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Match Previews

Preview: Crystal Palace v Southampton

15 September 2017

Roy Hodgson takes his place in the Crystal Palace dugout for the first time as he aims to turn around the Eagles’ poor start to the campaign, that sees them as the only club in all four divisions not have scored a league goal since the season started.

Roy Hodgson

Last weekend’s defeat to Burnley brought about Frank de Boer’s departure and the Palace board turned to the 70-year-old, who will become only the third octogenarian to manage in the Premier League, following in the footsteps of Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Robson.

It will also be the former England boss’ first game in the top-flight since he took charge of West Bromwich Albion’s 3-2 defeat to Arsenal in May 2012.

Ticket News

Tickets: Southampton Home Match

14 September 2017

Goal-shy Saints

Hodgson comes up against a Southampton side who are searching for their first win in three matches, having tasted defeat last weekend against Watford.

Goals have proven to be an issue for new boss Mauricio Pellegrino who has only seen the Saints net in their only victory of the season to date – a 3-2 win against West Ham United which was clinched thanks to a last-minute Charlie Austin penalty.

Goalless draws against Swansea City and Huddersfield Town have also been claimed, but last season’s finalists were dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Wolves last month.

View from the opposition

Mauricio Pellegrino: "I see the next game as an opportunity to improve and to convert more chances and create more. This is a process. It’s sometimes about the point of view of the manager, sometimes it’s about them as players.

"Obviously I will try to change something to be better, but it’s about everybody, not just the strikers. Sometimes it’s about our bad position on the pitch, sometimes it’s about too much anxiety to go forward. Sometimes we have to be more patient, sometimes we have to be quicker and sometimes we have to try more.

"But to score a goal is the most difficult thing in modern football. That is why people who score goals are worth £100m, £200m. Their value is really, really high."

Team news

Palace will hope to have Ruben Loftus-Cheek back after he narrowly missed out on being fit enough to play against Burnley last weekend, while James Tomkins could also return after tweaking his groin against Swansea City.

Mamadou Sakho came through 45 minutes in a development game against Sheffield Wednesday on Monday but is unlikely to be included, but Pape Souare played the full match as he edges closer to full fitness. Wilfried Zaha and Connor Wickham remain out with knee injuries.

Southampton have a virtually clean bill of health, with only wantaway defender Virgil van Dijk possibly a doubt as he is not match fit despite featuring in an under-23 game in midweek, but Pierre-Emile Højbjerg is unavailable after the birth of his daughter.

Matchday officials

Bobby Madley takes charge of the Eagles for the 10th time in his career, during which time Palace have won just two times. He appeared at Selhurst Park three times last season, overseeing the 1-0 win against Middlesbrough as well as defeats to Manchester City and Burnley.

Referee: Robert Madley
Assistants: Lee Betts and Marc Perry
Fourth Official: Graham Scott

Pre-match stats

Should he play for Palace, then James McArthur will be making his 100th appearance for the Eagles since signing back in September 2014.

Christian Benteke has scored five goals in his last five Premier League matches against Southampton, including three in two for Palace.

Southampton have failed to score in nine of their last 12 Premier League matches, including three of their four games so far in 2017/18.

Southampton have lost just two of their 16 Premier League matches against Palace, (W10 D4), although both defeats have come in the last four meetings (both at Selhurst Park).

There hasn’t been a draw between the sides in any of the last 16 clashes (six wins for Palace, 10 wins for Southampton).

Should Palace lose and fail to score in this game, they’ll be the first top-flight side in history to open a season with five defeats and no goals.

Crystal Palace’s xG (expected goals) figure in the Premier League this season is 4.73 – suggesting that an average team would have scored five goals from the chances they’ve had. This xG tally is higher than Chelsea’s (4.08), who have scored eight goals.

No Southampton player has scored more goals for the club in the league since the start of 2016/17 than Charlie Austin (seven – level with Nathan Redmond), despite the striker only playing 989 minutes in this period (a goal every 141 mins on average).

Head-to-Head

  Palace wins Draws Southampton wins
League 19 14 35
FA Cup 5 1 2
League Cup 3 1 3
Total 27 16 40

Ticket Information

Tickets are still on sale. Category A prices apply, with all paid members and season ticket holders being able to book up to two tickets each.

Book online

Other matchday information

Fresh from completing the 3 Tours Challenge, Palace legend Geoff Thomas and his bike will be in attendance at Saturday at Selhurst Park.

Geoff and his teammates will be introduced on the pitch during half-time of Saturday’s match against Southampton and earlier in the Fanzone from 11.30am.

Find out more information about Geoff's challenge.

Thomas will be appearing on the front cover of the matchday programme, where there is also an in-depth interview with McArthur on what could be a milestone afternoon for the Scottish midfielder. Read what else is included.

Meanwhile, England women's cricket captain Heather Knight will also be in the Selhurst Park fanzone with the Cricket World Cup trophy.

Live coverage

If you can’t make it to Selhurst Park for the game, there will be live commentary on Palace Player, updates on Twitter, with highlights available on Palace TV from midnight on Saturday.


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