There’s Premier League action on Thursday night (8pm) as Crystal Palace take on Brighton in one of football’s less talked about derby games. There is a history of dislike between these two teams, so this could be a feisty festive affair. How will this CPFC vs BHA game pan out? Read on for our EPL match preview and betting tips.
Things were turning a little sour for Roy Hodgson’s men prior to their visit to the Etihad on Saturday. They were beaten at home by Bournemouth, and as they turned in a rather underwhelming effort, deservedly so. They ultimately fought hard to no end against Liverpool shortly after that loss, losing at home by two goals to one. Such results meant that the Eagles had gone five games without winning, which didn’t exactly point towards them making much headway against Manchester City last time out. Not for the first time in recent years, CPFC upset the big dogs, drawing 2-2 thanks to 95th minute penalty from the often frustrating yet highly talented Michael Olise. Can they use that result and kick on?
After last year’s fantastic run, Thursday’s visitors Brighton have gone off the boil a little, as they juggle the pressures of playing in European competition and fighting for another top-six Premier League finish. They have impressed on the continent, so much so that they are into the knockout rounds of the Europa League, but that success has come at a price: They are off the pace in terms of the race for the top six in the league. Moreover, they will go into this derby game without an EPL win in two following an unlikely draw at home to Sheffield United and a defeat at the Emirates last time out.
Crystal Palace not happy at home
In years gone by, it has been Crystal Palace’s strong home form that has comfortably kept them in the Premier League. This time around their home form has left something to be desired. The Eagles go into Thursday night’s game off the back of a four straight home defeats for the first time since January 2017.
Roy Hodgson’s men have won just one of their eight home games this season, losing five of the other seven. Naturally, as they so often do, they have still not been particularly generous with what they have given away, conceding only 12 goals. It is better than a large portion of the current bottom half, but they have scored very few, which is a big problem. They have netted less than a single goal per game on average at home this term, while they are in fact the lowest home scorers in the division.
BHAFC not quite at it on the road
Playing away from home on the continent has been kind to the Seagulls this season, but unfortunately they have not found the same rhythm on the road domestically. Roberto De Zerbi’s men have lost each of their last two away games in the Premier League, while they have now won just one of their last six. Such away form is a large part of why they have slipped away from the immediate race for European places.
Defensively, they are simply not as strong as they were last term. They have not shown the same offensive zest either, failing to score last time on the road and scoring more than once only against weak opposition.
Tight games commonplace
It is usually tight when these two meet. In the last clash, Brighton edged it by a goal to nil on the south coast. Prior to that, the pair had played out three successive 1-1 draws, two of which took place at Selhurst Park. In fact, each of the last four renewals of this fixture at Selhurst Park have ended in a stalemate. Stranger still, each of those four games have finished 1-1.
Goals at Selhurst Park?
As mentioned in this preview already, the hosts don’t give too much away at home. At the very least, they get men behind the ball and are tough to break down. If we combine this with the fact that they struggle massively to impose themselves at the other end, then ‘Under 2.5 Goals’ starts to appeal.
After all, this fixture, especially at Selhurst Park, has a rich history of being low-scoring. None of the last four renewals of this fixture in London have contained more than two goals.
The problem for the hosts isn’t just goals. They have been very poor from a creativity point of view and with the injury prone Eberechi Eze, who is undoubtedly Palace’s shining light in terms of opening teams up, only just returning to fitness, don’t expect them to start creating an abundance of chances. Sure, Michael Olise can produce a moment of magic, but he has only scored once from open play since returning to full fitness himself.
The visitors, Brighton and Hove Albion, who have scored just two goals in their last three games, haven’t been so hot in the defensive third on their travels. This match against a weak home front-line provides the Seagulls with a big opportunity to tighten up. After their recent travelling results, there is a sneaking suspicion that they will be keen to do that first and foremost.
All round, when we take everything into consideration, especially the fact that Selhurst Park is the venue with the lowest number of average goals scored this season, this simply doesn’t appeal as a game where the goals will flow. So taking ‘Under 2.5 Goals’ with one of our recommended bookies at best odds of 19/20 isn’t overly difficult to do and that is our betting tips verdict for this CPFC vs BHAFC preview:
- Under 2.5 Goals @ 19/20 with Bet365.
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.