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FA CUP PREVIEW: Southampton vs Crystal Palace

PUBLISHED

10:02 8th January 2016

Take a read of our match preview ahead of Southampton's Emirates FA Cup third round meeting with Crystal Palace at St Mary's.

Setting the scene

Revenge will be on the mind for Southampton when they get their Emirates FA Cup campaign under way this weekend.

Opponents Crystal Palace knocked Ronald Koeman’s men out at the fourth-round stage last season, while the Eagles recorded a 1-0 victory in the Premier League just last month.

The two sides meet again in the third round on Saturday at St Mary’s, with Saints looking for a lift after a disappointing run of results in the league in recent weeks.

Palace meanwhile are flying high in the Premier League – former Saints boss Alan Pardew has guided them seventh position in the table just past the halfway stage.

A goal from Yohan Cabaye was the difference when the two sides met at Selhurst Park in December, while a goal from Sadio Mané won it for Saints the last time Palace visited St Mary’s.

Team news

Ronald Koeman has confirmed that Cédric will be available again this weekend, but Saints will still be without Graziano Pellè, Jay Rodriguez and Florin Gardos, while Victor Wanyama is suspended.

Fraser Forster will not be involved on Saturday, despite making his comeback from injury in the Under-21 Premier League Cup on Wednesday evening.

Bakary Sako will return for Palace after injury against Saints on Saturday, but Dwight Gayle and Connor Wickham are unlikely to feature at St Mary’s. Yannick Bolasie will also be absent for the visitors this weekend.

Key man

Former Southampton man Jason Puncheon has played an important role for Crystal Palace since Alan Pardew’s arrival.

Along with José Fonte of Southampton he was one of a select few to feature in every Premier League game during 2015 as the Eagles produced some fine displays.

Puncheon is yet to find the back of the net in his 20 appearances so far this season, but has been deployed in a central role at times by Pardew.

The 29 year-old has grabbed three assists so far this season, and Saints will need to be wary of his excellent set-piece delivery at St Mary’s this weekend.

Stat attack

Southampton have won six of the previous eight meetings between the two sides.

Crystal Palace’s win at Selhurst Park earlier in the season was their first ever Premier League victory against Southampton.

The two sides have met on six occasions in the FA Cup, with Palace progressing four times and Saints making it through to the next round twice.

Saints have made it beyond the third round in five of the previous six seasons, while Palace have progressed just three times in their last six attempts. 

Did you know?

Southampton beat Crystal Palace in the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 1976, before going on to lift the trophy after beating Manchester United in the final. Saints’ goals came courtesy of Paul Gilchrist and David Peach in the last four against the Eagles, with the game played at Stamford Bridge.

Follow the action 
Tickets for the game against Crystal Palace are still available. Click here for more information.

You can follow all the action from Saturday's game via the club’s social media channels. We’ll have live updates on Twitter, goal updates on Facebook and a liveblog running on saintsfc.co.uk .

After the game, we’ll have reaction on youtube.com/southamptonfc, as well as saintsfc.co.uk .

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