Patrick Vieira and Roberto De Zerbi pit their wits in the latest tie between Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion at Selhurst Park.

Patrick Vieira is facing the monumental task of getting the rhythm back into his side that, have shown waywardness this season. Crystal Palace are still searching for their first win in 2023, but there have been positive signs from their most recent games heading into the clash with Brighton & Hove Albion.

Crystal Palace have only managed to collect two points from four games in January. Draws to Manchester United and Newcastle United seemed to have boosted their confidence levels, especially after defeats to London rivals Tottenham and Chelsea earlier. Patrick Vieira will have seen a better version of his team that showed character in an eventful defeat to Manchester United last weekend.

Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford put the Red Devils ahead, but Casemiro’s straight red card changed the game’s momentum. Jeffrey Schlupp got one back, as Palace put up a fight back but could not leave Old Trafford with a point. The M23 derby represents a huge clash for Vieira, who would want to see more points on board, especially at Selhurst Park.

Unlike Crystal Palace, Brighton are keen to extend their unbeaten run since the turn of the year as Roberto De Zerbi prepares his side for a crucial trip to London. Since their defeat to Arsenal, the Seagulls have managed to stitch a thorough run of results, which has let them climb to sixth on the table.

De Zerbi will be encouraged to keep the run going considering they have every chance of catching Tottenham in fifth with two games in hand over the north Londoners. They recently faced a slight blip against Leicester and looked destined to end the game against Bournemouth in a draw.

Kaoru Mitoma’s late winner changed the outcome and let Brighton keep a strong hold on their position. De Zerbi’s side are also in inspired scoring form this season, having netted 38 times. They trail only Manchester City, Arsenal, and Tottenham in that aspect, and the manager will want to continue the run against Palace.

Team News & Tactics

Crystal Palace

Patrick Vieira will assess his squad before naming the appropriate lineup to face Brighton. Nathan Ferguson is inching closer to first-team training, but James McArthur is back with the group. He is in line to feature in the matchday squad to face the Seagulls.

Meanwhile, Joachim Andersen is also in line to feature in the first team, but Vieira will remain cautious about throwing him so soon. Hence, Chris Richards could continue at the back and partner Marc Guehi in central defence.

Nathaniel Clyne and Tyrick Mitchell should remain as full-backs. In central midfield, Vieira could go with the robust option of naming Will Hughes alongside Cheick Doucoure to thwart the threat of Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister.

With Wilfried Zaha still out with his hamstring injury, Schlupp could come in on the left-hand side of the attack. Eberechi Eze will take up the No.10 role, with Michael Olise on the right side. Odsonne Edouard will again lead the line for the Eagles, with Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew options from the bench.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Guaita; Clyne, Richards, Guehi, Mitchell; Doucoure, Hughes; Olise, Eze, Schlupp; Edouard

Brighton & Hove Albion

Roberto De Zerbi will have to do without Jakub Moder and Levi Colwill for the trip to London. The Brighton manager confirmed Joel Veltman would play against Crystal Palace, meaning Pascal Gross could come into central midfield, allowing Alexis Mac Allister to play slightly advanced.

Mac Allister will return from a suspension, and De Zerbi confirmed he would start against Palace. The Argentine could come in the No.10 role for Brighton, with Deniz Undav likely to assume the central striker role. Evan Ferguson is back in training after recovering from a knee injury, but the Palace game will come too soon.

Star man Kaoru Mitoma will once more play a huge role from the left side of the attack. Solly March will continue on the right, with the protection of the in-demand Moises Caicedo and Gross behind him in midfield.

At the back, with Veltman back in the lineup, Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster will keep their places in central defence. Pervis Estupinan will play left-back as Brighton looks to continue their unbeaten streak in the Premier League.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Sanchez; Veltman, Dunk, Webster, Estupinan; Gross, Caicedo; March, Mac Allister, Mitoma; Undav

Key Stats

  • Crystal Palace have drawn their last three home matches against Brighton in all competitions.
  • Crystal Palace failed to win their last five matches in the Premier League matches.
  • Brighton & Hove Albion are unbeaten in their last seven games across all competitions.
  • Brighton are unbeaten in their last four away games in the Premier League.
  • Kaoru Mitoma has scored five goals in his last seven games across all competitions.

Player To Watch

Kaoru Mitoma

Embed from Getty Images

The dribble-master Japanese talent continued to shine brightly for the Seagulls and got on the act to score the winner against Bournemouth. De Zerbi is increasingly leaning towards the winger for answers in the final third, and he has not failed to deliver.

He has five goals in the last seven games across all competition, and going by his form; the run might continue. Palace is a great defensive side, but the Japanese star has the tools to dismantle the staunchest of right-backs as he torments defences in the Premier League.


Crystal Palace 1-2 Brighton & Hove Albion

Crystal Palace is not in a great place in the standings. Patrick Vieira will remain desperate to get more positive results on board, but they are facing a flying Brighton side hungry to finish in European places. Roberto De Zerbi has more motivation than any previous Seagulls manager, and there’s a good chance of catching Tottenham on the table.

He has already laid the expectations in his press conference, insisting they will go for the win. With Palace looking for their first win of 2023, Brighton may not be the ideal opponent to face. The Seagulls are expected to take all three points but may concede a goal at some stage in the game.

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