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Premier League Preview: Crystal Palace v. Brighton

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  • Palace (33 points), 13th, 8 points clear of relegation
  • Brighton (30 points), 15th, 5 points clear
  • Brighton 3-1 Palace, in December

Brighton & Hove Albion are likely no more than five points from having done enough to avoid relegation from the Premier League this season, and the Seagulls have an eminently winnable FA Cup quarterfinal matchup with Championship side Millwall next weekend. By every realistic measure, 2018-19 will go down as a successful second season back in England’s top flight. Chris Hughton‘s side could just about take care of those required points when they visit Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com), and complete the league double over the Eagles in the process.

After knocking off Huddersfield Town at home last weekend, Brighton are in search of back-to-back wins for the first time since Dec. 1 and 4, a stretch of 13 games without so much as a sniff of consistency (two wins in 13, including eight losses).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Palace, on the other hand, have lost just one of their last six while winning three during that same stretch. Roy Hodgson has done a decent enough job to guide his boyhood in his first full season in charge, and the Eagles will feel they’ve already done enough to stay up with a victory on Saturday.

Michy Batshuayi has proven an inspired loan signing for Palace after scoring a goal in two of his last three games — both of which were victories — at the end of the January transfer window. Speaking of inspiration, winger Wilfried Zaha has bagged four goals in four games — 2W-1D-1L — since Batshuayi’s arrival. The two of them are clearly enjoying playing together.

“I told him, ‘Bro, once you get that first goal, they start coming from nowhere,'” Zaha said of Batshuayi. “I’m happy to see him on the scoresheet.”

Injuries

Crystal Palace OUT: Mamadou Sakho (knee), Pape Souare (shoulder) | Brighton — OUT: Pascal Gross (hamstring)

What they’re saying

Palace manager Roy Hodgson, on retirement: “They are not thoughts that I wish to entertain. I have no wish to entertain them. I don’t feel the need in any way to entertain them.I live in the present, basically. I try to make certain my life is as good as it can be at any given moment in time, doing what I’ve got to be doing and living my life the right way. In moments like this, where fortunately that is very much the case, I just try to profit from it without trying to get the crystal ball out and think what will it be like in March 2020.”

Brighton forward Glenn Murray, on stockpiling points: “We realized the magnitude of (facing Huddersfield), and we understand that. (In recent games) things were going against us slightly, and it was just about keeping our cool, going back to basics and (stop) conceding goals. There’s still plenty to do, we’re not home and hosed yet.”

Prediction

While Palace have been in good form of late, they’ve done most of their damage away from home (just one win in their last six at Selhurst Park). On the other side, Brighton haven’t won away from home in six tries. Each happy to take a point toward their season total, this one has draw written all over it.

Fans who want to try their hand at predicting PL games can down the NBC Sports Predictor app, with a chance to win up to $50,000 each week. Download it on iOS or Google Play.

Crystal Palace cruise past Fulham (video)

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  • Milivojevic nets first half PK
  • Schlupp adds late goal
  • Batshuayi makes Palace debut

Crystal Palace beat Fulham 2-0 at Selhurst Park on Saturday as Roy Hodgson‘s side secured a vital three points.

Despite Fulham playing well early on and Aleksandar Mitrovic missing a big chance, a first half penalty from Luka Milivojevic put Palace ahead.

In the second half Palace were the better team and Jeffrey Schlupp added a second goal late on after good work from substitute Michy Batshuayi on his debut.

With the win Palace move up to 14th place on 26 points, while Fulham stay in 19th place with 17 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Fulham spurned a great chance early on as Joe Bryan whipped in a lovely ball for Mitrovic but he somehow nodded off target.

The Cottagers had all the play early on as Palace started the game slowly.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

A big moment arrived soon after as Cyrus Christie handled in the box under pressure from Christian Benteke, and Palace went ahead against the run of play. Milivojevic sent home the spot kick, as four of Palace’s seven home goals had come from penalties.

Christian Benteke then rolled back the years and sent an incredible overhead kick against the crossbar as Palace pushed for a second.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Palace started the second half well as Fulham struggled to get going.

Jordan Ayew‘s shot was pushed over by Sergio Rico and James Tomkins put a header from a corner over. Rico also denied Schlupp and Mamadou Sakho nodded wide at the back post as Palace kept pushing.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Late on Batshuayi came on for his debut and made an instant impact as his shot was saved by Rico, but Sclupp finished off the rebound. 2-0 to Palace.

FOLLOW LIVE: Crystal Palace-Spurs in FA Cup

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Fresh off a battle in the League Cup, Premier League powers Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea aim for spots in the next round of the FA Cup with Sunday matches.

[ LIVE: Follow all the FA Cup scores ]

Spurs open the day’s pair of ties by visiting Crystal Palace, while Chelsea will host Sheffield Wednesday two hours later at 1 p.m. ET.

Tottenham is without Harry Kane and Dele Alli, with Kyle Walker-Peters and Oliver Skipp getting starts for the North London side.

Regulars Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Mamadou Sakho, and Luka Milivojevic are on the bench for Palace.

Make sure to tune-in for our special Transfer Deadline Day show on NBCSN on Thursday, Jan. 31 from 5 p.m. ET as we focus on all of the moves across the Premier League in the January window. You can stream the show live online right here.

Henry hopeful to land ex-Arsenal teammate Fabregas in January

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Maurizio Sarri has said he’s worried that Cesc Fabregas will leave Chelsea this summer, but might the 31-year-old midfielder depart earlier than that?

[ RECAP: Newcastle 0-2 Man Utd ]

L’Equipe reports that Fabregas could sign with a new team as early as next week, with AS Monaco ready to splash some January cash to reunite the midfielder with former teammate Thierry Henry.

Fabregas spent 2003-07 on the same pitch as Henry, who now manages Monaco. The Ligue 1 outfit is struggling mightily this year, and Henry needs veteran blood to steady his young group.

Crystal Palace’s Mamadou Sakho is also of reported interest to Henry, who signed Lyle Foster of South Africa’s Orlando Pirates to their second team on Wednesday.

Crystal Palace snatch late win at Wolves

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  • Ayew scores controversial winner
  • Third win in five for Palace
  • Milivojevic scores stoppage time penalty
  • One win in four for Wolves 

Crystal Palace beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 at Molinuex Wednesday as Jordan Ayew and Luka Milivojevic struck late on to give the Eagles another valuable three points.

Roy Hodgson‘s side looked the more dangerous throughout and their opener finally arrived as Ayew, who seemed to have strayed just offside, controlled and finished calmly late on. In stoppage time Milivojevic then scored a penalty kick to seal the victory.

With the win Palace are in 14th place on 22 points and six points above the relegation zone, while Wolves slip to ninth on 29 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

Palace dominated early proceedings as Andros Townsend stole the ball in a dangerous position, then fed Milivojevic who had a shot tipped over by Rui Patricio.

From the resulting corner James Tomkins went close with a header as the away side looked very comfortable.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Townsend then dribbled past several Wolves players and fired over, as Wolves barely got going in the first half but they did have the best chance to score. A corner from the left found Willy Boly completely unmarked but he didn’t get enough on his header and then Matt Doherty nodded over.

However, Palace then had a great chance to take the lead as a ball to the back post found Mamadou Sakho unmarked but he somehow completely missed the ball as he had a free header on goal.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

In the second half Wolves looked more likely to score with a few chances, but Palace were comfortable enough to sit back and try and hit the hosts on the counter.

Wolves were trying to do the same but Palace looked more dangerous on the counter and eventually they scored.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Wilfried Zaha‘s shot was blocked, then Patrick Van Aanholt‘s shot across goal found Ayew who looked to be just offside but the Ghanian forward slotted home to put Palace ahead.

Ruben Neves then forced Vicente Guaita into a low save but Zaha won a penalty kick in stoppage time as Ryan Bennett brought him down.

Milivojevic stepped up and slammed home the penalty to make it 2-0 and seal the win for Palace.