Crystal Palace and Southampton will take on each other in the FA Cup third round, with both teams needing a much-needed breather.

Crystal Palace will look to cheer up a grim Selhurst Park crowd after a terrible result in the Premier League against London rivals Tottenham when they take on Southampton on Friday. Patrick Vieira’s men let in four goals against Spurs and will look for a response when they start their FA Cup campaign.

Vieira will hope to have a good run in the competition like last season when they reached the final. A positive result at the weekend against the Saints will go a long way in instilling confidence within the group, who will face Chelsea and Newcastle United in the league before the month draws to a close.

Crystal Palace can take confidence from their last two results against Southampton, especially at Selhurst park, where they have not lost to the Saints since January 2020. Vieira will remain wary of the threat posed by the opposition, who are desperate to hit form in light of their miserable campaign in the top flight.

Nathan Jones was installed as Southampton’s manager following the dismissal of Ralph Hasenhuttl before the World Cup. The former Luton Town boss has a big task to revive the club’s fortunes, which seems improbable now.

Since taking over, Jones has lost each of his four games as Southampton’s boss, which has pinned the club at the bottom of the Premier League. The supporters are looking at something positive, and a decent FA Cup run could prove the shot they need.

The cup competition could also prove a good distraction from their awful run in the top flight, although Jones faces the difficult prospect of downing Palace away from home. He will urge his players to play their part and get a result, as a defeat would heap more pressure on the beleaguered-looking manager.

Team News & Tactics

Crystal Palace

Patrick Vieira could ring in the changes to his side from their terrible defeat to Tottenham in midweek. Many players in the fringes need to play regular football, and the manager will hand some of those a start against Southampton.

It could also allow Vieira to rest some of his overworked stars, although players like Wilfried Zaha and Marc Guehi could continue with the team to keep the balance. The goalkeeping situation is still baffling for the manager, who may be forced to retain Vicente Guaita in the lineup.

James Tomkins could start in central defence, with Joachim Andersen rested. With Tyrick Mitchell still suspended, Joel Ward should continue at left-back while Nathaniel Clyne will retain his place on the right.

Vieira could change the midfield and parts of his attacking setup for the FA Cup game. Luka Milivojevic, Will Hughes, Odsonne Edouard, and Jean-Philippe Mateta could all come in respective positions. Jeffrey Schlupp and Wilfried Zaha could keep their roles from the loss to Spurs.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Guaita; Clyne, Tomkins, Guehi, Ward; Hughes, Milivojevic, Schlupp; Mateta, Edouard, Zaha


Nathan Jones will remain without a host of key players, but these were anyway expected. Alex McCarthy, Theo Walcott, Tino Livramento, and Juan Larios are all likely to remain sidelined. The latest to join them is Armel Bella-Kotchap, who picked up a problem against Nottingham Forest.

Southampton are expected to field several first-team stars to get results on board. James Ward-Prowse, Kyle Walker-Peters, and Mohamed Elyounoussi are scheduled to start at Selhurst Park. Che Adams and Adam Armstrong should play up front.

Duje Caleta-Car, Joe Aribo, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, and Moussa Djenepo could all come into the lineup. Jones will hope his team selection proves sufficient to get a result and move into the next round of the FA Cup.

Probable lineup (3-5-2): Bazunu; Caleta-Car, Lyanco, Salisu; Walker-Peters, Ward-Prowse, Maitland-Niles, Elyounoussi, Perraud; Armstrong, Adams

Key Stats

  • Crystal Palace have won only four home games this season from nine.
  • Crystal Palace are unbeaten against Southampton since January 2020.
  • Palace have seen under 2.5 goals in five of their last six home matches against Southampton in all competitions.
  • Southampton last won the FA Cup in the 1975/76 season.
  • Southampton have lost four games from their last six games across all competitions.

Player to Watch

Wilfried Zaha

Embed from Getty Images

Crystal Palace need a change in the scenario but cannot seem to find inspiration from anywhere in the squad. The most obvious player to come under the spotlight is Zaha, who has seen a dip in form since the restart. If Palace want a revival, the experienced winger needs to up his game.

The Southampton clash will have come at a good time for Zaha and Crystal Palace. The Saints are in a terrible run of form, and the Ivorian may not find a better chance to hit top form. A brilliant second half of the season might even earn the player a big move. Clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea, and Barcelona will surely be watching him closely.


Crystal Palace 2-1 Southampton

Crystal Palace desperately need results, and the FA Cup could be a good distraction from their struggles in the league. They will take the confidence from last season’s run in the competition, although they are in a good place to start this campaign against a hapless Saints.

Going by the form of the two sides, Crystal Palace may have the edge over Southampton, considering the game will be played at Selhurst Park. They also have players who could swiftly revive their form and get momentum for Patrick Vieira’s side. Hence, a Crystal Palace victory seems likely, but Southampton could score at some stage in the game.

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