One of football’s strangest but fiercest rivalries has been fully re-ignited over the last three years, yet there’s no denying that the next Brighton & Hove Albion versus Crystal Palace game is the most important of all time.
Having played out a stalemate in the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final on Friday, the tie remains finely balanced, with Albion odds-on favourites to make the final and Palace 33/20 to reach the ‘£60m game’.
With so much at stake, past performances sometimes go out of the window, but here are five statistics that may make the outcome a little clearer for punters to predict.
1.3: The average number of goals scored by Albion per home game and by Palace per away game this season. You can find a price of 6/5 on tonight’s game being decided by exactly one goal difference.
3: The lower-ranked side have won just three out of 13 Championship play-off ties since 2011 (Brighton finished fourth with Palace fifth). Brighton are strong 7/20 favourites to advance to Wembley by any means required.
3-0: In the corresponding fixture between the sides at the Amex during the regular season, Brighton emerged 3-0 winners, with two of Gus Poyet’s Spanish-speaking contingent, Leonardo Ulloa (2) and David Lopez, providing the goals. Brighton are 9/4 to win with a 0-1 handicap.
8: The team to score first has gone on to reach the final in eight of the last nine Championship play-off semi-final second legs. Brighton are 3/5 to score first and 19/20 to bag the opener in the first half.
9: The number of games since Albion last lost a game at the Amex (six wins, three draws). The Seagulls are 3/4 favourites to win inside 90 minutes in bwin’s 3Way betting market.