Southampton v Crystal Palace
Tuesday, 19:45 GMT
Saints stuttering under Pellegrino
Southampton head into the new year with major problems and the threat of relegation a realistic danger for the club. Mauricio Pellegrino replaced Claude Puel last summer but the new Saints boss has failed to impress and his side have not won since beating Everton at the end of November. An eight-match winless run has seen Southampton tumble down the Premier League although they came away with a creditable goalless draw against a lacklustre Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The Saints have struggled to score regularly with only 20 goals in the league and the recent injury to Charlie Austin is a blow. Southampton will need to strengthen their team in the January transfer window and should have plenty to spend after the £75m sale of defender Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool. Pellegrino remains under pressure and unpopular with fans with few signs of significant improvement on the pitch.
Promising signs for Palace under Hodgson
Crystal Palace appeared to be doomed after a dreadful start to the season which saw them lose their opening seven league games without even scoring. Roy Hodgson faced a huge challenge after replacing Frank de Boer but the former England boss has overseen a dramatic turnaround in their form. The Eagles climbed out of the bottom three before the midway point in the season which was a remarkable feat considering their losing start.
The form of Wilfried Zaha has been crucial to their recovery and it is vital Palace hold onto the Ivory Coast attacker during the transfer window. The Eagles enjoyed a club record eight-match unbeaten Premier League run prior to Thursday's home defeat to Arsenal. Palace were handed a tough end to the calendar year on Sunday but impressively ended Manchester City's 18-game winning run in the league after a goalless draw at Selhurst Park.
No value in backing hosts
Southampton are 1.9720/21 favourites to win this match but there is no temptation to side with them at these odds. The Saints have let down their backers too many times this season and managed to win just three of their 11 home league games. With only one win in their last 12 matches, the hosts look far too short in the betting to be trusted.
Palace are 4.47/2 outsiders for this game and this looks to have underestimated their chances of success. Hodgson's side recently won at Leicester and their form in the last few months is much better than their opponents. Only one away win may be a concern but much of this is down to their early defeats and this bet merits strong consideration.
The draw is another realistic option and available at 3.613/5. Three of Palace's last four away games have ended in a draw while Southampton have also been held in two of their last three matches at St Mary's Stadium. But it is worth noting, rather surprisingly the last 17 meetings between these teams have failed to produce a stalemate.
Visitors appeal to add to Saints' problems
Crystal Palace are a side heading in the right direction and have won three games compared to just one for Southampton since the last weekend in November. The Eagles are a much more appealing betting proposition than the unconvincing hosts. The visitors' price is big enough to justify backing them in the draw no bet market. This looks worth taking as insurance considering Palace's recent run of stalemates particularly away from home.
Stuart Attwell takes charge of the game and the referee has only sent off one player this season. Attwell gave West Ham's Andy Carroll a red card in October's draw at Burnley.
Christian Benteke has scored five goals in his last six Premier League games against Southampton. The Palace striker is 13/5 to find the net in this match.
For individual match previews of every single Premier League game visit our dedicated Premier League section here on Betting.Betfair.