Match Preview: Southampton vs Crystal Palace

By SFC Media Tue 20 Sep Saints vs Palace

We give you the lowdown ahead of Southampton's EFL Cup third round meeting with Crystal Palace.

WHAT'S AT STAKE?

Southampton begin their EFL Cup campaign, hoping that the competition will finally fulfil the promise it has shown for them in the last few seasons.

Saints have reached the quarter-finals in each of the last two years, only to suffer brutally disappointing defeats on both occasions – first at League 1 Sheffield United and then 6-1 at home to Liverpool last term.

Once again, the club's involvement in Europe means they start at the third-round stage, and will be hoping for swift passage into the last 16.

Palace did not receive a bye, but cruised past Blackpool 2-0 at home to reach this point, and, following an FA Cup final appearance last season, they will be keen to take a step towards a Wembley return.

TEAM NEWS

Southampton's have a doubt over Jay Rodriguez, who missed Sunday's win over Swansea City through injury, while record-signing Sofiane Boufal continues to work his way towards fitness. Jérémy Pied is a long-term absentee, while Florin Gardos is making his way back, but there are no other obvious issues beyond that.

Crystal Palace are without defender Pape Souaré, who is out for six months after being injured in a car accident. Fellow defender James Tomkins is also set to be out, after he picked up a knee injury in the win over Stoke City at the weekend. Midfielder Yohan Cabaye could return, as he looks to set to be fit again after a groin problem, while Bakary Sako is also available following injury.

FORM GUIDE

Southampton’s last five:

• Swansea City (H) W 1-0
• Sparta Praha (H) W 3-0 (Europa League)
• Arsenal (A) L 1-2
• Sunderland (H) D 1-1
• Manchester United (A) L 0-2

Crystal Palace's last five:

• Stoke City (H) W 4-1
• Middlesbrough (A) W 2-1
• AFC Bournemouth (H) D 1-1
• Blackpool (H) (EFL Cup) W 2-0
• Tottenham (A) L 0-1

Charlie Austin celebrates scoring against Swansea City

TOP PERFORMERS:

Charlie Austin continued his scoring form by hitting the winner in Sunday's 1-0 victory over Swansea City, and, having scored three in his last two, the forward will be hoping for a chance to extend his run if he gets the opportunity to feature.

Top scorers: Charlie Austin (3)
Most assists: James Ward-Prowse (1), Shane Long (1), Cuco Martina (1), Dušan Tadić (1)

Southampton fans know all about the threat posed by Jason Puncheon, and the former Saints winger has started the season in impressive fashion for Eagles, assisting three of the team's goals so far this term. He's sure to be a threat if ex-St Mary's boss Alan Pardew gives him the chance to start.

Top scorer: Scott Dann (3)
Most assists: Jason Puncheon (3)

PREVIOUS MEETINGS:

All-time record:

Played: 80
Southampton wins: 38
Crystal Palace wins: 26
Draws: 16

Last four meetings:

May 2016: Southampton 4-1 Crystal Palace (Mané, Pellè, Bertrand pen, Davis)
January 2016: Southampton 1-2 Crystal Palace (Romeu) (FA Cup)
December 2015: Crystal Palace 1-0 Southampton
March 2015: Southampton 1-0 Crystal Palace (Mané)

DID YOU KNOW?

Southampton have won seven of their last ten meetings with Crystal Palace, across all competitions.

However, the last two League Cup meetings between the teams – in 1992 and 2011 – have gone the way of the Eagles.

Saints have reached the fourth round of the League Cup in each of the last five seasons.

PREDICT THE SCORE:

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If you can't make the match, don't worry.

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