Well, plenty of bookmakers and fans alike disagree, and a closer examination of their performances reveals why.
While Crystal Palace have shone against the likes of Tottenham in the FA Cup and Leicester and Burnley back in the league, Brighton have barely scraped by with a single victory this year. Admittedly, that win came in their last outing against Huddersfield. However, it’s still not enough to get them out of the momentumless sludge the New Year has found them in. Having said that, a victory over Palace could well manage it.
Crystal Palace vs Brighton & Hove Albion Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-0 Brighton
When you consider the absolutely blazing run that Crystal Palace have been on lately – and the fact that they have the home field advantage against a team that has only picked up eight points in away games all season –, then it’s pretty hard not to back the Eagles for this contest. The most important point of difference is that the team seems to have finally found an offensive strategy which works for them. However, Brighton have shocked the world in the past and shouldn’t be underestimated. With that in mind, we expect a tough contest, with a 1-0 overall scoreline for the home team.
Our recommended tip: Crystal Palace win to nil
The home side currently sits two places and three points ahead of their opponents in the Premier League standings, giving them the edge in this contest. Crystal Palace come into this match with a 52% win probability to Brighton & Hove Albion’s 21% – with a draw being a more likely outcome than the latter at 27%. You’ll, therefore, find low-risk 5/6 Crystal Palace match odds at Ladbrokes. However, to increase your potential ROI, we recommend that you predict the favourites will win to nil to get medium-risk 9/5 odds from the bookmaker.
If there’s a lesson to learn from their previous matches, it’s to not be too hasty when assuming Crystal Palace are going to have it easy here. Like we said, we think they’re going to have a fight on their hands, especially when you consider that they lost to Brighton back in December by no less than 3-1.
Before that, these two teams trade wins and losses for the majority of close to a century of contests. When you take into account the fact that neither has truly been able to pull ahead of their opponents in this fixture in all that time, it suggests that whoever wins here won’t do so easily.
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Players to watch: Wilfried Zaha & Alireza Jahanbakhsh
Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha
An effective offence was something that Crystal Palace were struggling with at several points this season, but they seem to have finally grown into their game. There is no one more responsible, in our opinion, for that change than Wilfried Zaha. He showed just how deadly he can be in his mature, focused performance against Burnley. As great at creating chances as he is at taking advantage of them, he’ll be key to Palace’s potential success here.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Alireza Jahanbakhsh
A record signing for Brighton, Iranian attacking midfielder Alireza Jahanbakhsh looked like he was finally going to bag his first goal for the team in their victory over Huddersfield. Sadly, his excellent efforts strayed a little too far, hitting the bar in what would have been a terrific goal. However, his efforts should not be understated as the team came alive the second he came on the pitch. There’s now a sense that it’s only a matter of time before this great talent tastes the back of the net.