We look ahead to Thursday night’s Premier League match at Selhurst Park with our Crystal Palace vs Brighton prediction and preview. Can Palace build on their excellent point at Man City last weekend?

Crystal Palace vs Brighton Stats: The Quick Hits

  • Brighton edge the pre-match prediction in this game, having won 38.1% of the pre-game simulations by the Opta supercomputer.
  • It looks like it will be another close game, however. The last four league meetings between Brighton and Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park have all ended 1-1.
  • Crystal Palace have won just two points across their last six Premier League games – only Nottingham Forest have won fewer (one) in this period.

Match Preview

One of the less recognised Premier League rivalries kicks off Matchday 18 in the Premier League. Despite being separated by nearly 50 miles, Crystal Palace and Brighton consider one another rivals; it stems from the 1970s when the sides often faced each other in the English Football League and battled for titles later that decade.

Palace manager Roy Hodgson will be looking to build on Saturday’s unexpected point away at Manchester City – one of only two points they have collected in their last six matches. Across those six matchdays, only Nottingham Forest (one) have won fewer points, leading to the pressure mounting on the oldest manager in Premier League history.

Based on their recent form across midweek fixtures in the Premier League, it might not get much better for the former England boss. Palace are winless in all five of their midweek (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) Premier League games in 2023 (D1 L4), failing to score in those four defeats.

One positive will be the return of Jordan Ayew following a one-match suspension, while midfielder Jefferson Lerma is expected to be available for selection after missing the draw at Man City. Joel Ward came off injured in that match and is likely to miss this game, which might give 18-year-old David Ozoh another chance to impress. Longer-term absentees Sam Johnstone, Odsonne Édouard, Jesurun Rak-Sakyi and Cheick Doucouré are out, while this game looks too soon for the return of Rob Holding.

Brighton will definitely be without seven first-team players for this match, with Solly March, Joël Veltman, Julio Enciso, Adam Webster, Tariq Lamptey, Ansu Fati and Pervis Estupiñán all out. Evan Ferguson led the attack at Arsenal but could be replaced by João Pedro, while both Kaoru Mitoma and Simon Adingra could play a key role in attack.

Recent Form

After a phenomenal start to the Premier League season which saw them win five of their first six games and even finish a day top of the top-flight table for the first time in their history, Brighton’s league form has stuttered. Over the last 11 matchdays, only five clubs – including Crystal Palace – have won fewer points than Brighton (11).

Their 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on Sunday saw the Seagulls fail to score in the Premier League for the first time since 18 February, ending a run of 32 consecutive games in which they had found the net. Indeed, it was only the second time in Roberto De Zerbi’s 24 away games as a coach in the competition that he’s seen his side fail to score (also vs Brentford in October 2022). In the defeat at Arsenal, Brighton had their fewest shots on target (one) and faced the most shots (26) in a Premier League match under De Zerbi.

Arsenal 2-0 Brighton

Brighton are now without a clean sheet in their last 21 Premier League games, shipping 38 goals in that run. It’s their longest-ever league run without a clean sheet in their entire history.

Palace are also on a very poor run of results, with their excellent 2-2 away draw at reigning champions Manchester City last weekend going against the pre-match form book. Michael Olise’s penalty in added time secured just their second point across the last six Premier League games, after back-to-back defeats at home to Liverpool and Bournemouth.

Man City 2-2 Crystal Palace

Hodgson last guided Palace to a league victory on 4 November, when goals from Jeffrey Schlupp and Tyrick Mitchell sealed a 2-0 win away at Burnley. They haven’t won a Premier League home game since 3 September, when they beat Wolves 3-2 at Selhurst Park – Édouard (two) and Eberechi Eze grabbing the goals that day.

Crystal Palace vs Brighton Head-to-Head

Brighton head into this clash with Crystal Palace on a four-game unbeaten streak against their rivals, but three of those four matches have ended in 1-1 draws. This is Brighton’s longest unbeaten league run against Palace since going 10 in a row without defeat between 1979 and 1986.

The last meeting between the two sides saw Brighton win 1-0, however, through Solly March’s 15th-minute strike. March also scored in the 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park earlier in 2022-23, but he’ll be missing from this match with injury.

That 1-1 draw in south London was the fourth successive Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Brighton at Selhurst Park to end 1-1 – two of which have seen Brighton equalise in second-half added time.

Crystal Palace haven’t defeated Brighton since 22 February 2021, when Christian Benteke scored a dramatic 90th-minute winner to give his side all three points with a 2-1 victory. Current Palace striker Jean-Philippe Mateta also scored for the Eagles in that match, when they netted with their only two shots on target.

It’s been nearly five years since Palace last won a home game against Brighton, however. They last prevailed 3-2 at Selhurst Park on 14 April 2018, with all five goals in the match coming inside the opening 34 minutes.

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off in this Premier League match, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Crystal Palace vs Brighton Opta Player Ratings

The Opta Player Ratings are something we introduced ahead of 2023-24. For a quick primer on how they’re calculated, you can check our explainer here.

Before kick-off in this match, here are the top five performing players from both teams in the 2023-24 Premier League according to the Opta Player Ratings:

Crystal Palace

Marc Guéhi: 74.2 (out of 100)
Joachim Andersen: 72.7
Tyrick Mitchell: 70.8
Odsonne Édouard: 66.7
Eberechi Eze: 65.7

Brighton & Hove Albion

Pascal Groß: 77.5 (out of 100)
Evan Ferguson: 76.0
Billy Gilmour: 73.2
João Pedro: 69.5
Jan Paul van Hecke: 69.3

These Opta Player Ratings also power our set of brand-new, free-to-play gaming experiences, which you can play on Opta Analyst all season long.

Crystal Palace vs Brighton Prediction

Crystal Palace vs Brighton Prediction

The Opta supercomputer predicts a Brighton win as the most likely result on Thursday night, with the Seagulls winning 38.1% of pre-match simulations. It promises to be a tight encounter, however, with Palace winning 32.7% of sims before kick-off.

Brighton come into this derby ahead of Crystal Palace in the league standings, and seven points off the top five positions in the Premier League – a placing that would likely mean UEFA Champions League football next season.

Roberto De Zerbi’s side are currently projected to finish in the top five in 7.9% of the Opta supercomputer’s season simulations, which is higher than both Manchester United (6.5%) and West Ham (5.9%), but considerably lower than Newcastle (31.4%) and Tottenham (55.4%).

Palace are in 15th place coming into Matchday 18, but there is a fairly comfortable eight-point cushion between them and a relegation zone currently containing Luton Town, Burnley and Sheffield United.

Roy Hodgson’s side still have an outside chance of relegation from the Premier League at the end of the season, with the Opta supercomputer currently projecting a 4.1% likelihood, which is less than that of Nottingham Forest (29.8%) as well as the current bottom three.

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