Premier League Preview – Southampton
A real turn around of fortunes sees the Eagles on a four game winning streak after springing the biggest surprise of all by defeating the Premier League leaders Chelsea.
There can be no room for complacency however as Palace still sit just four points above the relegation zone after a late winner for Hull City against West Ham United keeps them in with a fighting chance.
Next up, it is a trip to take on Southampton, a side that we have all become familiar with over the last few seasons. You could say we are sick of the sight of each other having faced them in cup competitions along with the scheduled league fixtures.
The League Cup runners up will be looking to build on their tenth place position but with significant players missing through injury. There could be an opportunity for Palace to continue their unbeaten run but a growing injury list is likely to hinder that chance.
TEAM NEWS (courtesy of Physio Room)
CRYSTAL PALACE – Scott Dann (knee), James Tomkins (calf), Frazier Campbell (muscle), James McArthur (back), Patrick van Aanholt (ankle) and Mathieu Flamini (muscle) are all doubts. Connor Wickham (knee), Steve Mandanda (knee), Jonathan Benteke (knee) and Pape Souare (leg) all continue to miss out.
SOUTHAMPTON – Sofiane Boufal (knock) and Manolo Gabbiadini (groin) are both doubts while Virgil van Dijk (foot), Charlie Austin (shoulder), Alex McCarthy (hamstring), Matt Targett (hamstring) and Jeremy Pied (knee) all miss out.
The two sides last met back in December when Palace were on what at the time was a familiar run of poor form. There was help however, in the form of Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster who made a huge mistake to hand Christian Benteke a simple tap in to put the Eagles a goal up. They doubled their lead minutes later after poor marking allowed James Tomkins to score and Benteke scored his second late in the second half to seal the win for the hosts.
Who Scored man of the match – Christian Benteke
Last FIVE meetings between the two sides;
- 03/12/2016 Crystal Palace 3-0 Southampton
- 21/09/2016 Southampton 2-0 Crystal Palace
- 15/05/2016 Southampton 4-1 Crystal Palace
- 09/01/2016 Southampton 1-2 Crystal Palace
- 12/12/2015 Crystal Palace 1-0 Southampton
- 03/03/2015 Southampton 1-0 Crystal Palace
Last FIVE results for Palace;
- 01/04/2017 Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace
- 18/03/2017 Crystal Palace 1-0 Watford
- 04/03/2017 West Bromwich Albion 0-2 Crystal Palace
- 25/02/2017 Crystal Palace 1-0 Middlesbrough
- 11/02/2017 Stoke City 1-0 Crystal Palace
Last FIVE results for Southampton;
- 01/04/2017 Southampton 0-0 Bournemouth
- 19/03/2017 Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Southampton
- 04/03/2017 Watford 3-4 Southampton
- 26/02/2017 Manchester United 3-2 Southampton
- 11/02/2017 Sunderland 0-4 Southampton
FORM PLAYERS (courtesy of Who Scored)
Top two rated players from each team so far this season;
- Wilfried Zaha 7.50
- Virgil van Dijk 7.42
- Christian Benteke 7.32
- Oriol Romeu 7.07
ONE TO WATCH
Former clubs – Ulldecona (youth), Espanyol (youth), Barcelona, Chelsea, Valencia (loan), VfB Stuttgart (loan)
The 25 year old began his career in 1996 when he joined the youth set up at the club in the town of his birth. He made his professional debut for Barcelona B in 2008 making 45 appearances in total but only managed one for the first team. The Spaniard joined Chelsea in 2011 for five million Euros and signed a four year contract. While at Stamford Bridge, Romeu struggled to hold down a first team place and spent time on loan in La Liga and the Bundesliga, the latter at Stuttgart being a successful stint which alerted Southampton. The South Coast club shelled out £5million for the defensive midfielder in 2015 who signed a three year deal. Romeu has represented Spain several times at under 17, 19, 20, 21 and 23 level since his debut in 2007.
Final league position – 9th
Cup commitments for the Saints this season has taken focus off their league form and it is difficult to see them catching West Bromwich Albion who currently sit in 8th place. However, there is no reason why the South Coast club cannot finish immediately behind them. The only thing that could prevent them from doing so could be injuries to key players. Considering their cup exploits, a top ten finish can be considered a good season in boss Claude Puel’s debut year in charge.
- TEB prediction – away win
- St Mary’s Musings prediction (see link below) – away win
- Who Scored prediction – draw
BETTING ODDS (courtesy of Paddy Power)
- Home – 4/5
- Draw – 11/4
- Away – 10/3
- Both teams to score – 5/6