Match Preview – Crystal Palace v Brighton

palaceawaypreview2018

Crystal Palace – the team
That lot from up the M23 have had the better of our rivalry over the last 30 years, but that might be about to change. Only twice have the Albion finished above Palace since the 1980s, and on both of those occasions the Eagles had the last laugh when they became the first visiting team to win a league game at the Amex in 2011/12 and by knocking us out of the Championship play offs the following season. They had looked set to be the Premier Division’s laughing stock this season but the shrewd appointment of former England boss Roy Hodgson should ensure they avoid the drop. We still look on course to finish above them however and this time, they will have nothing to fall back on.

Crystal Palace – the place
The team is named after the Crystal Palace that was located on nearby Sydenham Hill after being moved from Hyde Park, where it had held the Great Exhibition of 1851. Unfortunately, the palace burnt down in 1936 owing to the locals penchant for pyrotechnics which more recently saw them decide to set fire to their own town in the London Riots of 2011 and bring a load of fireworks into the last league meeting at the two at the Amex. Selhurst Park itself is located in Selhurst, who’s Wikipedia entry lists that Henry VIII once used to own the land and virtually nothing else. Nearly as boring as Palace, then.

Crystal Palace – the people
Famous Palace fans include Eddie Izzard, Jo Brand and Jay from The Inbetweeners. Palace manage to pull off quite a coup though when appointing Kim Jong-un, Joseph Stalin, Chairman Mao and Heinrich Himmler to their security team which is the only explanation as to why Albion fans have to take photo ID and a membership card that matches the name on their match ticket in order to even approach the turnstiles for the Arthur Waite Stand. Without those, you’ll be carted off to the gulag.

A good WeAreBrighton.com memory of Crystal Palace away
The Albion’s record at Selhurst Park is astonishingly bad, with only one win from our last nine visits. That was the famous October evening when Mark McGhee’s side shocked the Eagles by winning 1-0 through Paul McShane’s second half header.

A bad WeAreBrighton.com memory of Crystal Palace away
You wait 13 years for a Palace v Brighton game to come along, and then you really wish you hadn’t. A terrible day for all concerned as Andy Johnson hit a hat-trick in Palace’s 5-0 win in the 2002-03 season. To make matters worse, we were locked in the ground for 45 minutes afterwards with the Selhurst tannoy system announcing every five minutes that the bars WILL be open after the game. **** off.

Played for both
Glenn Murray had to endure a three year spell at Palace because Gus Poyet didn’t want to give him £5 a week extra, instead preferring to sign Craig Mackail-Smith. Glenn loves a goal against his former clubs as he proved in our FA Cup meeting back in January – another one of those wouldn’t go amiss.

Dangermen
Having grown up at Palace, Wilfried Zaha knows better than most just how intense the rivalry between the two sides is. He also tends to deliver in derby games, having notched three times for against us before. If he can stop doing a better impression of Tom Daley than even Tom Daley can manage, then he will be a real threat.

Betting
Games between rivals can be notoriously cagey affairs and that is before you even throw in the fact that this is two sides meeting who are scrapping for points in an attempt to avoid relegation. Neither is going to want to lose the game and that makes a draw at 12/5 appealing.

Prediction
A dull 0-0, instantly forgettable and a one hour lock in at Selhurst afterwards. Can’t wait.

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