Brighton v Palace: Murray can fire Eagles to glory

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Brighton head into this game on the back of two consecutive defeats and with Glenn Murray, the ghost of strikers past, returning to the Amex to haunt the Seagulls earlier in the campaign a third loss could well be on the cards.

Murray has found the net a devastating 29 times in 33 appearances for the Eagles this term and after bagging a brace in a 3-0 win over Sunday’s hosts earlier in the campaign, the 29-year-old will be confident of adding to his league-leading tally.

While this form means there is little value in backing Murray as an anytime scorer, the first and last goalscorer markets could tempt savvy investors.

The giant Cumbrian has opened the scoring for Crystal Palace on no fewer than 11 occasions so far and can be backed at 9/2 to achieve the feat against his former employers, while scoring last in the match, something Murray has pulled off seven times this year, is also a 9/2 shot.

While the presence of Murray will boost the confidence of Ian Holloway, his opposite number, Gus Poyet, will be forced to adopt plan B as 11-goal top scorer Craig Mackail-Smith is sidelined with an Achilles injury.

Poyet will look to his side’s home form since the turn of the year – Albion are undefeated at the Amex in 2013 – for inspiration, and it is this form that sees the hosts installed as 11/8 favourites for the win.

However, Brighton have not registered a home victory over Palace in 25 years and with the visitors winning five of the last eight meetings and drawing two others, the 19/10 offered on Holloway’s men emerging victorious looks all the more appealing.

One thing that does look certain is that fans heading to the south-coast can expect to see goals.

Five of the last eight meetings between the two have yielded over 2.5 goals and odds of 9/10 say that three or more goals will be scored here again, while coupling over 2.5 goals with a Palace win in the Total Result market offers a tempting price of 15/4.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.