Premier League Preview – Southampton
It is quite possible that Palace fans have heard this one before but it is a new dawn at Selhurst Park with the return of Roy Hodgson to the club where it all started.
This is the second new dawn in South London in less than twelve months after the appointment of Sam Allardyce in December. Now it is the turn of another former England, and there is no doubting that it is another that has a point to prove after his term in charge of the national team.
The first appointment for Roy Hodgson is the visit of Southampton, under new direction themselves after bringing in former Alaves boss Mauricio Pellegrino.
Whatever forced the hand of the Palace owners, the up and coming fixtures could well have had some influence over their decision as after this match up with the Saints comes two consecutive trips to Manchester followed by a game against Chelsea.
The players will have a point to prove after such a poor start to the season, and there were plenty of signs at Burnley last weekend. That performance, the best of the season so far, came too late to save Frank de Boer but whatever you think of the decision, what matters now is how quickly Hodgson can influence what is an under-performing but talented squad of players.
CRYSTAL PALACE – Pape Souare (leg), Wilfried Zaha (knee), Bakary Sako (calf) and Connor Wickham (knee) miss out while James Tomkins and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (both groin) are slight doubts.
SOUTHAMPTON – Virgil van Dijk (fitness) is the only concern for the visitors.
The last time the two sides met was at St Mary’s back in April where the hosts ran out 3-1 winners. Christian Benteke put the visitors into the lead but Nathan Redmond levelled things up right before the break. The Saints took the lead through Maya Yoshida with just six minutes left to play and James Ward-Prowse made sure of the points just sixty seconds later.
Who Scored man of the match – Nathan Redmond
Last FIVE meetings between the two sides;
- 05/04/2017: Southampton 3-1 Crystal Palace
- 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
Last FIVE results for Palace;
- 10/09/2017: Burnley 1-0 Crystal Palace
- 26/08/2017: Crystal Palace 0-2 Swansea City
- 22/08/2017: Crystal Palace 2-1 Ipswich Town
- 19/08/2017: Liverpool 1-0 Crystal Palace
- 12/08/2017: Crystal Palace 0-3 Huddersfield Town
Last FIVE results for Southampton;
- 09/09/2017: Southampton 0-2 Watford
- 26/08/2017: Huddersfield Town 0-0 Southampton
- 23/08/2017: Southampton 0-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers
- 19/08/2017: Southampton 3-2 West Ham United
- 12/08/2017: Southampton 0-0 Swansea City
FORM PLAYERS (courtesy of Who Scored)
Top two rated players from each team so far this season;
- Oriel Romeu 7.09
- Steven Davis 6.94
- Andros Townsend 6.92
- Scott Dann 6.89
New additions to the Saints squad this summer have been Jan Bednarek (Lech Posnan), Mario Lemina (Juventus) and Wesley Hoedt (Lazio) while the exits included the likes of Cuco Martina (Everton), Martin Caceres (released), Jay Rodriguez (West Brom), Jordy Claise (Club Brugge) and Paulo Gazzaniga (Tottenham).
ONE TO WATCH
Former clubs – Lorient, Marseille, Juventus
The central midfielder began his career in the youth set up at Lorient and made his full debut for the French side in 2012. After just fourteen appearances he signed for Marseille in 2013 where he made 41 appearances before signing for Juventus. Born in Gabon, Lemina made several appearances for the French Under 20 and Under 21 sides but eventually decided to represent the country of his birth and receiving his first full cap in 2015. To date, the 24 year old has made eleven appearances and scored three goals.
Final league position – 13th
Under new stewardship in the shape of Argentine Mauricio Pellegrino, the early signs have been rather more questionable than in previous seasons. This is a Saints side that have performed admirably and perhaps have punched above their weight a little. This season could be one of transition but where their former manager took them to a League Cup final and another good finish in the Premier League, it may just be more of a struggle this time around.
- TEB prediction – draw
- St Mary’s Musings prediction (see link below) – draw
- Who Scored prediction – draw
BETTING ODDS (courtesy of Paddy Power)
- Home 2/1
- Draw 11/5
- Away 6/4
- Both teams to score 5/6