By William Hill
Last Updated: 16th December 2019
The Premier League action continues on Monday night with the so-called M23 derby between rivals Crystal Palace and Brighton at Selhurst Park. We preview the clash.
Selhurst Park set for tight affair
Both teams come into this one off the back of respectable Premier League campaigns to date, with Crystal Palace sitting in 10th and Brighton just three points back in 13th.
Monday night’s clash, then, has all the makings of a close affair, with that being reflected by the odds – Palace are slight favourites for the three points at 31/20, with Brighton following closely behind at 19/10. The draw is 11/5.
Looking at the form book, it’s Palace who edge it, with Roy Hodgson’s side unbeaten in their last three, having won two of those. In that time, they’ve also kept an impressive three clean sheets. In fact, only second-place Leicester, with seven, have kept more clean sheets than Palace, with six, in the Premier League this season.
When you also take into account the fact that Palace’s home matches have played host to fewer goals than any other side’s this season – Selhurst Park has seen just 13 goals in eight games – backing a tight home win seems to be the way forward.
Palace to win to nil at 14/5 or under 1.5 goals to be scored at 2/1 are both bets that could be worth pursuing, but for sheer value, a flutter on the Eagles to secure a 1-0 victory at 6/1 is the game’s best bet.
Zaha to make the difference
It was a tough summer for Wilfried Zaha, who had been pushing for a transfer from Palace only to see a Selhurst Park exit fail to materialise, with Arsenal among the clubs opting against a move for the forward.
Since then it’s been a season of rebuilding for Zaha – rebuilding his trust with the Palace fans as well as looking to rediscover some of the form from last season that put him in the shop window in the first place.
In recent games, however, Zaha looks to have turned a corner. After a run of 13 Premier League games without finding the back of the net, stretching back to May, the Ivory Coast international now has two goals in his last four and has played a key role in Palace’s upturn in results, with Hodgson even stating that he thought Zaha was back to his best.
If Palace are to secure a tight victory over Brighton on Monday then it may be worth backing Zaha as the man to lead them to victory.