Crystal Palace will be aiming to make it two wins in two games when they lock horns with Southampton at Selhurst Park in the Premier League.
Crystal Palace will have a chance to break into the top half of the 2021/22 Premier League table when they play hosts to a misfiring Southampton side at Selhurst Park on Wednesday night in Matchweek 17.
After a run of three defeats, the Eagles bounced back to winning ways in style this past weekend, as they thrashed Everton 3-1 at home, courtesy of a Conor Gallagher brace and a James Tomkins strike. Patrick Vieira’s side are 13th in the table, with 19 points from 16 games, and a win in the midweek fixture could lift them above tenth-placed Wolves.
Meanwhile, Southampton are not in the best of moments, having gone five games without a win (D2 L3), with their most recent game ending in a 3-0 defeat away from home at Arsenal. As a result, the Saints find themselves just five points clear of the relegation zone in 15th place. With a busy period lying ahead, failure to turn things around could mean Ralph Hasenhuttl & co. get dragged into the battle for survival.
The corresponding fixture last season had ended in a narrow 1-0 win for Crystal Palace, with Wilfried Zaha scoring the only goal of the game. Ahead of their latest meeting on Wednesday night at Selhurst Park, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.
Team News & Tactics
Good news from the boss 🤙#CPFC
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) December 14, 2021
Crystal Palace will be without midfielder James McArthur and defender Nathan Ferguson. But Patrick Vieira has been handed a boost as Joachim Andersen is in contention to feature after recovering from a thigh injury.
The Eagles’ boss is unlikely to make many changes to the side that defeated Everton quite convincingly last time out. There is no looking past Vicente Guaita between the sticks, with the rest of the team lining up in a 4-3-3 formation in front of him.
Despite Andersen’s return, Vieira might opt against rushing him back and stick with the centre-back pairing of James Tomkins and Marc Guehi, who will likely be dealing with a second-string Southampton attack. Joel Ward and Tyrick Mitchell are certain starters out wide in the full-back slots.
Luka Milivojevic has recovered from a knock that kept him out against Everton. However, he is unlikely to start against Southampton. Cheikhou Kouyate will slot in as the No. 6 and look to break down attacks, with support coming from Jeffrey Schlupp, who is likely to replace Will Hughes in the starting XI. The third slot in the middle will undoubtedly be taken up by the in-form Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher.
Odsonne Edouard started at the weekend but is expected to make way for Christian Benteke in the No. 9 slot. Jordan Ayew and Wilfried Zaha will support the Belgian international from the wide areas.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Guaita; Ward, Tomkins, Guehi, Mitchell; Gallagher, Kouyate, Schlupp; Ayew, Benteke, Zaha
Southampton have been hit with a couple of fresh injury issues as Adam Armstrong, and Armando Broja hobbled off with knocks against Arsenal. In addition, youngster Tino Livramento has picked up a niggle and missed training on Monday. Alex McCarthy, Fraser Forster, Stuart Armstrong and Che Adams remain unavailable for selection.
There is some good news for Ralph Hasenhuttl, though, as Oriol Romeu and Mohamed Salisu are back in contention after serving out their respective one-match suspensions. The Austrian tactician will set his team out in a 4-4-2 formation at Selhurst Park with emergency signing Willy Caballero set to start in goal again in the absence of McCarthy and Forster.
Livramento is expected to recover in time for the game, but the youngster could be given a breather here, with Kyle Walker-Peters moving over to the right-back slot while Romain Perraud slots in on the left. The returning Salisu should walk right back into the starting XI, replacing Jan Bednarek as Jack Stephens’ central defensive partner.
Romeu should also be reinstated into the lineup after his return from suspension. The Spaniard will pair up with James Ward-Prowse in the middle of the park, with Ibrahima Diallo set to make way for the ex-Chelsea ace. Out wide, Mohamed Elyounoussi should get an opportunity, with the Norwegian hoping to cause some problems to Tyrick Mitchell on the right side while Nathan Tella should continue on the left.
Up top, with Armstrong, Broja being doubts and Adams unavailable, Shane Long could be in line for a rare start, where he will be partnered by the speedy Nathan Redmond, who will look to exploit the Palace defenders’ lack of pace.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Caballero; Walker-Peters, Stephens, Salisu, Perraud; Elyounoussi, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Tella; Long, Redmond
- Crystal Palace have lost five of their last eight Premier League home matches against Southampton (W3). However, the Eagles did win this fixture 1-0 last season.
- Southampton have conceded a league-high 73 goals in 2021.
- Crystal Palace have only lost one of their eight home Premier League encounters this term (W3 D4). Only Liverpool (none) have lost fewer matches on home soil in the competition this term.
- Southampton have faced defeat in 15 of their last 19 away games in the Premier League(W2 D2). The Saints have shipped in 50 goals and netted just 13 times in these matches.
- Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke has scored six goals in his last nine Premier League appearances against Southampton.
Player to Watch
𝗘𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆. 𝗦𝗶𝗻𝗴𝗹𝗲. 𝗔𝗻𝗴𝗹𝗲.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) December 14, 2021
After enjoying a fine campaign with a limited West Bromwich Albion team last season on loan, Conor Gallagher is showing his true potential in his temporary stint with Crystal Palace. The Chelsea loanee has been directly involved in 41% of the Eagles’ 22 goals in the Premier League this season (six goals, three assists), the highest proportion for any team by an English player in the competition heading into Matchweek 17.
In fact, Gallagher has scored four and assisted two of Palace’s last 11 league goals (55%), including a brace in the 3-1 win over Everton at the weekend. Given the Englishman’s form, Southampton could have problems containing him at Selhurst Park on Wednesday night.
Crystal Palace 2-1 Southampton
Southampton have failed to win in their last five league games ahead of their trip to south London. Even though they remain a positive, attack-minded team, the Saints lack the requisite quality to make the most of their endeavours in the final third. The injuries to Armando Broja and Adam Armstrong are likely to take out even more sting from their attack.
As for Crystal Palace, they have shown a great deal of progress under Patrick Vieira, and even though the results haven’t always gone their way, the performance against Everton showed what they could do once they are fully in tune. And that is why The Hard Tackle is predicting the Eagles to pick up a victory at Selhurst Park on Wednesday.