Brighton v Crystal Palace preview: Ruben Loftus-Cheek nursing knock
Last Updated: 08/01/18 7:50pm
Crystal Palace will look to progress past the FA Cup third round for the fifth consecutive season when they travel to Brighton on Monday evening in the first competitive fixture to trial video assistant refereeing (VAR) technology.
After the uncertainty in the opening months of the season, Roy Hodgson's side head into the game in decent form, having lost just once in four games over the festive period - including a goalless draw with Manchester City.
But they will be forced to travel to the south coast without Chelsea loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek - who Hodgson declared he wanted to sign on Friday afternoon - as the midfielder has a knock.
Brighton, meanwhile, have not progressed past the fifth round since they lost to Manchester United in the 1982/83 final, but are looking to reach the fourth round for the second season in succession.
And Chris Hughton's men should feel confident in their chances, having lost just once since mid-December, recording three clean sheets in those five games.
Hughton has no fresh selection problems ahead of Monday's clash.
Central midfielder Steve Sidwell, who has not featured this season, remains Albion's only absentee due to a back injury.
Hughton has confirmed he will rotate his squad for the third round tie against their bitter rivals, with defender Connor Goldson and midfielder Beram Kayal, who have each made limited appearances this campaign, expected to play, along with out-of-favour midfielder Jiri Skalak.
Crystal Palace's Yohan Cabaye has been passed fit to start at Brighton but manager Hodgson is expected to name a weakened team for the third-round fixture.
The midfielder was substituted at half-time at Southampton on Tuesday because of fatigue, but will not join Joel Ward (groin), Mamadou Sakho (calf), Connor Wickham, Scott Dann and Jason Puncheon (all knee), as an absentee.
Jairo Riedewald, Bakary Sako, Patrick van Aanholt and Damien Delaney are among Palace's fringe players pushing to start.
This will be the third time these two rivals have been drawn together in the FA Cup, with the last tie going to a second replay after the first two games ended in a stalemate back in December 1976.
Brighton have failed to score against Crystal Palace in four of their last five encounters in all competitions, including each of the last three. In contrast, the Eagles have failed to score in three of the last four.
The Seagulls have progressed to the FA Cup fourth round in seven of the last eight campaigns, falling at the third round stage in 2015/16 against Hull City.
Since being eliminated at this stage in three successive seasons between 2010/11 and 2012/2013, the Eagles have reached the fourth round in each of the last four seasons, including an FA Cup final appearance in 2016.