Back to back defeats seriously hurt Southampton’s top 4 bid, meaning the Saints face a must-win game against Crystal Palace if they are to keep their Champions League hopes alive.
Meanwhile, the Eagles ended a poor run of results by hammering West Ham on the road and they now aim to pile more misery on the Saints.
Southampton did brilliantly to sustain the Premiership top 4 bid for two thirds of the league campaign, but it appears the Saints are slowly losing ground.
It all started with the FA Cup loss to Crystal Palace at St Mary’s, with the team then started to struggle in the league as well.
While three defeats in last five Premier League fixtures clearly damaged the Saints’ Champions League hopes, Ronald Koeman should be more concerned with obvious problems in attack.
Southampton have now failed to score in four of last five matches, and with that in mind, I am not convinced there is value in odds of 1.75 (3/4) offered on home win.
Ronald Koeman will be hoping to welcome back Toby Alderweireld from a hamstring problem, while he is also expected to revert to a four-man defence.
Emmanuel Mayuka and Jay Rodriguez remain long-term casualties, but Eljero Elia and Steven Davis should be recalled.
Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Forster – Clyne, Alderweireld, Fonte, Bertrand – Davis, Wanyama, Schneiderlin – Elia, Pelle, Mane.
Club’s decision to lure Alan Pardew from Newcastle United is proving to be a genuine masterstroke, with the new manager leading the Eagles to some amazing results in last couple of months.
Crystal Palace quickly escaped the Premier League danger zone by winning four of last seven games and they now sit huge eight points above the bottom three.
The weekend’s 3-1 triumph over West Ham at Boleyn Ground will be seen as one of the highlights of the current campaign, and no doubt the Eagles will be feeling confident ahead of the trip to St Mary’s.
And with their next opponents clearly far from the desired form, you should know that Palace are 5.75 (19/4) to record another away triumph.
Experienced striker Glenn Murray is banned having been sent off after scoring a brace against West Ham, with Shola Ameobi expected to deputize.
Forwards Yaya Sanogo, Frazier Campbell and Marouane Chamakh are all injured, as are Jonathan Williams and Jerome Thomas.
Probable starting line-up (4-1-4-1): Speroni – Kelly, Dann, Delaney, Ward – Jedinak – Zaha, Puncheon, Mutch, Bolasie – Ameobi.