Preview: Crystal Palace v Brighton & Hove Albion FC - play-off semi-final

Our Seagulls correspondent - Patrick Gleeson

Our Seagulls correspondent - Patrick Gleeson

0
Have your say

Our Albion correspondent Patrick Gleeson looks ahead to Brighton’s play-off match.

Albion are gearing up for one of their most important fixtures in recent history, a semi-final clash against rivals Crystal Palace.

The Seasiders travel to Selhurst Park on Friday evening for the first leg before hosting the Eagles at the Amex on Monday evening in front of what is expected to be another record attendance.

Team News

Albion right-back Bruno will miss the trip to south London as he recovers from a calf injury, but Inigo Calderon returns from suspension after his red card against Leeds a fortnight ago.

The only other absentees are Craig Mackail-Smith (Achilles) and Will Hoskins (knee) as Wayne Bridge is again available for selection .

Stephen Dobbie will be unavailable for Ian Holloway as he is on loan from Brighton, whereas Paddy McCarthy (groin) and Jonathan Parr (ankle) both miss the fixture through injury.

Form

Albion finished fourth in the Championship table, directly above Palace, and are unbeaten in nine. Three straight wins have ensured Gus Poyet’s men arrive in the play-offs in good form.

Albion last 5: W W W D W

Palace’s form has been shaky since they were beaten by Albion in mid-March but put three past Peterborough in their last outing which is sure to boost morale. The 3-2 victory also relegated Posh to League One.

Palace last 5: W D D D L

Head to head

At Selhurst Park in December 2012 Palace easily beat a 10 man Brighton 3-0 to give the fans the bragging rights. However, in March of this year Albion returned the favour and replicated the scoreline in their favour.

Players to watch

Leonardo Ulloa (Albion)

The big Argentinian striker will be raring to go come Friday evening and will want to pick up from the form he displayed in the Seagull’s 3-0 win in March, a game in which he scored a brace.

Glenn Murray (Palace)

Brighton fans will know all about the danger that Murray possess and he has started scoring again at the wrong stage of the season as far as their fans are concerned.