Two teams going for goals
These two teams are evenly matched on paper, with 22 points each in the league; teetering between being mid-table teams and the relegation dog-fight. They are two exciting attacking teams that are both prone to defensive lapses.
Since Hasenhuttl took over as manager, Southampton's form has improved dramatically. Under the German, Southampton have won four matches, drawn one and lost two. Their schedule during this time has been anything but easy; they have met Chelsea, City and Arsenal.
They're unrecognisable to the pre-Hassenhuttl team
Southampton play a high line, and create a lot of chances. They've scored goals in all of their matches under Hasenhuttl, apart from the 0-0 against Chelsea. They won their last game 2-1 against Everton. Although their form has improved they're still showing signs of defensive weakness, letting in 13 goals over the last six matches.
Looking at their stats over the whole season, seems a bit counter-intuitive since they are unrecognisable to the team pre-Hasenhuttl. The biggest difference is not that they're letting in less goals but instead they are actually scoring goals.
Key stat: 73% of the their matches at home have finished with both teams scoring goals and the total goal difference at home is currently 2.83
These numbers are completely in-line with their expected goals. The last six matches at St Mary's have finished with both teams scoring. Their striker Ings is clearly their most important player this season, having scored seven goals this season. Obafemi is missing because of injury, and there are a few questions marks around Targett and Lamina's fitness.
- League Position: 15
Crystal Palace are like Southampton in that they are team that have no problem firing in goals, but, like the Saints, they also have a problem conceding too many goals. Their last five results away from home were: 4-3, 0-2, 2-3, 3-2 and 3-1.
Key stat: The Eagles have a goal difference of 1.42 scored and 1.75 conceded away from home this season
These figures are evidence that when Crystal Palace come to town you can expect goals. They've grabbed a few more than their expected goals suggest, but recently these figures have evened out a little.
Palace have one of the highest goal stats in the whole league and if you look across the whole season, 58% of Palace's games have ended with both teams scoring. If we put both Palace's and Southampton's stats together it comes out as 66%. Meetings between these two teams have usually been rich in goals. Palace have many dangerous offensive players, including Zaha, Townsend and Milivojevic.
Many of their defensive players are better going forward than actually defending, which adds to the sense that this team are great going forward but are a bit dodgy at the back. Roy Hodgson's first and second choice goalkeepers are currently injured. Souaré is also injured.
- League position: 14
There are a number of factors that suggest this will be a match where both teams will score goals. Firstly, the fact that this will be a match in which both teams will want, and think, they can win. The stats also suggest this will be a game with goals in it. Then there is the defensive weaknesses of both teams. I'll be betting on both teams to score at odds of 5/7.