The Seagulls are sitting in the top half of the Premier League table in ninth, four points above Patrick Vieira’s side. They come into the M23 derby off the back of a 2-1 FA Cup third-round victory over West Brom at the weekend.
On the other hand, Crystal Palace are three places below Brighton on the table. They also enjoyed a third-round FA Cup success at the weekend, beating Championship side Millwall 2-1.
Brighton vs Crystal Palace – Team News
Lewis Dunk is making good progress from knee ligament damage but will miss the M23 derby. Enock Mwepu should overcome a hamstring problem to be available for selection. Yves Bissouma, meanwhile, is unavailable due to international commitments.
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) January 13, 2022
Robert Sanchez is Brighton’s first-choice goalkeeper and will start against Crystal Palace on Friday. A back three of Joel Veltman, Shane Duffy and Dan Burn is expected ahead of Sanchez, with Tariq Lamptey and Marc Cucurella offering width from their wing-back positions.
Adam Lallana has been playing a bit deeper than usual in midfield this season and he will be key from Brighton’s perspective in setting the tempo of the game. Jakub Moder and Alexis Mac Allister will provide invention and energy to the Seagulls midfield.
Leandro Trossard and Neal Maupay will start up front against the Eagles. They will look to combine well in the final third and create problems for the opposition’s backline.
As for Crystal Palace, Cheikhou Kouyate, Jordan Ayew and Wilfried Zaha are all unavailable due to their involvement for their respective nations at the Africa Cup of Nations. James McArthur is out with a thigh injury but Conor Gallagher is set to return to the squad after his recent bout with illness.
Vicente Guaita has proven to be a reliable goalkeeper in the Premier League over the last two years and is expected to recover from a wrist injury in time to face the Seagulls. Joel Ward and Tyrick Mitchell have cemented their places at full-back positions, with Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi forming the central defensive partnership for Palace.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) January 13, 2022
Up ahead in midfield, Conor Gallagher will be in contention to start, with Will Hughes and Luka Milivojevic Schlupp featuring alongside him. Gallagher will once again reprise a more advanced midfield role, with Hughes and Milivojevic holding the midfield.
With Zaha and Ayew away at the Africa Cup of Nations, Michael Olise is pushing to start for Vieira’s side having netted in back-to-back games. The youngster will likely have Christian Benteke and Odsonne Edouard as his attacking partners, as Palace look to beat their arch-rivals on Friday.
Brighton vs Crystal Palace – Predicted Lineups
Brighton Predicted Lineup (3-5-2): Robert Sanchez; Joel Veltman, Shane Duffy, Dan Burn; Tariq Lamptey, Alexis Mac Allister, Jakub Moder, Adam Lallana, Marc Cucurella; Leandro Trossard, Neal Maupay
Crystal Palace Predicted Lineup (4-3-3): Vicente Guaita; Joel Ward, Joachim Andersen, Marc Guehi, Tyrick Mitchell; Conor Gallagher, Will Hughes, Luka Milivojevic; Michael Olise, Christian Benteke, Odsonne Edouard
Brighton vs Crystal Palace – Key Players
Brighton – Leandro Trossard
Leandro Trossard has been a joy to watch for the past couple of seasons at Brighton. The fleet-footed Belgian has stepped his game up a notch this term, adding creativity and goals to the side. Graham Potter and co. will expect a big performance from the 27-year-old playmaker in the M23 derby.
Crystal Palace – Conor Gallagher
Conor Gallagher has been one of the revelations of the season for Crystal Palace. The on-loan Chelsea midfielder has enjoyed an outstanding first half of the season with six goals and three assists in the league. After recovering from illness, the youngster will once again hold the key for the south London side.
Prediction: Brighton 2-1 Crystal Palace