Crystal Palace vs Southampton: Match preview and predicted line-ups

Alan Pardew is under an increasing amount of pressure as Crystal Palace manager and needs a positive result this weekend to halt the slide. They will be going up against one of his former clubs in Southampton and the home side and it will be a tricky game as the visitors are coming into the match after qualifying for the semi-finals of the EFL Cup. The away side will enter the game as favourites and if they play as well as they did against Arsenal on Wednesday, they should have enough to take the three points.

Palace are currently just one place above the relegation zone and the blame has been attributed to the manager, who has shown in the past that he struggles to arrest the slide. The same problems that he encountered at Newcastle are rearing their head at Selhurst Park, which suggests that it is a fault of Pardew’s rather than the players. Their problems have been at the back, as they have scored 21 goals this season. This is the fifth best in the Premier League. There is a base of a good team, but they need to improve at the back sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile, Southampton have positioned themselves in the top half and have recovered well from yet another summer of upheaval. Claude Puel hasn’t received the credit that he deserves for the job that he has done at St Mary’s since taking over from Ronald Koeman. They are now in the top ten of the Premier League, in the semi-finals of the EFL Cup and have a good opportunity to qualify for the next round of the Europa League. A win on Saturday will provide them with momentum to have a good Christmas period.

Recent form

After a period of ten points from four matches, Crystal Palace have declined once again and have lost their last six league matches. Last weekend, they were involved in one of the most extraordinary matches in Premier League history. They came back from 3-1 down to lead 4-3 against Swansea, before losing in the final minutes. It was a disastrous defeat and they can’t afford another loss this weekend or they could drop into the bottom three.

STEVEN GERRARD TO ASTON VILLA IS WRONG.

 

Southampton have been impressive since the return of the Premier League, taking four points from Liverpool and Everton in their last two matches. They haven’t conceded a goal in their last two matches, which doesn’t bode well for Crystal Palace. That said, Southampton have only scored 13 goals from 13 matches, a stat they will need to improve if they want to push for a top ten finish once again.

Predicted line-ups

Joe Ledley should return to the starting eleven in place of the suspended Yohan Cabaye. I would also expect Pardew to revert back to a 4-2-3-1 after the injury to Connor Wickham. That could mean a recall for Andros Townsend, who hasn’t settled in as well as he would have liked after joining in the summer.

Josh Sims is expected to keep his place in the starting eleven after such an impressive debut last weekend. I wouldn’t expect any changes to the side that beat Everton as it was such a good performance.

Crystal Palace                                              Southampton

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Injuries/suspensions

Steve Mandanda and Loic Remy are not available for this match, but they should return this month. Pape Souare, Connor Wickham and Jonathan Benteke are also on the injury list. Yohan Cabaye will be missing through suspension.

 

Dusan Tadic and Florin Gardos are facing a battle to return for this weekend. Jeremy Pied, Matt Targett and Alex McCarthy won’t be involved due to long term injury concerns.

Verdict

It is a huge game for Alan Pardew and his side must win ahead of the busy festive period. The supporters will be behind them and the players need to use that energy positively to spur them on. It will be a big ask for them to beat a very good Southampton side and I don’t think they will. I fancy an away victory in this match and surely that will spell the end for Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace.

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