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28 December 2019 Venue St. Mary's Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

Palace Preview: Eagles and Saints face in-form clash for decade’s final match

28 December 2019

Both Crystal Palace and Southampton are ending the decade after a fine run of results, with the pair of in-form teams set to face-off in their final clash of the 2010s.

Palace’s adversaries on the south coast are one of the few sides with a similar points total to be in as strong a vein a form as the Eagles. In their last six matches, the Saints have collected 12 of a possible 18 points, with Palace notching 11 in the same span of time.

Most recently, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men overcame fourth-place Chelsea with an impressive 2-0 victory on Boxing Day. On the same afternoon, of course, the south Londoners fought back to defeat West Ham - and the clubs’ relative form of late sees them sitting just five points apart, Southampton having been stuck in the relegation zone prior to this burst.

Also prior to recent results, Southampton’s home form was a cause for serious concern. But the Saints have picked up double the points from their last three matches at St Mary’s than they managed in the eight before.

Palace will be confident in their abilities to nullify Southampton’s threat, however. Currently enjoying their second-highest points tally for halfway through any Premier League season, the Eagles have enjoyed consistent success this campaign and are unbeaten on the road in their last two meetings with the Saints.

Furthermore, Southampton are without a home league clean sheet in 14 games stretching back to February and are averaging just over two goals per game conceded.

Palace frontman Jordan Ayew, who Roy Hodgson has described as “confident” and “vital”, will therefore be alert for this game. The Ghanaian striker has scored five league goals this season, directly contributing to the collection of nine points. Only two players have ever had more valuable goals in a single Premier League campaign for the Eagles (Andrew Johnson’s 15 in 2004/05 and Christian Benteke’s 12 in 2016/17).

Jordan Ayew Watford.jpg

Did you know?

Southampton haven’t won their last league game in a calendar year since 2010 (4-1 v Huddersfield Town in League One), drawing three and losing five since. Their last such victory as a Premier League side was back in 2002 (2-1 v Sunderland). 

Palace haven’t won their last league game in a calendar year since 2011 (1-0 v Millwall in the Championship), drawing five and losing two since. Their only such victory in the Premier League was in 1992 (1-0 v Middlesbrough).

SEE ALSO: 6 facts you didn't know about Southampton in the Premier League

Team news

The Eagles were dealt another injury blow against West Ham on Boxing Day, with Benteke sidelined for “the next few weeks,” according to Hodgson. Patrick van Aanholt left the pitch injured, though Hodgson could only say the club hopes he isn’t suffering a long-term issue.

Cheikhou Kouyate revealed he has been experiencing some pain in his groin but that he will “keep going.”

These new concerns are in addition to Gary Cahill, Joel Ward, Scott Dann, Jeffrey Schlupp and Andros Townsend’s absence.

Townsend Van Aanholt Schlupp Southampton.jpg

Southampton are relatively fortunate on the injury front after a packed festive schedule, though they are without defender Yan Valery (unwell), midfielder Moussa Djenepo (hamstring) and Shane Long is a potential absentee (knee).

Hasenhüttl has stated that he will not start Michael Obafemi, who netted an incredible goal against Chelsea.

Tactical overview

The Eagles will have to be careful at set pieces, with Southampton scoring 35% of their goals this season from dead balls.

They are strongest along their left side, where Nathan Redmond and Ryan Bertrand tend to push forward from: 41% of attacks and 19% of shots come from this wing compared with 35% and 12% on the right.

In recent weeks, Danny Ings has been the man benefitting from both flanks. The forward has scored seven goals from his last eight appearances and so Palace will be wise to keep an eye on the sharp-shooting frontman, described by Hodgson as a “natural goalscorer.”

Tomkins Ings Southampton.jpg

How to follow

Palace Audio

Palace supporters all over the world can listen to live audio commentary of every Palace fixture in the 2019/20 season for as little as £1 per game on the official club app, mobile internet or on desktop.

Fans can buy a Monthly Pass (which auto-renews) at £4.49 per month or a 24-Hour Pass (for a single matchday) for £1.49, by clicking here

Find out more about Palace Audio here

Social media

You can check out our Instagram story for eye-catching footage of all of the pre-match build-up and our official Twitter page will be bringing you up-to-the-minute match updates, stunning photos and more.

The official app

The official Palace app’s match centre is the place to be for everything you need during the Southampton clash. With live stats and alerts, a running match commentary feed and lineups the moment they’re released as well as all an instant match report and post-match reaction from Palace TV, there’s no need to leave the app to follow the Eagles’ efforts.

Download our app for free here!

International fans

For fans following from abroad, have a look at our Worldwide TV Listings here. And if you're wondering where the nearest official fan club is to you, you can click here to find out.

Did you know you can become an International Member from just £45 and receive benefits such as guaranteed tickets for any home league game and exclusive live Palace TV streams for selected games? You can - by buying here!

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Match Reports

Report: Eagles and Saints locked in tense clash

Southampton 1-1 Crystal Palace

28 December 2019

Crystal Palace battled with a confident Southampton side to fight their way to a draw on the south coast this afternoon in a tense game that saw two teams go toe-to-toe with zeal.

The Eagles had to overcome their injury troubles, an early disallowed goal and the threat of a Saints side enjoying a deeply purple patch to earn a well-deserved point.

Summary

  • Jairo Riedewald and James McCarthy start in place of Patrick van Aanholt and Cheikhou Kouyate
  • Palace open the scoring through Max Meyer, but the effort is ruled out for offside by VAR
  • Southampton’s Jan Bednarek strikes over from very close range on the end of a free-kick
  • Half-time: Southampton 0-0 Palace
  • Palace take the lead in the 50th minute, with James Tomkins heading Luka Milivojevic's free-kick home
  • Southampton find the equaliser via Danny Ings
  • The game ends in a flurry of chances but Palace hold on
  • Full-time: Southampton 1-1 Palace

Playing on the back of a 2-0 victory away to Chelsea, an attacking Southampton side came halfway to performing as expected as the afternoon unfolded at St Mary’s: pressing Palace high and with tenacity but failing to record a single shot on target in the game’s opening half. 

Indeed, Palace would land the ball in the net first, but their apparent goal was as ineffective as the Saints’ early possession.

With the visitors linking-up well along the left-wing, James McArthur threaded Wilfried Zaha into Southampton’s box for the wideman to dazzle his way into space. The Ivorian found Max Meyer close to goal and the German turned home accordingly, however a VAR check adjudged Zaha to have been inches offside.

03 Meyer disallowed Southampton.jpg

The score remained level as the match ticked over the 20-minute mark, then, and Southampton enjoyed their first chance of the half when Nathan Redmond poached the ball from Mamadou Sakho and laid-off Cedric along the wing. The Portugal international delivered a fast, teasing cross into the box but James Tomkins flew acrobatically across the face of goal to head his side to safety.

The Saints’ sudden opportunity sent a clear warning to Palace, who had only avoided slipping under pressure thanks to Tomkins’ diving heroics.

The pressure didn’t relent and the Eagles were able to breathe a sigh of relief when Jan Bednarek - in the opposite box from his usual centre-back duties - blasted over from four yards on the end of a James Ward-Prowse free-kick.

04 Ayew fouled Southampton.jpg

But Palace’s backs were far from the proverbial wall when countering and the combination of Jairo Riedewald and Zaha caused the Saints periodic concerns. Jordan Ayew landed his first chance of the day as he smacked goalbound with the outside of his boot, however the type of shot limited any venom from threatening Alex McCarthy and the former Palace ‘keeper met the ball with time to wrap his gloves around it.

For the Eagles’ other pushes, the home side defended in numbers and, by half-time, the net had only billowed in vain.

Southampton burst out of the blocks from kick-off in the second-half but, in their pursuit of a fast start, the racing Saints stumbled. After Nathan Redmond brought James McArthur to the ground on the edge of the home side’s box, Palace were handed a free-kick in a dangerously close position.

Luka Milivojevic stepped-up and caressed a cross onto the head of Tomkins who, after his dramatic efforts as protector in the first-half, turned provider by cannoning the ball home off the crossbar.

06 Tomkins goal Southampton.jpg

The goal re-shaped the match, with Southampton more conscious than ever of their need to pin the Eagles back. But Palace’s defensive solidity under Roy Hodgson shone through, and the visiting south Londoners were not forced to deal with any major threats for almost 25 minutes.

Eventually, however, Vicente Guaita found himself watching on as the Saints pulled level through Danny Ings, who netted his eighth goal in nine games after intercepting a Martin Kelly pass across the pitch to Tomkins.

The Saints were lifted by their equaliser and energised in their hunt for a second goal. So when substitute Moussa Djenepo skipped his way to the centre of the penalty area and unleashed a fierce shot, perhaps some fans thought they had done so. They may well have, had it not been for Guaita’s astonishing reflexes to tip the effort high with the edge of his gloved fingers.

09 Guaita Ings Kelly.jpg

The adrenaline coursing through the Spaniard's veins from his superhuman save came to the fore moments later as he produced another sublime reaction stop - this time denying Ings with a wrist as strong as his arm was fast.

For the third time in as many minutes, Guaita was called into action with a smart punching block to keep Ward-Prowse from converting a bending free-kick.

The Saints were laying siege to the Palace goalmouth, and yet the score remained level with the Eagles nullifying chance after chance in an embattled penalty area.

At the other end of the pitch, Tomkins almost recreated his opening goal, but his header from close range thudded off the turf and into McCarthy's hands.

A goal at either end of St Mary's would have seemed a cruel conclusion and, on Andy Madley's shrill final whistle, the score remained level as each team ended the decade a point better off.

Southampton: McCarthy, Cedric, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand, Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg, Boufal (Armstrong 68), Redmond, Adams (Djenepo 64), Ings.

Subs not used: Gunn, Yoshida, Vestergaard, Romeu, Smallbone. 

Palace: Guaita, Kelly, Tomkins, Sakho, Riedewald, McArthur, Milivojevic, McCarthy, Meyer (Kouyate 82), Ayew, Zaha.

Subs not used: Hennessey, Woods, Daly, Camarasa, Pierrick, Wickham.

Full post-match reaction, the two managers' press conferences and highlights will be available to watch on Palace TV. Watch it all either by clicking here or 'Palace TV' in the official app.

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Ticket News

TICKETS: Southampton away now sold out

5 December 2019

Tickets for Crystal Palace's clash against Southampton at St Mary's Stadium on 28th December (kick-off 3pm GMT) are now sold out.

The club will be operating a waiting list which can be joined here.

If you've missed a place at St Mary's, we've got tickets remaining for other fixtures both home and away. You can view them here!

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