Brighton & Hove Albion v Crystal Palace Team News
The M23 derby kicks things off in the Premier League on Saturday when Brighton & Hove Albion host Crystal Palace.
While geographically some distance apart, around 46 miles, the pair have a history of facing off in controversial circumstances, with crowd trouble and allegations of corruption marring their meetings in the 70s, while a soiled dressing room reportedly met the Palace players when they played a Championship play-off at the Amex in 2013.
Such issues are unlikely on Saturday although there is no love lost between the teams.
🙋♂️ Skip… 🙋♂️
— Brighton & Hove Albion ⚽️ (@OfficialBHAFC) February 28, 2020
The 15th-placed Seagulls are yet to win in 2020 and are in need of the points ahead of a difficult run that sees them face Wolverhampton Wanderers, Arsenal and Leicester before meeting Manchester United on April 4.
Graham Potter will be able to call on Dale Stephens after two games out with a thigh injury, while barring Jose Izquierdo, who has not played this season due to a shoulder injury, he has a fully-fit squad to choose from.
Palace will be buoyed by beating Newcastle 1-0 last weekend, a result that ended an eight-match winless streak in the league and took them to 33 points.
Despite Roy Hodgson suggesting otherwise, survival now seems likely for the Eagles, with nine points separating them from 18th-placed West Ham.
Captain Luka Milivojevic, who missed the victory against the Magpies through illness, should be available and could be joined in the middle of the park by Cheikhou Kouyate. The Senegalese came off late last week due to an ankle complaint although he has trained in the build-up to this one.
The pair drew 1-1 when they met back December at Selhurst Park, with Neal Maupay opening the scoring for Brighton after 54 minutes before Wilfried Zaha grabbed an equaliser with 14 minutes left on the clock.
Maupay’s goals have proved a lucky charm for his side this season, with the Seagulls unbeaten in Premier League games in which he has scored, including last weekend’s draw at Sheffield United.
Meanwhile, Palace have lost just one of 10 games this season against teams below.