Brighton & Hove Albion prepares for a crucial encounter against Crystal Palace at the Amex Stadium, but their lineup is clouded by uncertainties and challenges. Following a disappointing 4-0 defeat to Luton Town and a goal drought in three consecutive Premier League matches, Roberto de Zerbi faces key decisions to reignite Brighton’s European qualification campaign.
Defensive Strengths and Weaknesses: The defensive unit is relatively intact, with Joël Veltman being the only expected absentee due to a knee injury sidelining him until mid-February. Tariq Lamptey, returning from injury, played 45 minutes in a recent match and could feature in the starting lineup. However, the looming threat of potential suspensions for six players, including Igor, adds a layer of caution.
Midfield Shortages: Brighton’s midfield will be significantly impacted, with five players set to miss the Crystal Palace clash. Mitoma and Adingra continue their international duties, Solly March and Julio Enciso face prolonged knee injuries, and Ansu Fati is in rehabilitation for a calf issue. The availability of James Milner remains uncertain after he suffered an apparent thigh injury during the Luton Town game. The veteran midfielder’s status is yet to be clarified by De Zerbi.
Forward Conundrum: Upfront, João Pedro’s availability is in doubt as he picked up an injury during the recent defeat, attributed to frustration. De Zerbi awaits further information on the extent of Pedro’s injury, leaving Evan Ferguson as a potential replacement. The forward lineup is crucial for Brighton to overcome their recent goal-scoring struggles.
Predicted Lineup: Given the challenges and uncertainties, the anticipated Brighton lineup against Crystal Palace could feature:
- Goalkeeper: Verbruggen
- Defense: Igor, Dunk, Van Hecke
- Midfield: Estupiñán, Groß, Gilmour, Lamptey
- Forwards: Buonanotte, Hinshelwood, Ferguson
As Brighton seeks to bounce back and secure a positive result against their rivals, De Zerbi faces a delicate balancing act in crafting a lineup that addresses both defensive stability and attacking potency. The clash against Crystal Palace promises to be a test of resilience for the Seagulls.