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INSIDE INFO: the Crystal Palace viewpoint

We spoke to Jay from Crystal Palace blog The Eagles Beak to get the lowdown on Southampton's opponents on Saturday.

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Selhurst Park has traditionally been kind to Southampton. However, under Alan Pardew, the new and improved Crystal Palace have already had some great results in this Premier League season, beating the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool away from home.

To see how Ronald Koeman's Saints will fare in South London on Saturday, we spoke to Jay from The Eagles Beak to get some inside information on our next opponents.

St. Mary's Musings: What were your expectations for the season before it had begun and how does the current season compare?

Jay: It was difficult this summer to think what we, as fans, wanted this time around considering we had over achieved for two seasons in succession. There was a real feeling of wondering if that was as far as we could go but the club made some signings that really made us all think that the owners and management wanted to strive to achieve more and grab hold of the opportunity.

The positivity around the club is great and we are really hoping we can improve on our 11th and 10th place finishes.

SMM: What are your thoughts on the job Alan Pardew's done at Palace? How have things changed?

J: To be fair, he inherited an excellent squad of players in a decent position. Warnock had done his best but he was only ever a stop gap. Enter Pardew stage left.

His appointment was solid particularly after the treatment he was getting at Newcastle and being very well thought of among the fans, he would always get time. Thankfully, he has not needed the cushion and has taken the side on and making it his own.

The way that we are retaining possession and attacking with pace is exciting to watch and while it will not always work, it helps add that buzz around the place particularly with the players we have at the moment.

SMM: What have been the best moments of this season so far?

J: Winning at Chelsea early in the season but unfortunately that is not deemed as quite such an achievement these days!

Beating Liverpool away was particularly pleasing and a draw at home to United, a team we have rarely got any change out of in the past, was a real coup especially as we were coming off a bad run of results.

SMM: Yohan Cabaye was an absolute steal in the summer. How has he fit into Pardew's Palace side since joining?

J: Absolutely. I likened his signing that that of one of my favourite players, Attilio Lombardo. Pardew has to take some of the plaudits as he had a major influence but the owners too by making it a marquee signing and showing the intent that they have going forward and investing in a player that really can make the side tick.

Many fans, including me, were looking forward to his talent as an attacking force but he has been oh so much more. His battling qualities have made him an immediate icon on the current squad, a leader without having the armband. He is right up there in tackles made and interceptions in the Premier League while also weighing in with goals and telling contributions.

SMM: Do Palace need to sign any players in the transfer window? What areas need addressing?

J: Good question. Every club should strive to evolve and we are no different. I would like to see Wickham and Chamakh now feature seeing as they are back from injury as I have a lot of time for both but the striker position has been a problem.

Do we go for another one? I'm not sure as I think a run of games for Wickham, based on the form we have seen form him when he has played suggests to me that we do not need anyone. But he is injury prone, as is Chamakh.

It's a tough one. I would like to see us bring in another centre back, one that may not feature much this season but one that can get a summer under his belt and challenge the likes of Delaney and Kelly for the position alongside Dann as I doubt Hangeland will be at the club after this campaign.

SMM: What Palace player should us Saints fans be looking out for?

J: At the moment there are a few players that could cause problems for you and it is so difficult to narrow it down.

Wilf Zaha has been in great form and we missed him on Monday in the draw with Everton. He was suspended for that game and I expect him to make up for that with a good showing.

SMM: If you could sign any Saints player, who would it be and why?

J: Mane is a real talent and threat on his day. Tricky and pacy, that will always cause problems especially in front of goal which is an area we have struggled with at times.

SMM: If you could sell any Palace player from your regular starting XI, who would it be and why?

J: Very tough question as there is not really a player that I dislike. Jason Puncheon is frustrating at times, especially in recent weeks but I would not want to sell him as he can do something special.

If I was pushed, I would say Wayne Hennessey. I have not been entirely convinced with him but he did make an excellent save on Monday. I just feel that there are better goalkeepers out there while I expect our future number one to be Alex McCarthy.

SMM: Finally, what is your prediction for Saturday?

J: It will be a tough game but the teams will be well matched so it will be as hard as the Everton game.

My head says draw but my heart suggests a 2-1 win to celebrate the ten year anniversary of our Holmesdale Fanatics.