Zaha brace settles thriller with Brighton

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson

Third bottom Southampton have a game in hand on them, so the Eagles' margin for error is very slight with a month of the season remaining.

The Seagulls came close to levelling the scores just before the hour mark, as Glenn Murray stretched to get his foot on Kayal's looping cross towards the far post, however his effort went narrowly wide of Hennessey's right-hand post.

Crystal Palace are in a precarious position entering in the final stretch of matches in the Premier League.

Fourth bottom Palace now boast a precarious three-point advantage from the relegation places, but have played a game more than Southampton, who are directly below them.

It suggests while Benteke is in the frame to feature tomorrow, it would be a big call for Hodgson to recall a striker who has bagged just two goals this season, particularly with so many other players capable of getting on the scoresheet - not least midfielder and captain Luka Milivojevic, who got into double figures last weekend.

All five goals came amid a frenzied first half as Wilfried Zaha's brace either side of James Tomkins' second goal in three matches secured a much-needed first home win in four attempts.

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'It would be a nice one not to lose, ' said Seagulls boss Hughton. The club has worked incredibly hard to get here.' However, defeats by Leicester and Everton plus a home draw with Huddersfield last week - in which Dutch midfielder Davy Propper received a red card that keeps him out of tomorrow's game - have led to the odd glance over their shoulder.

'In derby games it can be more ferocious, challenges can be fiercer and heavier.

Crystal Palace are [1.95] favourites and it is hard to argue with this.

The visitors are [4.8] outsiders for this clash but there is no temptation to back them. Hughton's side do not appear to be in peak form and have shown nothing recently to suggest an away win is likely.

Wilfried Zaha inspired Palace to a 3-2 victory over derby rivals Brighton at Selhurst Park, the Ivory Coast winger netting twice in an entertaining first half which saw all five goals scored. Brighton have also been very solid defensively and significantly, all of their away matches during the campaign have resulted in under 3.5 goals.

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