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Preview: Crystal Palace vs. Southampton - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Crystal Palace and Southampton, including team news and predicted lineups.

Crystal Palace and Southampton meet at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon on the opening weekend of the 2020-21 Premier League campaign.

The Eagles finished last season 14th in the table, nine points and three places behind matchday one opponents Southampton.

Match preview

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl pictured on June 19, 2020© Reuters

Palace were in outside contention for a European spot at one point in the final third of last season, only to going on an alarming slump to see out the campaign.

Roy Hodgson's men finished with seven successive losses before holding Tottenham Hotspur to a 1-1 draw on the final day.

The Eagles failed to score in six of those seven defeats, explaining exactly where their biggest problems came last season - in attack.

Indeed, only relegated Norwich City (26) scored fewer goals than Palace's 31 in 2019-29 - Jordan Ayew top scoring for Palace with nine figures.

Hodgson will hope that he has resolved the goalscoring issue with the additions of Eberechi Eze, Nathan Ferguson and Michy Batshuayi, the latter joining on a season-long loan.

Batshuayi impressed during a half-season spell with Palace in 2018-19, scoring six times in 13 appearances, and will be looking to hit the ground running this weekend.

Crystal Palace winger Eberechi Eze in action during 2020-21 pre-season© Reuters

Palace have a poor record in Premier League meetings with Southampton, however, winning just three of their 22 such matches and losing the last three at home.

The Saints will enter this game with some confidence, too, having ended the elongated 2019-20 season on a good run of form.

Ralph Hasenhuttl's charges beat Bournemouth and Sheffield United in their final two games, making it seven games without defeat to conclude the campaign.

After a shaky start to their first campaign under the 'Alpine Klopp', Southampton went from strength to strength and will be looking to break the top 10 this time around.

Like their opening-round opponents, the South Coast side have also strengthened this summer by bringing in Kyle Walker-Peters permanently and Mohammed Salisu from Real Valladolid, although midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg did depart for Tottenham.

A lack of action since their last league outing on July 26 may tell this weekend, though, whereas Palace have played four friendlies during the shortened pre-season.

After beating Oxford United, Charlton Athletic and Millwall without conceding, the Eagles drew 1-1 with Brondby last week in their final run-out before this tough opening test.

Crystal Palace pre-season form: WWWD

Southampton Premier pre-season form: N/A

Team News

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha pictured on July 26, 2020© Reuters

Worryingly for Hodgson, new signing Eze pulled out of international duty last week and may not be ready to start this opening contest.

Ferguson is also nursing an injury complaint, while the likes of Christian Benteke, Gary Cahill, Patrick van Aanholt and James Tomkins are carrying injuries from last season.

Batshuayi's arrival fills a huge void up top, though, while Wilfried Zaha has looked in good shape during pre-season and will no doubt prove a threat from the right.

As for Southampton, Stuart Armstrong is their only confirmed injury doubt with an issue sustained on international duty with Scotland this week.

That is a big blow for Hasenhuttl, who questioned the timing of the Nations League fixtures, but Moussa Djenepo and William Smallbone are pushing for selection.

Striker Danny Ings scored 22 Premier League goals last season - the most by a Saints player since James Beattie in 2002-03 - and seems certain to lead the line on Saturday.

Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Guaita; Ward, Kelly, Dann, Mitchell; Zaha, Milivojevic, McArthur, Schlupp; Batshuayi, Ayew

Southampton possible starting lineup:
McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand; Djenepo, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Redmond; Ings, Adams

SM words green background

We say: Crystal Palace 1-1 Southampton

In the six opening day Premier League matches Crystal Palace have played at home, they have yet to win - a run stretching back to 1971-72.

This is also a fixture that the home team do not tend to win, but with some added firepower in their ranks we can see the Eagles taking a point off a rusty Southampton.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


Who will win Saturday's Premier League clash between Crystal Palace and Southampton?

Crystal Palace
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Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson pictured in June 2020
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