Brighton vs Crystal Palace predictions: Seagulls can soar towards top four
- Brighton are in the hunt for Europe and have an excellent record against struggling opponents
- Crystal Palace are winless in their last 10 league games, scoring just four goals in that run
- Recommended bet: Brighton win and under 2.5 goals
Brighton supporters are on cloud nine, with only League Two Grimsby standing between them and an FA Cup semi-final appearance and the top four well within touching distance after 24 Premier League matches.
A first-ever taste of European action is an increasingly realistic target for Roberto De Zerbi’s impressive team but a handful of frustrating results has stopped supporters getting too far ahead of themselves.
Now they host rivals Crystal Palace, who will be keen to clip the Seagulls' wings but are desperate for victory themselves to halt a worrying slide towards the bottom three.
Bragging rights against an old foe are one thing, but Eagles manager Patrick Vieira will know that his team's 10-match winless run cannot continue without Palace's top-flight status – and his place in the dugout – coming under serious threat.
Brighton vs Crystal Palace (Wednesday, 7.30pm)
Brighton's Adam Lallana is unlikely to feature again this season due to a thigh injury and fellow midfielder Jakub Moder is not expected back from a knee injury until after the international break.
Right-back Tariq Lamptey has a chance of returning from a knee injury, centre-back Adam Webster looks likely to be back following a thigh problem and there is a possibility of midfielder Billy Gilmour being available.
Palace midfielder Cheick Doucoure returns from a one-match suspension but Will Hughes, who also missed last weekend's clash with Manchester City due to illness, will be assessed prior to kick-off.
Nathan Ferguson has an outside chance of returning on Wednesday night but reserve goalkeeper Sam Johnstone remains out with a calf injury.
Brighton have failed to beat Palace in any of their last seven meetings, with five of those ending 1-1 and the other two providing away wins for the Eagles.
However, the Seagulls remain unbeaten against the nine teams still in the relegation mix this season, winning eight and drawing the other four.
While Brighton have dropped nine points in their last eight league outings, they have dominated those matches, creating an xG rating at least 0.8 greater than their opponent in all eight games since the turn of the year.
Palace have failed to win any of their last 10 league games, losing five and failing to score more than a single goal in any one of them.
Brighton will have few better opportunities to put right a poor record against their rivals than when they are creating tonnes of chances and flying high, while Palace are slipping towards trouble on the back of scoring just four goals in their last 10 top-flight games.
Vieira has been looking to make the Eagles hard to beat and while that has blunted their attacking intent, Palace have only twice conceded more than a single goal in their last 10 matches.
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