Mauricio Pellegrino’s Southampton faced their first defeat of the league campaign against Watford at home, just weeks after they were knocked out of the League Cup by the Wolves. They have now picked up just five points from four games and will now look to settle for nothing less than all three points when they travel to the Selhurst Park this weekend.
They face a Crystal Palace side, who have hit rock-bottom of the Premier League table, failing to score a single goal or pick up a single point. They also have a new manager in Roy Hodgson already and are not looking too confident.
Pellegrino has little problems with fitness to his key players as star defender Virgil van Dijk, who lacks match fitness, is the only player expected to miss out in this game.
Though the loss in the previous game will hurt, the Saints are expected to stick with a similar formation, with not many changes to the first team.
Fraser Forster is expected to keep his place in between the sticks, just behind a back-4 for Southampton. Cedric Soares and Ryan Bertrand were both linked with exits in the summer but decided to stay back and are expected to play as full-backs in this game.
With van Dijk still not fit, new signing Wesley Hoedt and Jack Stephens should shoulder the responsibilities at the back. They will be up against a tough opponent in Benteke, who will surely make their day frustrating.
The Saints are a compact side that love to have numbers behind the ball. But Pellegrino has used just a two-man midfield so far in a 4-2-3-1 formation. The energetic Oriol Romeu is one of the first names on the team sheet for the Saints and he should be partnered by Mario Lemina, who seems to be adjusting to life in England pretty quickly.
The duo has been immense even against some tough opponents already this season and will hope to put in a similar performance this weekend as well.
Nathan Redmond has started the season in fine fashion and should play on one wing, adding width to attack while Dusan Tadic is expected to play on the other flank. Tadic will look to take advantage of space between the lines while Redmond will hog the touchline.
Steven Davies has done an effective job in a number 10 role and is expected to keep his place in the side for this tie while Manolo Gabbiadini, who had a night to forget against Watford, should lead the attack yet again.
Here is how they might line up: