Dale Stephens has been hailed for his Premier League consistency as he tries to strike again against Crystal Palace.

The midfielder returned from three matches out with a hamstring injury in the 1-1 home draw with Huddersfield.

Stephens, on target in the FA Cup win against Palace at the Amex earlier in the season, will be a key figure for Chris Hughton’s side at Selhurst Park tomorrow with partner Davy Propper suspended due to his red card against Huddersfield.

Team-mate Pascal Gross has been impressed throughout the season by the role of Stephens in the bid to stay up.

The German told The Argus: “I think he is a very important player for Brighton, because he is very good with the ball and also without the ball tactically.

“His passing is unbelievable and he is a very good player between the defence and the offence, to always have an option.

“He is comfortable with the ball and keeping possession. All in all he is a very good player for us.”

Stephens had been ever-present until recently. Albion are unbeaten in their last three away games with him in the side.

Gross said: “He is a really, really good midfielder in the Premier League. He can show it every week or, if necessary, every three days.

“He can be ready to play 90 minutes of Premier League football and he is consistent, always shows his quality. There are no games where you say he was not good. He is always on a high level.”

Stephens will be up against Palace’s Luka Milivojevic, their first midfielder to score ten goals in a Premier League season.