Crystal Palace has a chance of breaking into the top half in the 2021/22 Premier League season by hosting a Southampton side at Selhurst Park on Wednesday night, Week 17.
News and tactics
Crystal Palace will be without Nathan Ferguson and James McArthur, a midfielder. Joachim Anderson, who is currently recovering from a thigh infection, has given Patrick Vieira a boost.
The Eagles boss will not make any changes to the team that beat Everton so convincingly last year. Vicente Guaita, the main man of the team is lined up in a 4-3-2-3 formation with the rest of his team.
Vieira may decide not to rush Andersen back, and instead stick with the center-back pairing of James Tomkins, Mark Gay, and Mark Gay. This may allow Vieira to deal with Southampton’s second attack line. Joel Ward and Tyreke Mitchel are confirmed starters at fullback.
Luka Milivojevic is now fully recovered from the blow he suffered against Everton. It is unlikely that he will be starting against Southampton. Cheikhou Kouyate, who will try to break up attacks and be subbed in at number six, will be supported by Jeffrey Schlupp. Jeffrey Schlupp could also replace Will Hughes in the initial line-up. The in-form Chelsea loanee Connor Gallagher will be in third place in the middle.
Odsonne Edouard was the first to play in the weekend’s match, but Christian Benteke will likely take over at the number nine spot. The Belgian international will be supported by Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew.
Line-ups possible (4-3-3). Guaita; Ward, Tomkins, Gueye, Mitchell; Gallagher, Kouyate, Schlupp; Ayew, Benteke, Zaha
Southampton was hit with new injuries with Armando Broya and Adam Armstrong both suffering from bruises. Tino Livramento, a junior, was also unwell and missed Monday training. Alex McCarthy, Fraser Forster, and Stuart Armstrong, as well as Che Adams, are still unavailable for selection.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has some good news. Oriol Romeu (and Mohamed Salisu) are both back in the match after their respective one-match suspensions. In the absence of Foster and McCarthy, Oriol Romeu will be setting up his team in Selhurst Park in a 4-2-4-2 formation. Willy Caballero, an emergency signing, will start in goal.
Livramento should be back in the game’s time, but the youngster might get a break here as Kyle Walker-Peters moves to right-back while Romain Perrot comes in on the left. Salisu, who is expected to be back in the starting lineup immediately, will replace Jan Bednarek as Jack Stephens’ center-back partner.
Romeo should also be allowed to return to the team following his suspension. James Ward-Prowse will be the Spaniard’s partner in midfield. Ibrahima Diallo will take over for the ex-Chelsea ace. Mohamed Eleonoussi, a Norwegian player who is likely to pose problems for Tyrick Mitchell in the right-hand area, should be given a chance. Nathan Tella should stay on the left.
With Armstrong, Broya, and Adams doubtful, Shane Long could make an unusual start. He will partner Nathan Redmond, who is quick and will try to exploit the Palace’s lack of pace.
Possible line-ups (4-4-2). Caballero; Walker-Peters, Stephens, Salisu, Pero; Eleonosi, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Terra; Long, Redmond
The Eagles won their third consecutive match against Everton, ending a losing streak of three matches. Conor Gallagher scored a goal and James Tomkins scored an attack to win the game at home. Patrick Vieira’s team is 13th on the table, with 19 points from 16 matches. A win in the midweek match would help them surpass the 10th-placed Wolves.
Things are not looking good for Southampton. They have lost five of their last five games (D2 L3) and suffered a 3-0 defeat away to Arsenal. The Saints are now just five points away from 15th place in the relegation zone. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team could be forced into survival if they fail to make things better in a busy period.
The corresponding match last season ended in a narrow win for Crystal Palace with Wilfried Zaha scoring only the goal. Hard Knocks looks at each team ahead of Wednesday’s Selhurst Park encounter.
The key stats
Crystal Palace has lost five of the eight Premier League home matches against Southampton (W3). The Eagles won this game 1-0 last year.
In 2021, Southampton conceded a league record of 73 goals.
Crystal Palace has lost only one of eight Premier League home matches (W3D4) this season. Liverpool (none), has lost fewer home games this term than Crystal Palace.
Southampton has suffered defeat in 15 of the 19 Premier League away matches (W2 D2).
The Saints gave away 50 goals in those games and only 13 goals were scored.
Christian Benteke, a Crystal Palace striker, has scored six goals against Southampton in his nine Premier League matches.
Conor Gallagher is the player to watch
Conor Gallagher, who had a successful campaign while on loan at West Bromwich, has now shown his true potential at Crystal Palace. This Chelsea loanee was directly involved in 41% (six goals and three assists) of the Eagles’ Premier League goals this year. It is the highest percentage of English players in the competition heading into Gameweek 17.
Gallagher, in fact, has scored four of Palace’s 11 league goals and assisted two (55%) of them. This includes a goal in Palace’s 3-1 win against Everton. Southampton may have trouble containing Gallagher at Selhurst Park Wednesday night, given his form.
Tips and Predictions
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