CRYSTAL PALACE host Brighton on Sunday afternoon in the M23 derby. Jack Wright (@JackWright_BSB ) is on-hand to preview the match-up .
Crystal Palace vs Brighton | Sunday 18th October 2020, 14:00 | Sky Sports
We have survived another international break and the top European leagues return to provide us with a feast of domestic action, including a mouthwatering derby. The Old Firm clash!? Nah mate, it’s the M23 derby I’m talking about…
Crystal Palace got their season off to a flyer with a 1-0 home win against much-fancied Southampton, followed up with a 3-1 dismantling of Manchester United at Old Trafford. However, back-to-back defeats at the hands of league leaders Everton and by a harsh 4-0 at Chelsea have clipped the Eagles wings.
Palace fans will be hoping that does not signal a return to their form at the end of last campaign which they completed with seven defeats and a last day draw.
Brighton’s start has certainly been an entertaining one but one that has only yielded three points from four games including three defeats. All four fixtures have seen Over 2.5 Goals crossed, producing three, four, five and six goals, resulting in an average of 4.50 goals per game.
Both sides have also seen a combined eight penalties awarded in their Premier League games – Roy Hodgson’s men conceding three – much to his dismay – winning one – much to his dismay – with the Seagulls winning two and conceding two. To see another spot-kick here is 15/8 with Boylesports but with the call for more leniency (common sense) in awarding them means it’s a watching brief for me.
In fairness to the Selhurst Park side they have had to contend with something of a defensive injury crisis to start their campaign, with Cheikhou Kouyate deputising at centre back in the absence of Gary Cahill and James Tomkins. But with both returning to full training during the break we should see the Senegal international move back to his more familiar role in midfield.
Although it looks like Ladbrokes have still priced Kouyate up as a defender with odds of 11/4 available for a shot on-target, as he has managed in two of Palace’s four league games, and a huge 17/1 to find the back of the net, as he did against Everton.
Added to the fact Brighton have conceded three goals from set-pieces so far – the joint-worst in the EPL alongside Leicester – surprisingly and not so surprisingly Fulham and West Brom, I think it’s a bet worth taking a chance on at long odds with Bet 365 only giving 6/1.
Trossard to test the Eagles
At the other end of the pitch a player I have been very impressed with for Graham Potter’s side is Leandro Trossard, who found the net in the opening day defeat to Chelsea but has been incredibly unlucky not to add to his tally since.
From a total of 12 attempts at goal, the Belgian international has struck the woodwork on four occasions – three times alone against Manchester United. Eight of those 12 strikes have come from outside the box and after only one attempt – albeit successful and from out of the area against Chelsea – the 25-year-old has fired in 3, 4 and 4 shots with 3, 2 and 2 from beyond the edge of the penalty area.
I can’t see Trossard stopping trying and he wasn’t overused by Roberto Martinez in the last fortnight seeing 127 minutes of action so to be able to get 2/1 for 2+ shots outside the box seems a great price to me and one I have lapped up – it is my star bet.
Alzate to get in amongst it
We have covered Brighton’s defence and their attack, so for my final bet I am going to focus on their midfield and Steven Alzate in particular.
Having ample time to read and research during the break in top-flight action, seeing who topped the charts in certain criteria, I noticed the Colombian had committed more fouls than anyone else in the league with a total of 14 – all of which have come in his last three games.
Four fouls came away at Newcastle, six at home to the Red Devils and four in the defeat at Goodison Park where he finally picked up his first yellow card of the season.
If those stats continue, then that must surely be the first of many and he warmed up nicely for this one with three more fouls in 61 minutes after coming off the bench for Colombia in their midweek 2-2 draw with Chile.
To enhance this selection, we needed a good refereeing appointment and I believe we have got that in Stuart Attwell, who has dished out 13 cards from his two EPL appearances so far, as well as another five when taking charge of Norwich versus Derby in the second-tier.
The Nuneaton-born whistle-blower has a Premier League lifetime average of 3.73 cards per-game, and to put that in to context that is more than renowned card issuer Anthony Taylor (3.57) and not far off the one and only Mike Dean (3.93). Certainly good enough to convince me Alzate to be carded at 9/2 with SkyBet is value.
Crystal Palace vs Brighton – Cheikhou Kouyate 1+ shot on-target (11/4 Ladbrokes)
Crystal Palace vs Brighton – Cheikhou Kouyate to score at anytime (17/1 Ladbrokes)
Crystal Palace vs Brighton – Leandro Trossard 2+ shots outside the box (2/1 Ladbrokes)
Crystal Palace vs Brighton – Steven Alzate to be shown a card (9/2 SkyBet)