Charlie Nicholas predicts Southampton v Crystal Palace

The Sky Sports pundit has been previewing the South Coast side's FA Cup clash with Palace.

Charlie Nicholas believes Southampton can get 'back on track' with a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon, according to the pundit's Sky Sports predictions column.

But the pundit believes Palace boss Alan Pardew 'really fancies' a strong cup run this season.

The only problem there, however, is that the Southampton tie has come at a time when his squad isn't its strongest.

Nicholas told Sky Sports: "I think Alan Pardew really fancies a shot at the FA Cup this season, while Southampton need to get some momentum after some inconsistent performances recently.

"I think it will be another close match but I'm not sure where Palace's goals will come from without Wickham and Bolasie, who is a huge miss. This is a good opportunity for Ronald Koeman to get Southampton back on track."

Their 4-0 win at Arsenal - which now seems a total outlier - aside, the Saints have been on a worrying run of form lately.

The opportunity for a break from the Premier League is a timely one, then, while Southampton could also be stumbling across Crystal Palace at a good time.

Pardew has made it a skill of his at Palace to always grind out a result after a game goes badly for the south London club, thereby ensuring a bad defeat doesn't turn into a bad run.

At the moment, however, injuries have weakened Crystal Palace in attack - and Chelsea showed their defence can be beaten during a 3-0 league win over the Eagles. Can Southampton capitalise?

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