Tag Archive: Palace
Tonight sees a Carling Cup clash at Selhurst Park against two of the teams of the Championship season so far.
Fourth-placed Crystal Palace take on top-of-the-table Southampton as both teams look for a place in the quarter-finals of the League Cup to carry on their great starts to the campaign.
Newly-promoted Southampton have re-adjusted to life in the second tier of English football with consumate ease under the guidance of a manager whose reputation grows by the week.
Nigel Adkins did a brilliant job with Scunthorpe before dropping down to League One and awakening a sleeping giant that had suffered from years of mismanagement off the pitch and results on it.
After guiding the Saints to promotion in May, they have raced to the summit of the Championship after demonstrating a wonderful attacking style with a prominent cutting edge.
The likes of Adam Lallana and Jack Cork are really starting to make names for themselves, while Rickie Lambert is doing what Norwich striker Grant Holt did before him – score goals consistently while going up through the leagues.
They are averaging over two goals a game, and their combination of a prominent aerial threat in Lambert with their ability to play it along the floor with devastating effect underlines why the Saints have been marching on.
So they will pose a big challenge to Palace – but the Eagles have been soaring themselves under the guidance of rookie manager Dougie Freedman.
The former Palace striker has settled into football management with little publicity but undoubted success so far, having led a young but immensely-talented side to the upper echelons in the table.
Palace have always had a prosperous academy with the likes of Victor Moses and Wayne Routledge coming through the system in recent years.
Freedman and his squad have been one of the success stories of 2011, going from relegation certainties under George Burley to an ambitious outfit that do not fear anyone.
Neither side should feel that defeat this evening will damage their season too much, with eyes firmly fixed on maintaining their league form.
But a chance of a quarter-final spot - and the likelihood of a Premier League draw to come with it - means that there is plenty of motivation to continue their cup run.
If they both carry on what they’ve started over the past few months, then those that make it to South London later on should be in store for a cracker.
Prediction: This is a tight game to call and one that might go past the scheduled 90 minutes. Home advantage might make all the difference, and I’m going for Palace to edge it 2-1 after extra-time.
So what do you think? Will it be the Saints or the Eagles that make it through to the last eight of the Carling Cup tonight? Leave a comment and let us know your views.