Southampton vs Crystal Palace Preview: A resurgent Saints side welcome Palace to St Mary's

Ralph Hasenhuttl has proven to be breath of fresh air down on the South Coast since his arrival last month, and has given the Southampton faithful plenty of reason to believe they will be playing Premier League football for at least one more season.

The Saints are now unbeaten in three top-flight matches, and have won four out of eight since the Austrian took over, an emphatic improvement on their earlier form which only saw them win just once in 15 attempts; their only win coming against Crystal Palace last September.

Despite losing their previous two in the league, Roy Hodgson will be hoping his players can retain momentum after knocking Tottenham Hotspur out of the FA Cup last weekend.

Palace's away record has somewhat been crucial for them so far this term, as four of their six wins have come outside of South London. With impressive wins at The Etihad and Molineux in the last couple of months, not to mention putting three past Liverpool at Anfield, playing away will be no disadvantage for Palace.

What happened last time the two sides met?

Southampton travelled back to St Mary's with their first three points of the season when they ran out comfortable 2-0 winners at Selhurst Park last September.

The Saints condemned Palace to their third straight defeat thanks to goals from Danny Ings and Pierre Hojbjerg, yet Charlie Austin could have also got on the score sheet only for Wayne Hennessey to deny him from 12 yards.

Palace were not without their chances however, James McArthur came closing to equalising at 1-0 when his effort crashed against the bar, then Alex McCarthy pulled off a great save to deny Christian Benteke in added time, moments before Hojbjerg killed off the contest.

Team news 

Roy Hodgson will have some decisions to make going into this one, as Vincente Guaita and Wayne Hennessey return from injuries, which means alongside Julian Speroni, all three keepers are available.

Hodgson told the club website: "The good thing is that the two that have been missing from the last two games, due to injury, are both available for selection alongside Julian Speroni. So all three senior goalkeepers at the club are fit and able to be selected and will want to be selected."

The goalkeeping situation mirrors Hodgosn's dilemma up top as Connor Wickham, Jordan Ayew and Christian Benteke are once again all available, with the resigning of Bakary Sako adding another option for the Eagles.

Hasenhuttl has confirmed that Ryan Bertrand is getting closer to recovery but will still not be available for the clash with Palace, yet fellow full-back, Matt Targett could return.

Hasenhuttl told the club website: "Matt Targett’s knee injury wasn’t as bad as we first feared in the beginning so he has been training since Saturday so has a good chance to play this week"

There are also doubts about the fitness of Mario Lemina (illness), Kayne Ramsay (illness), and Charlie Austin (ankle).

Predicted Line-ups 

Southampton: McCarthy; Bednarek, Stephens, Vestergaard; Valery, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Hojbjerg, Soares; Redmond, Ings.

Crystal Palace;  Guaita; Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt; Kouyate, Milivojevic, Meyer; Townsend, Benteke, Zaha.