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Crystal Palace and Southampton clash as two sides in transition search for points
Crystal Palace to win 1-0
Tournament: Premier League 2022-2023 | Venue: Selhurst,London, Selhurst ParkBet Now
There are many similarities between Crystal Palace and Southampton these days. Not so much in terms of playing style, but in the sense that they have young squads with developing players.
Young players always take time to settle into the ways of the manager, as well as improve their individual games. Patrick Vieira’s Palace is a prime example of a team that is in transition.
While Palace have some excellent players, there is still a question mark surrounding the inconsistency of the team from one game to the next.
Southampton have similar concerns. They appear able to beat any of the big teams in the league on a given week, before losing to teams lower than them in the table the next.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has often been close to the sack, or so the rumours suggest, but can motivate his team to pull out a big result when needed.
Reasons to be cheerful:
Beat Southampton 2-1 in April
Often a far better side at home
Reasons to be fearful:
Have never won consecutive games against Saints
3-0 thrashing by Everton was a disappointing performance
Crystal Palace are one of those teams that are so much better at home than they are on their travels.
All of their three victories have come at Selhurst Park this season and they would be two places higher up the league table if only home form counted.
Of course, it doesn’t and Patrick Vieira must find a way of playing better away from home. The 3-0 defeat by Everton showed similar weaknesses in a team that is desperate to improve from season to season.
They are a club that seems to finish in those 12th-14th spots year after year, regardless of who the manager is. If Vieira is the one to finally push them higher, consistency is the main aspect he needs to improve.
Against Southampton, Palace have a good record at home in recent years. They won this fixture 2-1 in April and have not been beaten in their last two meetings at home.
Three points could shoot them up into the top half.
Star Man – Wilf Zaha
Palace’s main man scored both home and away against Southampton last season. He has five in 10 so far this campaign.
Reasons to be cheerful
Are on a three-game unbeaten run in the league
Romeo Lavia could return against Palace
Reasons to be fearful
Lost their last two against the Eagles
Can they cope with Palace’s attack at Selhurst Park?
The Saints are another funny side from week to week, sometimes from half to half.
Against Arsenal, where they claimed an excellent point, they showed grit and determination to come back in the second half and score the equaliser.
However, given how poorly they played in the first half, Arsenal should have been out of sight after 45 minutes. The Saints cannot put together a complete 90-minute performance right now.
Here, Romeo Lavia, the talented young midfielder signed from Manchester City in the summer, should be fit enough to return from injury. He will be key in breaking up Palace’s counterattacks in midfield.
Historically, the Saints have enjoyed this fixture. They have scored 40 goals in 26 games, their second highest goals-per-game ratio after Newcastle.
Star Man – Che Adams
The Scot has one goal and one assist from his previous five appearances against Crystal Palace. He’ll be hoping to use his pace and strength to add to that here.
Both teams will give it a go
Could be interesting if Saints score first
Can Zaha keep up his goalscoring run?
It is difficult to know what to expect from this one, especially across the full 90 minutes.
We know that Crystal Palace are a much better proposition at home, but then we’ve also seen Southampton pick up the majority of their points on their travels.
It could make for an exciting game, but one that is perhaps a little short on quality in the final third.
Crystal Palace are often imposing and dangerous at home, so they are slight favourites here.
Crystal Palace to win 1-0
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