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3 reasons Roy Hodgson, Crystal Palace will turn it around vs Southampton

Saturday 16th September 2017
Crystal Palace welcome Southampton to Selhurst Park this afternoon in Roy Hodgson's first game as Frank de Boer's replacement.

The Eagles could escape the relegation zone with a win this weekend. That said, their goalless, pointless record from four games suggests the new boss has some work to do.

Here are three reasons why Palace's poor start to the new season may come to an end in Roy Hodgson's debut.

Southampton is beatable

Palace couldn't be doing worse in the Premier League right now. Yet, despite the Saints being seven places and five points the better, Hodgson's Londoners have a chance to turn things around.

The visitors have managed only two wins in their last 12 league games, failing to score in eight. This campaign, under Mauricio Pellegrino, their 3-2 victory over West Ham flattered to deceive. Their other three contests have been two goalless draws, Swansea home/Huddersfield away, and an embarrassing 0-2 defeat to Watford at St Mary's.
Southampton are a good side with good players but their current run of form will give Palace hope. The South Coast club's goal drought should offer Hodgson confidence his side can achieve a result. His team shouldn't be under too much pressure in their own third. The Eagles have struggled at the back but Southampton's blunted attack could work in their favour.

Palace boast good head-to-head record

In addition to Southampton's shaky form and lack of goals, they don't have the best record at Selhurst Park. Palace collected all three points in their last home meeting, beating the Saints 3-0 in December, 2016. Palace also won 1-0 the year before. Overall, Woy's new crew have won three from their last six meetings in all competitions against So'ton. That isn't a bad record considering four were away matches.
While Palace own the bragging rights, Hodgson also has all the tools to mastermind a result.

Return to counter-attacking style will yield results

With Christian Benteke leading the line, flanked by pacy, creative wingers Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend, Palace should easily find goals. Especially with Yohan Cabaye acting as quartermaster.

Benteke can beat most anyone in an aerial duel, hold up the ball to allow teammates to join the attack, or flick on to overlapping runners. Townsend has created nine chances already in 2017-18, only to be frustrated by poor finishing. Cabaye has made four opportunities in two games.
The Frenchman could be key to the London club turning defence into attack. His pin-point passing should see Palace optimise Benteke's aerial prowess, not to mention his fleet-of-foot wingers' pace on the break. When the Saints are patiently building attacks in Palace's half, one turnover could catch their defenders cold.

Roy Hodgson knows the qualities he has in his squad. He will have individual members playing to their strengths. A direct approach against Southampton could well see them pick up all there points.
Crippy Cooke

Crippy is a long-suffering Aston Villa supporter and weekly football accumulator enthusiast.

Stealing a living, the balding 27-year-old boasts a wealth of writing experience - Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London 24 and Bleacher Report.

Total articles: 329

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