Crystal Palace hand Joe Whitworth shock debut for vital Brighton clash after Vincente Guaita injury

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Crystal Palace have handed 19-year-old academy goalkeeper Joe Whitworth his debut with no senior option available.

Patrick Vieira has been forced into the shock selection ahead of a crucial trip to Brighton after first-choice goalkeeper Vincente Guaita withdrew through a hamstring injury.

Sam Johnstone, Palace’s no2, remains on the sidelines with a calf problem.

Whitworth, an Eagles supporter, gets his dream debut in a match of huge importance away at arch-rivals Brighton.

Palace are just three points above the relegation zone having gone 11 games without a win, a run extending throughout the entirety of 2023 so far.

Whitworth is selected ahead of Owen Goodman and becomes the first academy goalkeeper to make his professional debut for his boyhood club in over 40 years.

He is selected after Jack Butland was allowed to join Manchester United on loan in January, with fourth-choice option Remi Matthews also joining Scottish side St Johnstone in July.