Southampton vs Crystal Palace preview: resurgent Eagles take on Saints

Crystal Palace travel to Southampton on Wednesday night hoping to extend their winning run to five matches.

The Eagles edged further away from the relegation zone on Saturday thanks to a magnificent 2-1 victory at Chelsea and now travel to the south coast in good form.

The Saints have failed to win since their 4-3 victory at Watford in early March, suffering a 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur and drawing 0-0 with rivals Bournemouth since.

This season

Claude Puel’s Southampton side are currently 13th in the Premier League, three points ahead of Wednesday’s opponents having played a game less. A fine run in the EFL Cup has been the highlight of their season, although a dramatic 3-2 defeat to Manchester United in the final left a sour taste, particularly when they had a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside. The ‘scorer’, Manolo Gabbiadini, has been in fine form since joining from Napoli in January, scoring six goals in five appearances in all competitions. However, the Italian forward is a doubt for the game due to a groin strain suffered in the defeat to Spurs.

Palace’s poor form from last season continued under Alan Pardew at the start of the current campaign and the Englishman was inevitably sacked in December. former England manager Sam Allardyce replaced Pardew and suffered a bad start, compounded by a humiliating 4-0 defeat to former club, Sunderland. The defeat left Palace joint bottom with the Black Cats and, at the time, relegation to the Sky Bet Championship appeared inevitable. However, some shrewd January spending and the recent good form has rejuvenated the squad, who now look far from the disjointed, disorganised side that lost so embarrassingly to the Wearside club.

The Eagles ended a seven-game run without a win by beating Southampton 3-0 in December. Although Puel’s side knocked Palace out of the EFL Cup in September.

Team news

Virgil van Dijk remains absent for the Saints with an ankle problem and Gabbiadini is a doubt for the game.

The Eagles' defence has conceded just one goal in five games – largely thanks to the signing of Mamdou Sakho - but a reshuffle at centre back is expected due to injuries suffered by Scott Dann (knee) and James Tomkins (calf). Damien Delaney is expected to partner Sakho, although Martin Kelly is another option for Allardyce. Patrick van Aanholt will also miss the game which means Jeffrey Schlupp will continue at left back.