Southampton open their season this Saturday against Crystal Palace and with expectations high as ever they will need to start off the campaign with a win.
The 2020/21 Premier League season is here and Southampton kick it off with a trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday. Will they continue their great away form from last season? WIll the contend for Europe? The answers to those questions start with this weekend!
Last season when the two teams meet the Saints took 4 points from the Eagles. The first was a 1-1 draw at St. Marys then in the reverse fixture the Saints won 2-0 thanks to goals from Redmond and Armstrong.
Speaking of Armstrong, he will not be fit for this match as he picked up an injury during international duty for Scotland. Other than that, the Saints are fit and ready to rock n roll. Let us take a look at how both teams can win this match.
How Crystal Palace Will Win
Palace finished 14th last season and really ended the season on a poor stretch of form losing 7 of their last 8 matches. They will have been thankful for the offseason and look to start the new season in some better form.
There is no doubt they have talented players but they really struggled scoring goals last season only finding the back of the next 31 times. If they are not able to find scoring options they will need to win in a rock fight.
Southampton have yet to prove they can effectively breakdown a low-block and are still vulnerable on the counter and that is how they will have to attack Southampton, even at home.
They will need to limit turnovers in their own half as well and if they are able to they can get a result from this match but the Saints should be favoured.
How Southampton Will Win
The Saints were one of the best teams away from home last season and will look to keep that form going this campaign. They will have to be full of confidence going into this match and will have to think they should win.
The key to the match will be the two midfielders behind the strikers being able to create chances for the team. In their 2-0 victory, it was goals by Armstrong and Redmond that led them to all three points.
Without Armstrong, it will likely be Djenepo or Smallbone who fill-in and it will be a chance for one of the youngsters to prove who should be the first off the bench when Armstrong returns fit.
The Saints will likely see the majority of possession and will need to be direct and productive with it. I would rather see quick possessions that end in a shot rather than just passing the ball around the Palace half looking for the best possible chance.
I could see both Ings and Adams scoring this weekend and getting their accounts open in the new season.
Crystal Palace: 4-3-3
Goalkeeper: Vicente Guaita
Defenders: Joel Ward, Martin Kelly, Cheikhou Kouyate, Nathan Ferguson
Midfielders: James McCarthy, James McArthur, Luka Milivojevic
Forwards: Jordan Ayew, Michy Batshuayi, Wilfried Zaha
Goalkeeper: Alex McCarthy
Defenders: Kyle Walker-Peters, Jack Stephens, Jan Bednarek, Ryan Bertrand
Midfielders: James Ward-Prowse, Oriol Romeu
Attacking Midfielders: Nathan Redmond, Moussa Djenepo
Strikers: Danny Ings, Che Adams
Crystal Palace 0 – 2 Southampton