By 90Min
January 08, 2018

An unusual but fierce rivalry is set to see another chapter added to it's story this Monday night, when Brighton play host to arch rivals Crystal Palace at the Amex Stadium in the FA Cup third round, a game which will see VAR (video assistant referee) used for the very first time in English football. 

Both sides should play with the shackles off given the fact that this fixture is an escape from a hectic Premier League in which the relegation dogfight is almost eight teams large, and coupled with the hatred felt towards one another from both sides, this televised fixture should be an enticing spectacle. 

Of course, the two sides played out a drab 0-0 affair in the league version of this meeting back in November, although the same scoreline this time out would be a surprise given the change in fortunes of both clubs. 

Chris Hughton's side have taken their foot off the gas somewhat since the pair last met, whereas Roy Hodgson's men have gone on an excellent run which has seen them lose just once in 11 games, pulling themselves up to 14th in the table and just one point behind the Seagulls. 

Here's everything you need to know about this feisty FA Cup affair...

Classic Encounter 

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Brighton 0-2 Crystal Palace - Championship Play-off Semi Final 

This storybook that is this fiery derby had it's most eventful chapter written back in 2013 when the two sides met in the Championship play offs. After drawing the first leg 0-0 at Selhurst Park, a game which saw Palace's 30-goal striker and current Seagull Glenn Murray stretchered off with a serious knee injury, the Eagles and the Seagulls faced off at the Amex where Wembley awaited the winner. 

The game was preceded by arrogance and unprofessionalism on Brighton's part. The seaside club had released warnings to their fans pre match that any post match celebratory pitch invasions would result in a consequence, and arrogant move to say the least, whilst Palace were also met with an, erm, faecal issue in their dressing room upon their arrival in a bid to unsettle them; heightening the intensity of the tie even more. 

Oh, and Ian Holloway later revealed that "they deliberately sent the team coach the wrong way too", but never mind, onto the actual game. 

A cagey affair for just over an hour - which included Brighton forward Ashley Barnes having an effort cleared off the line as well as hitting the crossbar whereas Palace's Jonny Williams missed a one on one - exploded into life after a sublime piece of Yannick Bolasie trickery led to Wilfried Zaha nodding home his exquisite delivery to send the away section into raptures. 

As the home side pushed for an equaliser in desperation, Zaha struck again to crush the Seagulls with an emphatic weak foot finish into the roof of the net having rolled his marker expertly, sending his boyhood side to Wembley where they would eventually win promotion. 

Brighton boss Gus Poyet consequently lost his job the following summer, and that match will live on in the memory of every Palace fan for a very, very long time. 

Key Battle

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Pascal Groß vs Jairo Riedewald

Although Wilfried Zaha vs *insert name here* tends to be the natural battle that springs to mind whenever I cover a Palace game, I shall attempt to refrain from doing so and instead focus the attention elsewhere; on Brighton's most effective forward. 

The German attacking midfielder has recorded four goals and five assists for the Seagulls since arriving from Ingolstadt for around £2m in the summer, and his intelligent movement and wise end product could pose danger for Palace come Monday evening, especially for the man most likely to mark him; Jairo Riedewald. 

The Dutchman hasn't played much football since Frank de Boer's departure, but after his excellent performance against Manchester City last week, he looks set to start against the Seagulls, and will need to bring his A game if he is to keep Gross quiet. 

Team News

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The hosts almost have a fully fit squad to choose from, with Chris Hughton missing just the duo of Steven Sidwell and Ezequiel Schelotto for the visit of the Eagles. 

Roy Hodgson's woes are far worse than that. Palace will be without Mamadou Sakho, Joel Ward and Connor Wickham once again as the trio recover from injury, whilst Scott Dann and Jason Puncheon will also miss the derby fixture after suffering season ending injuries against Manchester City last week. 

The south Londoners are also missing Ruben Loftus-Cheek as the Chelsea loanee recovers from a knock, and Frenchman Yohan Cabaye may be rested after playing through a knock over the festive period. 


GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

Form wise, a Palace win in this FA cup tie looks the most likely, but as we all know, the form book goes out the window in cup games, especially in a derby. 

The two rivals are sure to go head to head in order to earn bragging rights in their feud, and at such an early stage in the competition, neither have anything to lose. 

Expect an exciting game this Monday evening. 

Prediction: Brighton 0-2 Crystal Palace 

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