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Southampton 1 v 1 Crystal Palace
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, 28th December 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Saints V Crystal Palace The Preview
Saturday, 28th Dec 2019 09:24

Can Saints make it three straight Premier League wins for the first time in nearly four years and in doing so pull themselves further clear from the relegation zone.

The two straight wins on the road have pulled Saints right up the Premier League table and unexpected Xmas present for Saints fans, but the main problem this season has been our home form and that has to change if we are going to avoid relegation with ease.

Someone suggested to me recently that fans have no relevance to a team's results, I would totally refute this, indeed I feel sad for someone who feels that way in that he has never felt the passion of attending football matches, it is something that can be never felt when you watch a game on TV, it is the sheer pleasure of being part of a great result, it maybe doesn't happen that often in a season, but it happens and having you fans roaring you on won't change every game, but it will certainly make it easier to win and once in a while something special will happen.

So we need everyone to be behind the side at St Mary's for this one and Ralph Hasenhuttl certainly feels the same way commenting in his pre match press conference.

"We need to have patience. Everybody – the team and the crowd – and this is what I demand for tomorrow. Go into the stadium and help us. Help us, support us, when you see that we need time to create chances."

So with that message we go into the game against Palace, it won't be easy, they are a team who can win a game or two, but if we can beat them we will only be 2 points behind them and that would be a measure of the progress we have made in the last couple of months.

Ralph has already indicated that he will rest Michael Obafemi, that his injury record means he won't want to push him too much and two games in three days will be too much.

That suggests that the only change that will be made will be Danny Ings coming back in for Obafemi with Che Adams retaining his place.

I said before the festive period started that that three points from our three games would not be a disaster but would keep our heads above water for the second half of the season, the win at Chelsea has given us a great platform to build on and beating Palace would push us a step nearer our first task and that is avoiding relegation.

The players have found their confidence again and at Chelsea we not only looked a team with spirit, but one with confidence again.

The second half of the season will have it's set backs, we still have issues in the side we need to deal with, but if we make a signing or two in January then we can surge forward and pull clear.

But as Ralph says we need patience, but if we do that and stay behind the team even when it is not going well in the game, then we have a better chance of winning and that is what we all wan't as Saints fans.

This can be a pivotal day in Saints season if we win, but it is still a step at a time and we can hopefully take a big one today, but even a small one will be positive.

Photo: Action Images

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Saint55 added 10:35 - Dec 28
Huge game - This will have a big impact on the feeling around the team/fans/ media. Win and we can look forward to a positive 2020. Losing isn’t a disaster but it will look more like a long relegation scrap.

1970 added 10:44 - Dec 28
3 points today then get a decent cb in jan and we can start to rebuild this very disappointing season coyr

SanMarco added 12:25 - Dec 28
On the point about fans: of course they make a huge difference but that can create a negative feedback loop when anxiety and poor play sets in. This is more obvious at home because the dynamics of the crowd are different than for away games. Interesting that Chelsea are having similar problems as are one or two others.

Home sides feel a responsibility to attack and get 'picked off' on the break. Away from home we are compact defensively but at home the midfield disappears upfield at times. The opposition gets the ball attacking our back four, a couple or three simple passes and in it goes. How do we combat this? All guns blazing attcking play? Therein lies the problem, it feels that we are more likely to be 'picked off' ala Bournemouth, Wet Spam, Chelsea than we are to get a winning lead (only Norwich, and even that was precarious by the end).

Today a dull 1-0 will do me fine. Keep it tight and get the ball to Ings. And as 1970 says a good CB and onwards.

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