Crystal Palace are hoping to advance to the fifth round of the FA Cup as they take on Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday.
After beating Dover Athletic 4-0 in the third round, Palace have been drawn away to Champions League-chasing Southampton in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Alan Pardew is hoping to get through to the fifth round for the first time in five years.
Palace will face a side that have been in formidable form in the Premier League this season, having drawn against Chelsea, beaten Arsenal and recorded back to back away victories against Manchester United and Newcastle United. But the saints needed a replay to edge out Ipswich Town at Portman Road last week, after they had been held to a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s at the start of the month.
The saints head into Saturday’s game on an eight-game unbeaten run. But according to the Eagles manager, Palace are a much more confident team than the one who faced up against Southampton at Selhurst Park on Boxing Day.
Speaking at his weekly press conference ahead of Saturday’s game, the Eagles manager revealed that Southampton, currently third in the league table, will be a tough test for his side.
Pardew said to cpfc.co.uk: “A cup is exactly the same as any other game. Preparation will be flawless, as good as I can make it, tactically we will come up with a game-plan. I know Southampton well; it will be a tough game for us.”
“Southampton now have a terrific group of young players complemented by international players. They are probably the model club at the moment. They’re trying to do everything in the correct manner. They deserve to be where they are.”
The two sides last had an FA cup meeting at Stamford Bridge in 1976, when Saints beat Palace 2-0 in the semi-final, advancing to the final and winning the cup.
Similar to last weekend, the Eagles boss doesn’t have too many injuries to worry about ahead of Saturday’s game. Yannick Bolasie and Mile Jedinak are still affected by international call-ups.
Pardew said: “Apart from the two players who are on international duty, everyone in the squad is fit to play as we go into Friday’s training.”
This may suggest that Marouane Chamakh has recovered from the hamstring injury that has kept him out for the past six weeks.
Saints on the other hand, will be without Emmanuel Mayuka, Saido Mané and Maya Yoshida who are all away on international duty. Also Ronald Koeman confirmed at his pre-Crystal Palace press conference that Toby Alferweireld, Morgan Schneiderling and Victor Wanyama will miss out on Saturday’s game.
The referee will be Jon Moss, assisted by Matthew Wilkes and Chris Powell, and the fourth official is James Linington.
Saturday’s game will kick-off at 3 pm at St Mary’s. The club have advised people not to travel to the game if you have not already purchased a ticket.