Premier League

Southampton-Crystal Palace Preview

Ralph Hasenhuttl insists Southampton are ready to fight their way out of a Premier League relegation battle as they prepare for Wednesday's trip to Crystal Palace.

Following an impressive spell of form between mid-October and early November, the Saints have since collected just two points from the last 15 available.

Southampton still have a five-point gap on the relegation zone heading into the midweek round of fixtures, but Hasenhuttl admits he is not sitting comfortably.

"I'm far away from being relaxed at the moment," he said. "But everybody is under pressure, everybody has their games to play and points to take.

"We know our targets, we know how tough it will be for us every season. But it's the same for other clubs, and we are ready for the fight.

"We are not looking back or in front too much, we are looking at every game, and every game gives us a chance to take three points and this is the only way you can work here."

Palace had themselves been on a bad run of form prior to facing Everton on Sunday, with the Eagles prevailing 3-2 to snap a three-game losing streak and four without a win.

The hosts are three points better off than their opponents, but they have lost five of their last seven top-flight meetings between the sides at Selhurst Park.

And Palace head coach Patrick Vieira is not reading too much into Southampton's recent form.

"The loss they had against Arsenal was quite tough," he said. "They played well. They played some really good football, created chances. It's a team that plays on the front foot.

"It will be a different challenge to Everton, but it's a challenge we have to be ready for because if not we can get done by a good side. We know how Southampton are."

Crystal Palace - Christian Benteke

Belgium international Benteke has gone four matches without scoring, but he tends to do well when he comes up against Southampton.

The 31-year-old has scored six goals in his last nine Premier League meetings with the Saints - only against Chelsea and Sunderland (seven each) has he scored more often.

Southampton - Nathan Redmond

The Saints have scored 14 league goals this term but have an expected-goals tally of 20.6, suggesting they should be scoring more often than they currently are.

Redmond may be tasked with leading the line on Wednesday and the versatile attacker will be desperate to get off the mark with his first league goal of the campaign.

- Palace have lost five of their last eight Premier League home games against Southampton (W3), though they did win this exact fixture 1-0 last season.

- Of teams they have faced at least 10 times in the Premier League, against no side have Southampton won a higher share of their games in the competition than they have against Crystal Palace (58 per cent - 14/24).

- Southampton have not won any of their last 24 Premier League away games played on Wednesdays (D8 L16), with their last such victory coming at Chelsea in April 1995 (2-0).

- Palace have only lost one of their eight home Premier League games this season (W3 D4); only Liverpool (none) have lost fewer matches on home soil in the competition this term. The Eagles are looking to win back-to-back league matches at Selhurst Park for the first time since March 2020.

- Conor Gallagher has been directly involved in 41 per cent of Crystal Palace's 22 goals in the Premier League this season (six goals, three assists), the highest proportion for any team by an English player in the competition this term heading into matchday 17. In fact, Gallagher has either scored (four) or assisted (two) six of the Eagles' last 11 league goals (55 per cent).

Updated December 14, 2021

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