This week we spoke to Crystal Palace blog The Eagle's Beak ahead of Wednesday's League Cup clash to get the lowdown on Southampton's opponents.
Please read, like, share and, most importantly, enjoy this week's edition of INSIDE INFO - the original (we're looking at you, www.saintsfc.co.uk) Saints column which gets the opposition's views ahead of their match against our beloved Southampton.
Check out what we had to say to Palace blog The Eagle's Beak here.
St. Mary's Musings: What were your expectations before the season had started and how do they compare to now?
The Eagle's Beak: With the summer that we had recruiting then many fans including myself were hoping for more consistency throughout the season and perhaps a mid-table finish, maybe pushing the top ten. After getting the taste of a cup run last season it is sweet enough to want to experience it again and again so why not push that boundary again?
SMM: How happy were you with your transfer window?
TEB: Very happy indeed. It started early for us too with the recruitment of Steve Mandanda, Andros Townsend and James Tomkins. Then we lost three players that were fan favourites which perhaps tested the resolve a little and while many can see why they have left the club, I am confident that we are a little stronger coming out the other side particularly after the addition of Christian Benteke. Not all needs were met but as Alan Pardew has stated, this is a team in transition this season so we will see where we are come January.
SMM: What's the current feeling among fans re Alan Pardew?
TEB: Last season was a test of many fans resolve in terms of their views on Pardew. Had we not reached the cup final he may have been on his way but the owners clearly want some continuity at the club and perhaps that view will end up paying off. It was a season of two halves, first half brilliant, and thankfully it was as the second half was absolutely appalling. We found a way of beating Premier League sides in the FA Cup (apart from the final of course) but just could not do it in the league. I was adamant that Pardew had to get off to a good start this season particularly in view of our form in 2016. At the time of writing, we are four games unbeaten (three in the league) and sitting in 8th in the table so its looking okay right now.
SMM: Are you confident Palace will not hit another slump in the second half of the season?
TEB: I don't think Pardew can afford another slump like it. He managed to see out last season but unlikely to survive anything of the sort again. We cannot afford to let it happen in this division, the Premier League us the place to be and having built solid foundations to be playing in our fourth consecutive top flight season, it would be a travesty to waste all that hard work.
SMM: What does the League Cup mean to your club and your fans?
TEB: Our experience in the FA Cup last season was one to favour and us fans want to taste that again whether it be the same competition of the League Cup. With the responsibilities the top teams have elsewhere, the League Cup could be one clubs like ours could really focus on, play a strong team and get to the latter stages where anything can happen. Even though we lost at Wembley, we want to go back there again and soon. No club should underestimate what it means to fans to get to a final, no matter who you are.
SMM: Who should us Saints fans be on the lookout for and who do Palace fans fear from Saints?
TEB: It is so difficult to say when you consider how clubs treat this competition but if we play a strong starting eleven, then there are a few players to look our for following our thrashing of Stoke at the weekend. However, I think I will plump for a players that you will know only too well who has been playing well at this early stage of the season - Jason Puncheon. He was one of several outstanding performances at the weekend and I hope he carries this form on into the cup.
SMM: If you could sign any Saints player, who would it be and why?
TEB: Virgil van Dijk. Palace we rumoured to be interested before Southampton signed him. He has impressed me since he joined the Saints from Celtic and would be the perfect partner for our own Scott Dann.
SMM: If you could sell any player from Palace's regular starting XI, who would it be and why?
TEB: Off the back of our win at the weekend, this is extremely tough! I am presuming that this question means a player that we could sell with the aim of improving a position so while this will not be a very popular view, I will say Damien Delaney as he is not getting any younger and while he still offers something, we need to evolve in every starting position on the pitch which is something that has to happen over time. He will no doubt be replaced in the starting eleven by Tomkins as the season goes on anyhow,
SMM: Finally, what is your prediction for the game?
TEB: Third time lucky for the Saints? Maybe not considering your European commitments so a 2-1 win for the Eagles.