Predicted 4-3-3 Crystal Palace lineup vs Southampton: Can Hodgson have an immediate impact?

Crystal Palace have made the worst possible start to their league campaign as they are now in the 20th position, failing to take a single point from their first four games. They have also yet to find the back of the net in the domestic league and have conceded seven goals, having already replaced their previous manager Frank de Boer with Roy Hodgson.

Hodgson’s first test will be against a gritty Southampton side that is fresh from a defeat to Watford. The new manager will surely look to make an immediate impact and here is the predicted lineup he might field for this home tie:

Team news

Wilfried Zaha, Connor Wickham and Pape Souare are all ruled out for this game. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho are all facing a race to be fit before the weekend.

Hodgson loves to use a midfield diamond but is not expected to experiment in his first game. He should stick with a 4-3-3, adding some mettle to his midfield.

Defence

While Wayne Hennessey should keep his place under the bar, the new manager might make a few changes to his back-line. Joel Ward should keep his place at right-back while Patrick van Aanholt is expected to start at left-back.

James Tomkins is a doubt for this game leaving Scott Dann and Timothy Fosu-Mensah to start as the two centre-backs. Sakho and Tomkins will be assessed late and either may replace Mensah right before the game.

Midfield

The former English manager loves to have a pivot on which his side can play and the deepest of the midfielders is expected to be Luka Milivojevic, who has been in decent form so far. He should be partnered by James McArthur and Jason Puncheon, adding creativity and mettle to the midfield.

While Puncheon will be allowed to roam freely in the attack, McArthur is expected to sit back and help Milivojevic at the back.

Attack

Christian Benteke has not been able to show his true colours yet but Hodgson is good in getting the best out of his strikers, which should be a boon for the former Liverpool man. He should have Andros Townsend playing on one flank while Ruben Loftus-Cheek is the best option for the other flank.

Lee Chung-Yong may be used if Loftus-Cheek is not ready for first team action but Wilfried Zaha, when fit, is expected to take this place.

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