This Saturday’s early kick-off in the Premier League sees rivals Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion come up against each other.
Roy Hodgson’s side travel to the Amex Stadium to face Graham Potter’s men, with both teams coming into the game after positive results in their last league fixtures.
Palace managed to secure three points at home to Newcastle United thanks to Patrick Van Aanholt’s stunning free-kick, whilst Brighton drew with high-flying Sheffield United after Neal Maupay’s first-half equaliser.
In the reverse fixture last December, Palace and Brighton drew 1-1 in an entertaining affair at Selhurst Park.
However, if Palace want to beat their rivals in their own back yard this weekend, they’ll need to ensure that they do certain things properly.
Below, we’ve looked at five things that Palace may need to do to beat Brighton.
Keep Maupay quiet
Brighton’s Neal Maupay has eight league goals this season, including one against Palace. He provides pace and a threat in behind, meaning Hodgson’s defenders need to be aware of where he is at all times.
Use Wilfried Zaha
Zaha is Palace’s most dangerous player and the team need to make sure he is heavily involved in all attacking plays. The Ivory Coast international netted in the first meeting and has six goals in total against the Seagulls, so it would be wise to attack through him on Saturday.
Frustrate the home crowd
It’s likely to be a very hostile atmosphere at the Amex Stadium, with the home fans full of energy. Palace need to try and drain the excitement from the crowd as early as possible, so that could mean avoid conceding an early goal. The longer the game goes on without a Brighton goal, the more nervous the home crowd will become.
Defend and attack set-pieces well
Brighton have scored nine times from set-pieces this season, four more than Palace (WhoScored). Therefore, Hodgson needs to ensure that his defence protects their goal well on Saturday, whilst also attacking corners and free-kicks with efficiency.
Keep emotions in check
As we all know, this is a derby match and sometimes, emotions can spill over. Palace need to make sure they remain calm in a hostile atmosphere because the last thing the team needs is to be down to ten men. Every ounce of professionalism may be needed for this one.