Palace v Southampton ? Team news preview

Last updated : 12 September 2006 By Nik Taylor

What happened to our great start to the season? Since winning the first three games of the new campaign, Palace have now gone on a three-match winless run – collecting just a single point at home to Burnley.

However, despite this early wobble, a win tonight at home to Southampton could (theoretically) see us move back to the top of the table on goal difference.

If that's to happen, the team will have to do it without skipper Carl Fletcher. The midfielder was forced off through injury during Saturday's defeat at Luton, and he's likely to be out for a couple of weeks. The dependable Michael Hughes would appear the obvious replacement, especially since it was he who came on for Fletcher at Kenilworth Roac.

The rest of the team will probably stay the same as on Saturday, although Peter Taylor may be tempted to start new signing Shefki Kuqi on the bench this time after admitting the striker's fitness is not yet up to scratch.

Southampton are at more or less full strength. Bradley Wright-Phillips had been missing through injury, but is expected to be available to play – while youngster Gareth Bale is also an option after he was rested at the weekend.

Probable Palace XI

Butterfield Hudson Cort Granville
Soares Hughes Kennedy McAnuff
Kuqi Scowcroft