Luka Milivojevic may have only been at Palace since the beginning of this year but the importance of tonight’s match down on the south coast against Brighton is certainly not lost on the midfielder.
“We are ready for probably our most important game in the league, because they are our big rival. When I arrived I didn’t know this was such a big game but some of my team mates have explained and I have also received some messages from Palace fans on social media so I now realise how important the game is for our club.
“A derby game is always that little bit different with that extra edge between the two sides but obviously I hope we go and do well in this one."
The 26 year old has experience of derby days after being involved in the Olympiakos-Panathinaikos fixtures in Greece and in his home country, the Red Star-Partizan Belgrade meetings. He feels that you know what to expect from these encounters but admits it doesn’t always produce the best games of football
“I have played many derby games and probably only one of those you would look back on and say it was a good game of football. These type of games are usually about more passion and fight than pure football being played but in this country it is probably not quite so physical than I have been used to because the referees have more of a control of the game.
“Fans live for these kind of games and really they don’t care how we are going to play as the most important thing for them is to leave the game having taken some points, they want us to show the passion and play for our badge in the right way."
This match may have been built up as it has got closer due to the rivalry since the mid-70s but as the side approach the first top flight meeting between the two clubs since 1981 Roy Hodgson has been keen to emphasise on the squad that it forms only one part of an important week for his group of players.
“Before the Stoke game he spoke about how important this whole week is with the game tonight followed by the match at West Bromwich Albion. There has not been a lot of time between the win on Saturday and tonight but we have to be ready and we will give our best to make the fans happy with the right result against Brighton," said Milivojevic as he turned his thoughts to the second of the three big games.