Saints v Eagles
St Mary's Stadium
Mon 26th December
Boxing day in front of a full St Mary's is hopefully going to see Saints grab the three points that are on offer. The Eagles are doing well of late and had a good win at home to Birmingham this week and will also be boosted by the return of their new rising star Wilfred Zaha.
Saints have hit a trough of late and are finding it difficult going. Being at home with a full house will hopefully get the team moving forward with some real attacking momentum. Injuries have shown that our squad is not as strong as we may have thought.
Now that the pack chasing us has succeeded in clawing themselves back towards them, we need to win this game big-time. We don't have time for doubts and must stand firmly behind our lads as they face a resurgent Palace. A loud St Mary's with the sound reverberating will undoubtedly help and I look forward to seeing a joyous crowd celebrating as they make their way home.
Palace won't arrive expecting us to dismantle them and will be up for a fight. They have a very solid look and possess a couple of very talented flair players that can make it awkward for any team.
While we have the likes of Lambert, Lallana and Guly as match winners, Palace have Zaha, Clyne and Ambrose. We however have the former Palace centre back Jose Fonte, and his partnership with Jos Hooiveldt could swing the match our way.
Southampton Team News:
Both Richard Chaplow and David Connolly are nearing returns.
Lee Barnard joins Radhi Jaidi and Dan Seaborne on the long term injury list.
Player to watch: Jos Hooiveldt
Big Jos has been immense since beginning with an average game when joining us. Big and strong he is a perfect partner to Jose Fonte.
Crystal Palace Team News:
Mile Jedinak received his 5th yellow card of the season in the win over Birmingham on Monday, and will therefore be suspended for the trip to St Mary's. Wilfred Zaha should return and will give the attack a big boost.
Player to watch: Wilfred Zaha
This young man is showing immense talent and could be a big threat to Saints.
Match Facts & Stats
Saints have played the Eagles 35 times at home. Winning 21, drawing 7 and losing 7.
ince 2006 the record is not as healthy with just one win from four but we were really struggling as a team then and I feel we are now due a win.
GRAHAM SALISBURY will officiate Brett Huxtable and Tim Robinson assist Fourth Official is Harry Lennard