“I know Crystal Palace hate Brighton badly – Wilfried Zaha’s reaction taught me that” – midfield star Loftus-Cheek stokes flames ahead of Amex Stadium clash

Ruben Loftus-Cheek knows just how deep Crystal Palace’s rivalry is with Brighton – after Wilfried Zaha marked his hatred for the South Coast outfit off the scale.

The on-loan Chelsea midfielder scored for the Eagles in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Stoke City and the South London club can close the gap on safety by making it back-to-back Premier League victories at the Amex Stadium tonight.

Loftus-Cheek, pictured above, said: “The team have been educating me on the rivalry between Palace and Brighton.

“Wilf and I were at a signing the other day and I asked how much on a scale of 1-10 did he hate Brighton – and he answered 11. That tells you everything you need to know about the rivalry – it hammered home to me that the two clubs don’t like each other.”

Former Crystal Palace striker Glenn Murray faces his old employers on the South Coast – and has vowed not to celebrate if he scores. He hit 31 goals as the Eagles won promotion in 2013 but is now back with Brighton, who he quit on a free transfer to make the switch to Selhurst Park in May 2011.

Murray said: “Through having four or five fantastic years there, I wouldn’t celebrate, no.

“I had some great years at Palace and got supported really well by the fans.”

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