AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW: Brighton v Crystal Palace

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s the biggest technical innovation in football since, er, referees spraying shaving foam onto the pitch.

For the first time in Britain the Video Assistant Referee is in place for the Brighton v Crystal Palace FA Cup Third Round game (7.45pm BT).

Tonight’s match ref Neil Swarbrick will be backed up by the video team based in London who can be used in two ways.

Swarbrick can ask for a second look after making an on-field decision. The VAR can also advise Swarbrick to review an incident when the ball next goes dead.

Video evidence can only be used to decide whether a goal should stand, whether a player deserves a straight red card, whether a penalty should be awarded and in cases of mistaken identity.

An early poll on the Star Sports twitter suggested 61% of punters are in favour and of course it’s got to be a good move if it eliminates some of the more outrageous miscarriages of justice.

One of the big arguments against it’s introduction is whether it slows down the pace of the game too much.

It works well in cricket, tennis and to a lesser extent rugby but the evidence I’ve seen so far in football in Europe is that it can lead to lengthy delays whilst the referee goes to the touchline to review the video in some cases several times.

But that seems to the price for justice.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Crystal Palace
FA Cup 3rd Round
19:45 BT Sport 2 / BT Sport 4K UHD

(Maximum 10 matches)
Nov 2017 PREMIER Brighton 0-0 C Palace
May 2013 CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY-OFF Brighton 0-2 C Palace
May 2013 CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY-OFF C Palace 0-0 Brighton
Mar 2013 CHAMPIONSHIP Brighton 3-0 C Palace
Dec 2012 CHAMPIONSHIP C Palace 3-0 Brighton
Jan 2012 CHAMPIONSHIP C Palace 1-1 Brighton
Sep 2011 CHAMPIONSHIP Brighton 1-3 C Palace
Nov 2005 CHAMPIONSHIP Brighton 2-3 C Palace
Oct 2005 CHAMPIONSHIP C Palace 0-1 Brighton
Mar 2003 DIV 1 Brighton 0-0 C Palace

As for tonight’s match we got a taster of what to expect (or rather NOT to expect) in November when the same fixture finished 0-0 in the Premier League.

That said it’s a head to head that usually produces goals, if you exclude the cagey Championship Play Off Final.

There should be a cracking atmosphere in what is pretty much a local derby – unless you are travelling on the Southern rail network 🙁

The team news favours Brighton with Roy Hodgson having plenty of injury worries.

That might tilt the scales in favour of the home win at 8/5 with Star Sports. I’d be VARy happy with that result.

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