Southampton will face Crystal Palace at St Mary’s on Saturday in a huge relegation six-pointer.
It is a must-win game for the Saints if they are to have any chance to survive in the Premier League.
The Saints remain at least four points from survival following their heavy 4-1 thrashing against Manchester City last weekend.
Ruben Selles and Co will face an extremely tough challenge against the Eagles, as Palace come into the game in very good form.
The South London outfit recently replaced ex-manager Patrick Vieira with 75-year-old Roy Hodgson.
However, Hodgson’s side have defeated fellow relegation rivals Leicester City and Leeds United and will be very eager to make that three on Saturday.
One player the Saints will have to watch closely throughout the match is Palace midfielder, Michael Olise.
Olise played a pivotal role in Crystal Palace’s win against Leeds at Elland Road last weekend.
The 21-year-old set up three of the Eagles’ five goals in the game, which earned them a huge three points to bolster their good chances of survival in the Premier League.
Olise has become one of the multiple improved players under Hodgson, with fellow midfielder, Eberechi Eze also firing straight away with a goal and creating key chances in the two games.
On the other hand, the Saints have fallen short in their past few games, suffering three defeats in four matches.
The past two defeats against Manchester City and West Ham United will have destroyed the Hampshire outfit’s confidence but they must put those games to the back of their minds as they will desperately need a result to keep their safety hopes alive.
Southampton vs Crystal Palace preview – How to watch the relegation six-pointer on TV, team news & prediction
Here’s our preview of Saturday’s Premier League clash between the Saints and Crystal Palace at St. Mary’s.
How can I watch Southampton vs Crystal Palace?
When is kick-off? Saturday 15th April
What time is kick-off? 3 PM (BST)
Where is it played? St Mary’s Stadium
Where can I watch the game? Unfortunately, the game is not being broadcasted in the UK but people in the USA can streak the game on Peacock Premium.
Che Adams, Juan Larios, Mislav Orsic and Mohammed Salisu are all to remain absent from the game.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom for Saints fans as right-back, Tino Livramento, has taken a huge step closer back to returning after he started a game for the B-team, with first-team manager Ruben Selles in attendance, on Friday.
Livramento has been out of action since April, last year. The 20-year-old suffered an agonizing knee injury and has only just started his journey to return to the first team after suffering a setback in January.
Nathaniel Clyne, Wilfried Zaha and Vicente Guaita are all very likely to miss the huge match against the Saints.
Saints’ recent form:
Southampton 1-4 Manchester City (08/04/2023)
`West Ham 1-0 Southampton (02/04/2023)
Southampton 3-3 Tottenham (18/03/2023)
Southampton 0-2 Brentford (15/03/2023
Manchester United 0-0 Southampton (12/03/2023)
Crystal Palace’s recent form:
Leeds United 1-5 Crystal Palace (09/04/2023)
Crystal Palace 2-1 Leicester City (01/04/2023)
Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace (19/03/2023)
Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0 Crystal Palace (15/03/2023)
Crystal Palace 0-1 Manchester City (11/03/2023)
Crystal Palace 1-2 Southampton (07/01/2023)
Crystal Palace 1-0 Southampton (29/10/2022)
Southampton 1-2 Crystal Palace (30/04/2022)
Crystal Palace 2-2 Southampton (15/12/2021)
Southampton 3-1 Crystal Palace (11/05/2021)
Crystal Palace: Johnstone; Ward, Guehi, Andersen, Mitchell; Eze, Doucoure, Schlupp, Olise; Mateta, Ayew.
Southampton: Bazunu; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Kotchap, Perraud; Lavia, Ward-Prowse; Alcaraz, Walcott; Sulemana, Mara.
As always, it’s going to be extremely difficult to predict a Saints game, especially when it comes to a match with extremely high stakes like this lower-half-table thriller.
Palace seem to have found a consistent line-up under Hodgson which has proved to be successful so far as they have picked up 6/6 points under the new manager.
On the other hand, the Saints have regularly chopped and changed their starting line-ups, indicating that Selles probably hasn’t identified his strongest side yet.
Therefore, we think it will be a very tough game for the Saints, with both teams attacking each other from the start, creating a very entertaining game for the neutrals.
However, the hosts could potentially be held to a draw by the Eagles on home turf.
Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Crystal Palace