Brighton & Hove Albion-Crystal Palace Preview
It's been a little more than three months since Brighton & Hove Albion won back-to-back Premier League matches.
After finally getting back in the win column within the top-flight last weekend, the Seagulls look to accomplish that feat again whilst trying to complete the league double over Crystal Palace on Saturday at Selhurst Park.
Florin Andone's goal in the 79th minute proved to be enough to help Brighton (8-6-14) down lowly Huddersfield Town 1-0, at home last Saturday. The much-needed triumph for the Seagulls ended an 0-2-5 top-flight winless stretch and is just their second victory over a run of 13 Premier League contests (2-3-8).
"We realised the magnitude of (facing Huddersfield), and we understand that," star striker Glenn Murray told Brighton's official website. "(In recent games) things were going against us slightly, and it was just about keeping our cool, going back to basics and (stop) conceding goals. There's still plenty to do, we're not home and hosed yet."
Though Brighton are still alive in FA Cup play, their immediate focus is trying to win consecutive Premier League contests for the first time since beating Huddersfield on Dec. 1 and Crystal Palace 3-1 at home on Dec. 4.
In the latter, Murray, Andone and Leon Balogun each scored first-half goals for the Seagulls, who were surely the better side in that contest.
"We did a great job in that last game (versus Palace)," Brighton winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh said. "It was a great performance from the lads that night, and I know how important these games are for the fans.
"It's going to be a difficult game there, but we are going to do our best to get the three points."
Since September 2011, 15th-place Brighton are 0-2-2 at Selhurst Park. They also won't have injured midfielder Pascal Gross available for this reverse fixture. Murray, though, has scored in three straight matches over all competitions against the Eagles, one of his former sides.
The Seagulls sit three points back of 13th-place Palace (9-6-14), who topped Burnley 3-1 last weekend for their third win in five Premier League matches. Following a Burnley own goal within the first 15 minutes, Michy Batshuayi and Wilfried Zaha scored second-half goals for the visitors to help them improve to 3-2-1 over the last six top-flight contests.
"Confidence comes from winning," manager Roy Hodgson, whose club will look to win two straight league matches for the first time since Dec. 15 and 22, told Palace's official website. "We've always believed in ourselves as a team.
"We always thought that we were good defensively, and that we had a lot of qualities going forward. But, of course, you need a lot of victories and a lot of points behind you to really get that feel-good feeling, and to get the confidence that lifting yourself up the table, that a good points tally, gives you."
Batshuayi seems to be playing with plenty of confidence. The former Chelsea man, who most recently played with La Liga side Valencia, has three goals in five matches over all competitions since joining Crystal Palace.
"I told him, 'Bro, once you get that first goal, they start coming from nowhere,'" Zaha said of Batshuayi. "I'm happy to see him on the scoresheet."
Updated March 7, 2019