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It's game on, as Crystal Palace travel to Brighton


THE game all Palace fans look out for each season is back.

Yes, it's time for a quick journey down the M23 to face rivals Brighton on Sunday – and it could be a great time to play them.

The hosts have not won in their last four games while they seem to have a bit of an injury crisis.

Palace have automatic promotion in their sights, and they seem to have recent history on their side having not lost to the Seagulls away from home since 1988.

Their right-back Bruno was taken off with a calf injury in Tuesday night's 2-1 defeat at Barnsley, so he's unlikely to take part.

Wayne Bridge may continue to miss out, while striker Craig Mackail-Smith suffered an Achilles injury recently and misses the rest of the season.

Furthermore, central defender Adam El-Abd will miss the game as he serves the first of a two-match suspension after collecting his tenth booking of the season at Oakwell, and that should mean Gordon Greer is likely to partner Matthew Upson in defence.

And it does not stop there either. Striker Ashley Barnes is currently serving a four-match suspension after he appeared to trip up referee Nigel Miller in their 1-0 defeat at Bolton Wanderers last Saturday.

Video footage filmed from the stands has shown the 23-year-old stick out his leg as the official ran past and the Football Association are currently running the rule on the incident further.

Will Hoskins is also out injured and Vicente looks to be struggling.

Meanwhile, at the time of going to press, Wilfried Zaha had been unable to train this week after undergoing root canal work on his teeth according to Eagles boss Ian Holloway, but he should be fine to take part.

Jonny Williams, called up to the senior Wales squad with Jazz Richards on Wednesday, looks set to continue, but Andre Moritz is pressing for a recall after injury. And Stephen Dobbie, on loan from Brighton, will be unable to play against his parent club.

Richards seems to have overcome a toe problem, so Holloway has a dilemma whether to stick with Kagisho Dikgacoi at right-back or move him back into central midfield.

Peter Ramage, pictured, had to have four stitches in his head after last week's battle with Leeds but he should not have any problems making the big game.

Jonny Parr could be an option as a left winger with Dean Moxey returning to left-back, while Yannick Bolasie is certain to start.

And then there's Glenn Murray. Or as Brighton fans would say: FFS Murray. Bang in form, with 30 goals and he scored on Palace's last visit to the Amex Stadium.

You would not back against him to do that again. He'll need service as always but he'll have to work as hard as ever to get past the duo of Upson and Greer.

Looking at our rivals, we've picked out striker Leonardo Ulloa as the player to watch, even though he saw a late penalty saved on Tuesday night – but he did equalise before then.

And Gus Poyet believes they have not deserved to lose their last two games either.

"We were by far the better team at Bolton and lost 1-0, and if anyone said Barnsley deserved to win then I should retire," he said.

I wonder if he'll still be saying Will Buckley is better than Zaha by the end of the match too?

Have a safe journey down there and enjoy the game.

Come on Palace!

It's game on, as Crystal Palace travel to Brighton

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