Premier League Tuesday – BHA & Crystal Palace
This BHA and Crystal Palace game is expected to be far and away the most competitive matchup of the day. It’s also one between two teams would desperately like to start building up some points before the midway point of the season. They’d both love to go into the New Year with themselves in a good place in the table! It’s also a matchup between #9 and #15 in our Week 15 power rankings!
Brighton and Hove Albion (BHA)
Brighton come into this match in very reasonable form. In their last 6 games they have 3 wins, 1 draw, and two losses. Brighton have the 7th best home form in the table, though they’ve left a fair number of points on the board in road games. Although they have 6 losses on the season, 3 of them are to big six teams. They also added a memorable win over a Manchester United team that’s been poor. Brighton would love to take this opportunity to leapfrog Watford. While the Seagulls come in with a very winnable game, Watford faces Manchester City. Depending on other results tomorrow, Brighton could go as high as eighth but their goal differential would have to improve immensely.
In terms of the statistics, Brighton is markedly better at home than away. Brighton has managed a goal in every home game they’ve played as well as the last seven straight. At home the Seagulls are averaging 1.5 goals scored per game while conceding 1.17 goals per game. They’ve allowed a total of 7 goals against at home this season; 3 allowed in the first half and 4 in the second half. While their goal scoring is the opposite; 5 goals in the first half and 4 in the second.
Palace’s form is trending the opposite way. They have a woeful last six record of 1 win, 3 losses and two draws. Though on their defense, of those losses were to big six teams and they’ve drawn with Arsenal and Manchester United. Palace have actually won more games away from home than they have at home. Crystal Palace doesn’t have the same option to leapfrog other teams except perhaps West Ham. To do that though, they would need to win by at least 2 goals which would allow them to draw even with the hammers. However, it’s an opportunity to secure some more vital points and set themselves up for a good run. I think that 5 of the next 7 games are ones that at the very least the Eagles should be competitive in. The other two are against Manchester City and Chelsea who are riding high.
Statistically the Eagles are actually better away from home than at home. While their opponent is better at home securing 60%+ of their points there — Palace is the exact opposite. They also score more goals on the road — while the goals conceded are almost a 50/50 split. That said, the statistics paint a pretty gruesome story, Palace are only averaging 0.86 goals scored per game. In constant, they are allowing almost 1.3 goals against, for almost a half goal negative differential per game. They also have a bit of a problem closing out games, they’ve allowed 6 of their 9 goals from the 61′ and beyond. Without that unenviable track record, Palace could be much better off on the season. They have four losses (in all venues) by a goal, those points alone could have Palace in 12th.
What to expect
This is very much excepted to be a low-scoring, defensive battle. Neither team are prolific goalscorers, although I think there will be a number of shots on goal. I expect both keepers to have a number of saves, and I think in the end it will be either a 2-1 or a 1-0 victory for Brighton. I think a clean sheet would go a long way for Mat Ryan’s confidence. Brighton have an easier schedule for the next few games and a Mat Ryan full of confidence could win them a few points all by itself.
We’ll see you next time!