Crystal Palace v Brighton: Albion should exploit this weakness against rivals tonight

Palace are a dark horse under Patrick Viera, but Albion under Potter should be too strong for The Eagles

Monday, 27th September 2021, 8:14 am
Updated Monday, 27th September 2021, 8:16 am
Brighton beat Leicester in their last Premier League game

Albion could go top of the Premier League with a win at Selhurst Park tonight (Monday).. yes you read that correctly for the 100th time these last few days.

Graham Potter is starting to bear the fruits of his labour in his third season at the club.

Albion have started to score goals at will, something they were unable to do last season despite creating plenty of chances.

Goals win games, as they say, and that's exactly what's happening for the Seagulls at the moment. Long may it continue.

Palace are on the up however, and look a potential dark horse this season under Patrick Viera, who seems to be instilling a bit of a fighting mentality in his new team.

Conor Gallagher seems to be a shrewd bit of business, and obviously the threat of Zaha and the likes of Jordan Ayew and Christian Benteke are not to be taken lightly.

Plus the Selhurst Park fans will create a right old atmosphere under the floodlights, hoping to do what they can to prevent rivals Brighton from going top.

Corners

This is possibly the biggest weakness Palace have at the moment, according to the numbers.

Palace have conceded three goals out of eight from corners already this season, which is suspect.

Brighton are dominant in the air and can be a threat at corners via Dunk and Duffy.

It wouldn't surprise me if one of Albion's centre-backs gets on the scoresheet tomorrow from a corner.

Let's take a look at some of the key numbers going into the game.

Formation

Brighton have played in a 3-4-2-1 for the majority of the season, to good effect too.

Palace have predominately played as a 4-3-3.

Respected football website WhoScored.com has predicted Brighton to swap into a 4-4-1-1 for this game.

However, I think Potter will stick with his 3-4-2-1 system, playing Solly March and Marc Cucurella as wing-backs, with Welbeck, Trossard and Maupay as an attacking trio, leaving Veltman, Dunk and Duffy as a back three.

But we all know Potter likes to tinker, and I wouldn't blame him if he changes things to counteract the threat of Wilfred Zaha on the break.

Expected Goals per 90

As we're only into the sixth game of the season, it's best to take Expected Goals data with a pinch of salt due to the small sample size.

However, data so far this season says Neal Maupay has been Brighton's biggest threat. No surprise there. He's been busy and looking confident.

The Frenchman is recording an xG per 90 ratio of 0.5, which is the highest in the Albion team.

This means he's been getting into Albion's best positions and should be scoring one goal every two games.

Palace's most threatening player has been Conor Gallagher, who has an xG per 90 ration of 0.65.

As good as Gallagher is, you'd be expecting Yves Bissouma to do a number on him tomorrow and snuff the Palace new boy out the game.

Other takes

Neal Maupay against Joachim Andersen.

Andersen looked quality for Fulham last season. He's another good bit of business Palace got done.

I think it'll be a tough test for Maupay tomorrow. He's got to hold the ball up and bring Leandro Trossard and Danny Welbeck into play.

I'm excited to see more from Marc Cucurella and think he will cause Joel Ward a problem on the wing.

There's something so satisyfing about watching these La Masia educated players play. What a signing so far Cucurella's been for Albion. We'll see what he's made of tomorrow in a hostile environment. I'm sure he'll stand up to the test.

Final score

Brighton to go top of the league with a 2-1 win thanks to goals from Trossard and Dunk.