Key names, team news and good omens for Saints: everything you need to know about Saturday's Premier League trip to Crystal Palace...
Crystal Palace vs. Southampton
Saturday 16 September, 12.30 BST
Premier League Gameweek 5
Hosts Crystal Palace are without long-term absentees Pape Souare, Wilfried Zaha, Bakary Sako and Connor Wickham but new boss Roy Hodgson will hope to welcome James Tomkins and summer signing Ruben Loftus-Cheek back into the fold in time.
There are no new injury concerns for Mauricio Pellegrino meanwhile, who has an almost full squad at his disposal for the trip to Selhurst Park. Midfielder Pierre-Emile Højbjerg has returned to his native Denmark for the birth of his child while Virgil van Dijk's condition will be assessed.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Saints suffered their first league defeat of the campaign against Watford last weekend but will fancy their chances of serving up a positive response when they head up to south London on Saturday afternoon to face the Eagles.
Four consecutive defeats without finding the net spelled the end of Frank de Boer’s 77-day tenure at Selhurst Park with Roy Hodgson the man entrusted with the task of registering Palace’s first Premier League points this term.
A win and a clean sheet for Pellegrino’s charges in the lunchtime kick-off would see Palace become the first team in top-flight history to lose all five of their opening fixtures without scoring a goal.
Crystal Palace’s previous five:
Burnley 1-0 Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace 0-2 Swansea
Crystal Palace 2-1 Ipswich (Carabao Cup)
Liverpool 1-0 Crystal Palace
Huddersfield 3-0 Crystal Palace
Southampton’s previous five:
Southampton 0-2 Watford
Huddersfield 0-0 Southampton
Southampton 0-2 Wolves (Carabao Cup)
Southampton 3-2 West Ham
Southampton 0-0 Swansea
ONE TO WATCH
Christian Benteke has scored five goals in as many Premier League appearances against Southampton, including three in his last two for his current employers. After swapping Liverpool for south London in the summer of 2016, the target man topped the Eagles’ scoring charts with 17 strikes in all competitions last season.
With his side yet to find the net so far this season, the Belgian international will be keen to remedy a slow start to the season by getting off the mark at Selhurst Park this weekend.
Crystal Palace: 27
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Can't be in that number at Selhurst Park? As ever, our interactive match centre at southamptonfc.com will supply all the build-up, as well as in-game updates and free live audio commentary.
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