The three players Crystal Palace will rely on to hurt Brighton at Selhurst Park
It’s been more than three years since Albion lost at Selhurst Park and only Pascal Gross, Shane Duffy, Lewis Dunk and Solly March remain from the squad that lost 3-2 to their rivals that day under Chris Hughton.
For Potter, two draws and two losses in the Premier League and a 1-0 loss in the League Cup from his year at Swansea City against the Eagles doesn’t make for good reading.
It’s a first meeting with Brighton and Potter for Patrick Vieira who has won one and drawn two of his first five games in charge. Palace have conceded six goals in his two losses, albeit to Chelsea and Liverpool respectively.
While the Eagles have only played two games at home, they are yet to lose and have shut out both opposition in Brentford and Tottenham, conceding all eight goals away from home.
His first win was the scalp of a Spurs side who had a 100 per cent win record up to that point having beaten Manchester City as well. New signing Odsonne Edouard made an instant impact off the bench to notch two goals on his debut, but he couldn’t produce something similar at Anfield in their most recent defeat.
In one game he rose to joint top scorer alongside loan signing Conor Gallagher who scored a brace against West Ham. The Chelsea loanee has impressed Palace fans as he picked up their first player of the month award of the season.
Key player Wilfried Zaha completes the small list of goal scorers for Vieira’s side in their opening five games in which they have scored five. They have played three of the ‘big six’ in this period, however.
The former Nice manager has a rebuilding job on his hands and is without Nathan Ferguson and Eberechi Eze through long term injury, who would both be part of his plans, especially Eze.
The Summer overhaul saw many big players leave. Andros Townsend, Patrick Van Aanholt, Mamadou Sakho, Wayne Hennessey, Gary Cahill, Scott Dann, James MacCarthy and Connor Wickham all departed.
They kept hold of tricky winger Zaha and added raw quality in Eze, Gallagher and Michael Olise to excite the Holmesdale fans on their return this season, even though it might be a while until he has the full Brighton will hope to extend their wins record against the Eagles to 41 rather than Vieira claim his first win against Brighton and Palace’s 39th.
Vieira has tried to implement a passing out from the back style, epitomised by the fact that Guehi and Andersen have completed the most passes, 302 and 270 of the 2,146 Palace have completed over five games. This is the tenth most passes completed in the league, Brighton are fifth with 2,533.
The only worry is that his side have only had 11 shots on target from 51 attempts, scoring five. There have only been eight goalless draws in 105 games between the two sides and only two of them have been when Palace have hosted.
The last goalless draw was in 2017, their first meeting in the Premier League. Brighton will hope to extend their wins record against the Eagles to 41 rather than Vieira claim his first win against Brighton and Palace’s 39th.