Brighton v Crystal Palace: Bitter rivals set for stalemate in first leg

10May 2013

England - The Championship


Andy Tongue expects a tight and tense first leg at Selhurst Park...


Brighton v Crystal Palace

Friday, 19:45, Live on Sky Sports One


Despite being some 40 miles apart up the A23 these two sides are bitter rivals and there will be an electric Friday night atmosphere at Selhurst Park for this first leg.



Having gone nine games unbeaten to end the season, Gus Poyet's side are in the best form of the four teams in the Championship playoffs. They finished the season with the league's best defensive record, conceding just 43 goals and will be confident of progressing over the two legs having comfortably beaten their rivals 3-0 at home last month.


Kazenga Lua Lua has scored three times in the last three for the Seagulls. You'd expect Poyet to set his stall out to keep things tight in the first leg and be confident of coming out on top after the second leg on Monday evening.



Crystal Palace

In contrast Palace had gone nine games without a win and seen their outside hopes of an automatic promotion spot evaporate until their 3-2 win over Peterborough on the final day of the season. Former Albion striker Glenn Murray's penalty in that victory was his first for nine matches and took his tally for the season to 30, of which 12 have come from the spot.


Ian Holloway is renowned for his motivational abilities and they'll be needed to the full. Palace were the highest goalscorers at home (52) and picked up more points than everyone else bar champions Cardiff but that win over Posh was the first in five at Selhurst Park.



Over/Under 2.5 Goals

We can expect tight and tense to be the operative words in SE25 both on the pitch and off it. Under 2.5 Goals can be backed at 1.8 and I'm happy to take that given Albion's impressive defensive record and Holloway's acceptance that his side need to stop their opponents playing before they can think too much about going on the offensive.



Correct Score

The visitors have been involved in six goalless draws this season - more than any other side in the division and would be more than happy with a seventh here so backing the 0-0 scoreline is worth a small play at 10.5



Best Bet

Back under 2.5 Goals @ 1.8


Other Bet

Back 0-0 @ 10.5



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Keywords: Brighton, Crystal Palace, Andy Tongue, Selhurst Park

Source: Betfair

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