Striker Glenn Murray says Albion and Crystal Palace will be prepared to go to war at the Amex on Monday – but admits the derby clash is the last game both clubs wanted.
After a hectic festive period for both clubs, the arch rivals meet in the third round of the FA Cup. Brighton sit 12th in the Premier League with 23 points from 22 games, a point and two places ahead of the Eagles.
Crowd trouble marred the 0-0 draw between the sides in November and Murray admitted both teams would have wanted a more comfortable tie. He said: “It’s a great one for the fans, playing our arch rivals in the FA Cup. But probably the way both clubs are in the Premier League, we could have done without the tie.
“It could have been a more comfortable afternoon for both clubs, instead we’re both preparing to go to war again.”
Murray has been used to answering his critics as a professional footballer, having moved from Albion to Palace in 2011 and then rejoining the Seagulls from Bournemouth in 2016. He said: “If there’s ever one thing you’ve got to learn as a professional footballer, it’s you’ve got a lot of critics and to be able to silence your critics or have the chance to is great.
“But the Palace fans have always been great to me. They’ve always welcomed me with open arms and I know for the fans (the rivalry) it’s hatred but I’ve got fond memories up there.”
Albion have been linked with strikers in the past couple of weeks, including Celtic’s Moussa Dembele and Spartak Moscow’s Ze Luis, and the transfer window is now open.
Murray said: “It’s the nature of the beast. Whatever club you’re at, there’s always talk about strikers. Even the best in the world have got to deal with it. You look at (Zlatan)Ibrahimovic at Man United and they went and bought (Romelu) Lukaku for so much money. It’s just a revolving door and it’s just the way every club in football wants to progress and goals are the way forward. That’s what keeps you in divisions and what gets you promotions.
“I’m sure most chairmen if they could swap the team for 11 better players would. That’s just the way football clubs want to progress.
“Anyone the club brings in that can help us will be a welcome addition from the players. If someone comes in and scores a lot of goals, then great if it keeps us in the division.”