BRIGHTON travel to rivals Crystal Palace for Monday Night Football. Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) delivers his betting analysis.
Crystal Palace v Brighton | Monday 16th December 2019, 20:00 | Sky Sports
The M23 derby wraps up another weekend of Premier League football with Brighton visiting Selhurst Park.
Roy Hodgson will be without three defenders with Patrick van Aanholt, Joel Ward and Jeffrey Schlupp all sidelined meaning Martin Kelly is likely to continue at right-back.
Brighton are waiting on the fitness of Aaron Connolly and Solly March, while reliable midfielder Dale Stephens is suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season against Wolves.
Not much separates the sides on paper and the bookies are have them quite closely matched. Even though they have defenders out, Palace are slight favourites and only Leicester (7) have kept more clean sheets than the Eagles (6) this season.
Brighton having the ball
Under Graham Potter, Brighton’s philosophy has changed to a more possession-based game. That was once again highlighted in their draw against Wolves when they dominated the ball with 62% of possession.
That trend is likely to continue here with the Seagulls averaging 53.6% of the ball compared to Palace’s 45.1%, which is the third-lowest in the league.
With those stats, then I’ve delved through some of the likely Brighton starters to see if there are any passing trends.
Dan Burn was a player that stood out when the Sky Bet passes completed market was released.
He has played every minute for the Seagulls this season and in 14 of his 16 games, Burn has recorded 40 or more passes. The two times he didn’t reach that mark were against Spurs and Arsenal – both times he completed 39 passes.
Given this bet has landed in 88% of games, the 11/10 on Burn completing 40+ passes looks enticing.
Lewis Dunk may attract a few. He’s racked up some big figures for this market with 100 passes v Man City, 86 at Newcastle, 80 v Man Utd and 84 at Liverpool.
He’s 8/11 for 60+, which has won in 5/6 games, but for a bit more meat on the bone, there’s 11/2 for 80+ passes. It’s worth saying that he averages around 84 passes per away game.
Dealing with Zaha
We all know the threat Wilfried Zaha possesses and it’ll be up to one of Martin Montoya or Steven Alzate.
The latter isn’t naturally a full-back, but Graham Potter has been deploying him in that area and he did look a little shaky against Wolverhampton.
I’d expect Montoya to return and I’d be looking at him in the tackles market, but they aren’t yet priced up.
When looking through Crystal Palace’s last few games, the opposition right-back generally completes a high number of tackles – that’s due to facing Zaha.
Burnley’s Phil Bardsley completed five of six attempted, Bournemouth’s Adam Smith made five from five, while Watford’s Kiko Femenia made three of seven attempted.
Crystal Palace v Brighton – Dan Burn 40+ Passes Completed (11/10 Sky Bet)