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Crystal Palace vs. Brighton & Hove Albion

Selhurst Park

10/5/13

7.45pm

On Sky

Crystal Palace vs Brighton

Albion are braced for a monumental double-header with bitter rivals Crystal Palace as the two lock horns in the Championship play-off semi-finals, starting this Friday.

A fine finish to what's been another remarkable campaign on the south coast saw the Seagulls wrap up the 4th place play-off spot, along with the all-important Amex second leg - where Albion will hope their brutally efficient recent home form, in conjunction with knowing what they need to do, will ultimately see them secure at place at Wembley.

There's the small matter of a trip to Selhurst Park before any of that, however, and the disastrous defeat back in December should serve as a reminder of the dangers Palace pose on their day. Holloway's Eagles have limped over the line somewhat in recent months, but whilst momentum is often seen as key going into the play-offs, quite literally anything could happen in a clash of such magnitude.

Vital Quotes:

Liam Bridcutt, named Albion's Player of the Year for the second year running, gives his thoughts ahead of the play-off showdown.

He told BBC Sussex, "This week is probably the longest week we have had of training but we are all excited. We have wanted to get into the play-offs from the start of the season.

"We knew we would come up against tough opposition. It was just the luck of the draw we got Palace and a local derby.

He continued, "We know we have got to work hard and go again. Most of the boys would play the game now if we could."

Crystal Palace Team News:

Stephen Dobbie is unable to play in either semi-final leg, as stipulated by his loan deal.

Further team news to be confirmed.

Player to watch: Jonny Williams

Looked Palace's most threatening player in the first half of the recent Amex mauling, before his rather baffling and equally relieving withdrawal at the break. Now a full Welsh international, the the diminutive 19-year-old possesses great qualities on the ball, and is often the player who makes things tick in an attacking sense when played in the hole.

Brighton & Hove Albion Team News:

Right-back Bruno misses out, however Wayne Bridge looks set to return at left-back after sitting out against Wolves.

Further team news to be confirmed.

Player to watch: Leo Ulloa

Happily assumed the role of Eagles slayer in the recent fixture at the Amex, scoring twice during Albion's 3-0 victory. The powerful Argentinian frontman has added a welcome and undeniably potent aerial threat to the Seagulls' attack, but is also very capable with the ball at his feet, when linking up from deep.

Past Meetings & Stats

Albion edge the overall head-to-head record between the two sides, with 35 wins to the Eagles' 32 - although recent history still leans towards the South Londoners.

Albion's last Selhurst success occured in the 05/06 season when Paul McShane headed home a 79th minute winner. However, that was the only victory the Seagulls' have managed on Palace territory in their last 8 attempts.




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The Journalist

Writer: EditorBHA Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday May 8 2013

Time: 6:13PM

 

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