Premier League Preview – Southampton
We kick off the New Year by renewing our rivalry with Southampton for a trip to the South Coast, a fixture that has been all too common since the Eagles returned to the top division of English football.
The hosts have been in poor form and enter this fixture off the back of a spirited goalless draw at Old Trafford at the weekend which was a great response to the hefty loss at Wembley against Spurs.
There seems to be some unrest at St Mary’s at the moment with a fair percentage of Saints fans urging the club to get rid of Mauricio Pellegrino. It was not that long ago that Palace were rumoured to be interested in the Argentine until Southampton made the change by sacking Claude Puel and appointing the former Alaves manager.
As for Palace, it is now one loss in ten games which is a terrific return following the horrific start to the season. The appointment of Roy Hodgson has worked wonders and overseen a super run of form. The Eagles impressively held Manchester City on New Years’ Eve when many suggested they would be on the end of a good beating. It was a result that prevented City from levelling the record number of wins.
It was an even more impressive point considering Hodgson’s decision to bring in some fresh faces to the starting line up. Timothy Fosu-Mensah returned from injury to put in a man of the match showing while Jairo Riedewald proved he is more than capable of holding down a starting spot. Patrick van Aanholt highlighted the competition for places is fierce while Martin Kelly stepped into the injured Scot Dann’s boots.
Regardless, reinforcements are required so it will be interesting to see where Roy focuses his attentions over the course of the next few weeks. Let’s hope the business is not left as late as the last transfer window.
TEAM NEWS (courtesy of Physio Room)
CRYSTAL PALACE – Scott Dann (knee) looks to be a long term absentee while Connor Wickham (knee) and Mamadou Sakho (calf) will also miss out. Jason Puncheon (knock) and Joel Ward (groin) are both major doubts while Ruben Loftus-Cheek (knock) and James McArthur (knock) will face late fitness tests.
SOUTHAMPTON – Neither Charlie Austin (hamstring) or Cedric Souares (ankle) will feature while Ryan Bertrand (hamstring) faces a late fitness test.
The last time the Eagles travelled to St Marys it ended in defeat even though Christian Benteke gave the South Londoners the lead just after the half hour. The hosts equalised at the worst time, right before the break courtesy of Nathan Redmond. When it looked like the game was heading for a draw, Maya Yoshida gave the Saints the lead with just six minutes left to play and James Ward-Prowse sealed the points less than a minute later.
Who Scored man of the match – Nathan Redmond (8.7)
Last FIVE meetings between the two sides;
- 16/09/2017 Crystal Palace 0-1 Southampton
- 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
Last FIVE results for Palace;
- 31/12/2017 Crystal Palace 0-0 Manchester City
- 28/12/2017 Crystal Palace 2-3 Arsenal
- 23/12/2017 Swansea City 1-1 Crystal Palace
- 16/12/2017 Leicester City 0-3 Crystal Palace
- 12/12/2017 Crystal Palace 2-1 Watford
Last FIVE results for Southampton;
- 30/12/2017 Manchester United 0-0 Southampton
- 26/12/2017 Tottenham Hotspur 5-2 Southampton
- 23/12/2017 Southampton 1-1 Huddersfield Town
- 16/12/2017 Chelsea 1-0 Southampton
- 13/12/2017 Southampton 1-4 Leicester City
FORM PLAYERS (courtesy of Who Scored)
Top two rated players from each team so far this season;
- Wilfried Zaha 7.28
- James Tomkins 7.20
- Mario Lemina/Maya Yoshida 6.98
ONE TO WATCH
Former clubs – Nagoya Grampus, VVV Venlo
The 29 year old centre back began his career at Nagoya Grampus after joining their youth academy in 2001. It was not until 2007 did he made his professional debut and went on to make a total of 71 appearances and scoring 5 goals for the then J1 League club. Yoshida moved to the Netherlands in 2010 and signed for VVV Venlo where he made 54 appearances and scored 5 goals. The Saints moved in for the Japanese defender in 2012 and signed him for a fee believed to be in the region of £3million. To date, he has made over 100 appearances for the club and scored 6 goals.
Born in Nagasaki, the six foot two inch international made his debut for Japan in 2010 after a number of appearances at under 23 level. He has so far played 75 times for his country and scored 10 goals. He was also a member of the Japan team that took part in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Final league position – 15th
The fans down on the South Coast have not been used to struggles in recent years but this season may be just that. Following the sacking of Puel, his successor has struggled to find the consistent form that saw the club reach the League Cup Final and finish tenth in the Premier League last season. The draw at Old Trafford may well have bought Pellegrino a couple more games but it is difficult to see him last the season even if he is given the proceeds of the Virgil van Dijk sale to spend this month.
- TEB prediction – draw
- St Marys Musings prediction (see link below) – draw
- Who Scored prediction – draw
BETTING ODDS (courtesy of Paddy Power)
- Home – 19/20
- Draw – 5/2
- Away – 3/1
- Both teams to score – 8/11
Find our what Allen Gunn from St Marys Musings told TEB this week in The Saints View