Crystal Palace vs. Brighton
Venue: Selhurst Stadium
Kick off: 2PM
Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion meet at Selhurst Park this afternoon having both lost their last two fixtures in the Premier League.
The home side head into the encounter sitting in 12th position, while the visitors are down in 15th after claiming just one win from a tough opening to the campaign.
Crystal Palace were the surprise team during the early weeks of the season, recording impressive wins over Southampton and Manchester United to sit among the early pacesetters.
However, setbacks against Everton and Chelsea have resulted in the Eagles dropping down to 12th spot, leaving them looking over their shoulders to the teams below them.
Three of the six goals which they have conceded in their last two outings have come from the penalty spot, but Roy Hodgson’s side have been unable to offer a sustained threat in the final third to respond to those incidents.
Although Palace have made some astute additions in the transfer window, there is no getting away from the fact that they have been heavily reliant on goals from Wilfried Zaha during the early weeks.
Hodgson must decide when the time is right to unleash Chelsea loanee Michy Batshuayi, who has been given just 25 minutes of action since his return to the club.
Opponents Brighton have received plaudits for their performances this season, particularly in fixtures against some of the stronger teams in the division.
Nevertheless, defeats against Chelsea, Manchester United and Everton have left Graham Potter’s side down in 15th with 10 goals being conceded in those three games.
Having strengthened his backline over the summer, Potter will be desperately disappointed with the lack of resilience in the defensive third, and it is something which needs to improve if Brighton are to continue their development.
West Bromwich Albion are to follow next weekend in a game which Potter will regard as a must win, but failure to post at least four points from the upcoming double-header will only up the stakes ahead of the trip to Tottenham Hotspur.
Crystal Palace possible XI: Guaita, Ward, Cahill, Sakho, Mitchell, Townsend, McCarthy, Kouyate, Eze, Zaha, Batshuayi.
Brighton & Hove Albion possible XI: Ryan, White, Dunk, Webster, Lamptey, Bissouma, Alzate, March, Trossard, Connolly, Maupay.