Wins on Boxing Day will have given Southampton and Crystal Palace a boost heading into the busy festive period.
A 2-0 at Stamford Bridge means Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side have won four of their last six Premier League games and has seen them lose only two in seven. This run is coming off the back of an awful spell where they failed to win any of the previous seven prior to the Arsenal game, losing six of them.
It has been a remarkable turnaround for the Saints, and they will need to show that resilience again when Crystal Palace come to town on Saturday.
The Eagles beat West Ham on Boxing Day thanks to a late wonder strike from Jordan Ayew, lifting the Londoners to within six points of the top four coming into a favourable run of fixtures.
When is Southampton v Crystal Palace and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: St Marys Stadium, Southampton, Hampshire
Date: Saturday, 28 December 2019
Kick-off: 3:00 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): This game will not be shown live in the UK.
Last five meetings: Southampton vs Crystal Palace
05 April 2017: Southampton 3-1 Crystal Palace (Premier League)
16 September 2017: Crystal Palace 0-1 Southampton (Premier League)
02 January 2018: Southampton 1-2 Crystal Palace (Premier League)
01 September 2018: Crystal Palace 0-2 Southampton (Premier League)
30 January 2019: Southampton 1-1 Crystal Palace (Premier League)
Aggregate Score: Southampton (DWLWW) 8-4 Crystal Palace (DLWLL)
Ones to watch
Southampton: James Ward-Prowse
Ward-Prowse was superb against Chelsea, covering more ground and making more tackles (9) than any other player on the pitch. His work rate is an example to his teammates and continues to make him a fan favourite.
He has four goals and two assists this season but it is his energy that is so vital to Southampton. When he is on his game, he is up there with the best and the Saints will need him as they try to continue to pull away from danger.
Key stat: Ward-Prowse has created more chances (27) in the Premier League than any other Southampton player this season.
Crystal Palace: Jordan Ayew
Joran Ayew was at it again on Boxing Day as his last-minute wonder strike was enough to sink West Ham.
The striker drew high-praise from his manager and has become an important figure in this Palace side. Following the win against the Hammers, Roy Hodgson admitted his delight.
“It was a fantastic effort,” he said.
“I thought Jordan did ever so well to set up the first goal. The second was one of those wonderful individual efforts that will live long in the memory and get lots of airings on TV.
“He deserves that – it’s a fine reward for his performance today and this season so far.”
Key stat: According to Opta, ‘Ayew has scored 21 goals in the Premier League, with 20 of those being netted in the second half (95%) – the highest such ratio of any player with 20 or more goals in the competition’s history.’
Do not expect to see changes from Hasenhuttl in this one. Southampton’s fantastic win at Chelsea could be an important turning point, with confidence now clearly rising within the squad.
Saints are still without Yan Valery with the Frenchmen unlikely to feature for a while yet. Moussa Djenepo is likely to miss out, but Kevin Danso returned to the bench against Chelsea following injury.
Predicted XI: McCarthy; Soares, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand; Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg, Redmond; Obafemi, Adams.
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Palace have close to a clean bill of health as they head south to face the Saints.
Gary Cahill and Scott Dann remain the only men on the injury table meaning the centre-back pairing of Mamadou Sakho and James Tomkins will continue at St Marys.
Predicted XI: Guaita; Kelly, Tomkins, Sakho, Aarnholt; Kouyate, Milivojevic, McArthur; Meyer, Ayew, Zaha.
Southampton’s massive result at Chelsea was so important for the Premier League strugglers and gives them something to build on as they head back to St Marys to take on Palace.
Hasenhuttl remains under pressure but four wins in the last six has seen his side turn a corner. Palace will be equally buoyed by their win over West Ham and one defeat in their last six has seen them move back up the table.
This will be important to both managers for very different reasons and it could be a case of points shared on Saturday.
Scoreline prediction: Southampton 1-1 Crystal Palace