Both of these teams will have to find a way to restore their faith after defeats last weekend. Southampton lost 1-0 away to Norwich City, while Crystal Palace lost 3-0 at home to Chelsea. A third-round victory in the FA Cup would be ideal for either team.
Southampton continue to confuse with their inconsistent performances this season. After struggling for several weeks in the league, they eventually came good with a 4-0 demolition of Arsenal. However, they have since regressed after their defeat to Norwich.
In that game, Southampton held 58% possession and were wasteful in blowing their four shots on target. Meanwhile, a single shot on target was enough for Norwich to snatch the three points. Southampton have struggled to find the back of the net with star striker Graziano Pellè missing through injury. Notably, he might be able to return this weekend.
Crystal Palace have had a similar issue with their strikers, who have combined to score just a single league goal this season. Finding a striker is surely a priority in January for Alan Pardew, but he is unlikely to complete any signings by the weekend. Palace will have an even tougher time scoring against Southampton with Connor Wickham potentially missing out with a hamstring injury.
Another concern for Pardew is how his impressive defence let themselves down against Chelsea. This is likely to have shaken their confidence and they could be edgy against Southampton. Consequently, Pardew’s midfield could play with a more conservative approach than in recent weeks. Also, it does not help that the extremely effective Yannick Bolasie is presently nursing a hip injury for the next couple of weeks.
Tip one: Draw @ 3.50 with ladbrokes
Tip two: Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.72 with ladbrokes
Southampton and Crystal Palace are both weak in attack at the moment, with their strikers not delivering goals. Both teams also suffered demoralising defeats recently, so will be desperate not to lose on Saturday. Combine these factors and the rewarding odds of 3.50 look appealing for a draw. Additionally, under 2.5 goals would be a likely consequence of misfiring strikers.