Get set for Southampton's big Premier League clash at home to Crystal Palace by checking out our match preview...
Southampton vs Crystal Palace
Tuesday 2nd January, 7.45pm GMT
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
It’s a big game for both sides, who are uncomfortably close to the Premier League’s bottom three and in need of points to edge clear of trouble.
Saints start the game in the slightly happier position, one point above their opponents, but each will come into the game with a sense of confidence.
While Southampton turned in an impressive display at Old Trafford to earn a point at Manchester United on Saturday, Palace came close to beating leaders Manchester City at home on New Year’s Eve, eventually settling for a 0-0 draw of their own.
Southampton: Right-back Cédric (ankle) and striker Charlie Austin (hamstring) remain sidelined, but Mauricio Pellegrino is hopeful that left-back Ryan Bertrand (hamstring) will be fit to return for the first time since the trip to Chelsea in mid-December.
Crystal Palace: Manager Roy Hodgson is set to be without defender Scott Dann and former Saints midfielder Jason Puncheon, who were both injured in the draw with Manchester City. The Palace boss is also without defenders Mamadou Sakho and Joel Ward, who both remain sidelined.
Southampton’s previous five:
Manchester United (a) D 0-0
Tottenham (a) L 2-5
Huddersfield (h) D 1-1
Chelsea (a) L 0-1
Leicester (h) L 1-4
Crystal Palace’s previous five:
Manchester City (h) D 0-0
Arsenal (h) L 2-3
Swansea (a) D 1-1
Leicester (a) W 3-0
Watford (h) W 2-1
Dušan Tadić remains one of Saints’ most creative threats, with his recent goal at Spurs taking his tally to three, alongside two assists. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg’s output in the centre of midfield has also been impressive recently – he had more touches, tackles and times gained possession than any Saints or United player at Old Trafford, while he was also the most accurate passer of either side and had more touches than any of his teammates.
Top scorers: Charlie Austin (6), Steven Davis (3), Manolo Gabbiadini (3), Dušan Tadić (3)
Most assists: Nathan Redmond (3), Ryan Bertrand (3), Dušan Tadić (2)
Palace have become much more of a threat going forward under Hodgson, especially in recent weeks. Bakery Sako is their top scorer, but there is also plenty of danger elsewhere, and much of the Eagles’ creative work often flows through the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend.
Top scorers: Bakary Sako (5), Wilfried Zaha (4), Luka Milivojević (4), James McArthur (4)
Most assists: Andros Townsend (4), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (3)
Crystal Palace: 27
Previous four meetings:
September 2017: Crystal Palace 0-1 Southampton (Davis)
April 2017: Southampton 3-1 Crystal Palace (Redmond, Yoshida, Ward-Prowse)
December 2016: Crystal Palace 3-0 Southampton
September 2016: Southampton 2-0 Crystal Palace (Austin, Hesketh) (League Cup)
DID YOU KNOW?
– Southampton have won seven and lost none of their eight Premier League home meetings with Crystal Palace, scoring 17 goals and conceding just five.
– Since their return to the Premier League in 2012-13, Saints have won more league games against Crystal Palace than they have vs any other side (7/9).
NOT AT THE GAME?
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