Clyne relishing Palace tussle
Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne is looking forward to facing his former club Crystal Palace for the first time after overcoming a personally frustrating start to the season.
Despite reported interest from Manchester United and Manchester City, the highly-rated 22-year-old plumped for a move to St Mary's after his Palace deal came to an end last year.
The right-back made 139 appearances for the Eagles after coming through the Selhurst Park academy, which has produced the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Victor Moses and Wayne Routledge in recent years.
The latter, now with Swansea, was welcomed by boos last Sunday when he lined-up against his former club for the first time - a fate Clyne hopes to avoid at St Mary's this weekend.
"I am hoping for a good reception," he said with a smile. "I don't think I will get a tough ride. Hopefully I will get a good reception.
"I haven't had time to go and see them play since I left, but I follow their games.
"I still talk to a few of their players about how it is going down there. Obviously they are doing well and deserve to be here in the Premier League.
"It is definitely special, the fact I am playing my former club for the first time.
"I am definitely excited and it should be a good game, both teams going at it, and hopefully we can get away with the three points."
Clyne is almost certain to be named in the starting line-up against Palace which bodes well for the Saints who have kept clean sheets in the two league games since Clyne's recall.
Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino will assess the recovery of the players involved in Capital One Cup action ahead of the clash with Crystal Palace.
Tadanari Lee and Gaston Ramirez were among those to impress in the 2-0 defeat of Bristol City, although began to fade in the second half and the latter limped off late on.
Rickie Lambert and Dani Osvaldo are set to start in attack against the Eagles
Manager Ian Holloway has challenged his Crystal Palace players to box clever just like Muhammad Ali when their battle for Barclays Premier League survival continues at Southampton on Saturday.
The Eagles head to St Mary's on the back of a disappointing 2-0 home defeat by Swansea, where they never recovered from falling behind to a goal from Michu inside two minutes.
Despite his side having now lost four of the opening five matches on their return to the top flight since winning promotion via the play-offs, Holloway remains confident this new-look Palace squad will soon gel - and is determined to make them harder to beat while also capable of landing a knockout blow of their own.
"We will have to be slightly different away from home, but part of our game is drawing teams onto us and then knocking them out with a (sucker) punch," Holloway said.
"I don't think we are going to be a Sugar Ray Leonard, I think we are going to be more of a Muhammad Ali against Joe Frasier (rope-a-dope in the 1974 Rumble in the Jungle).
"I just want our lads to grow, and if we can give ourselves half a chance, then that will do.
"We are going to have to set our stall out and then look to counter-attack, maybe get a set-piece and hurt them, if we can get a goal, then away we go.
"It is more about staying in the games long enough when I can make those changes to try to go get the points - we have not had a draw yet, which is unbelievable if you think about the way we have played."
Holloway can call on South African midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi again after his one-match suspension for a red card at Manchester United although defender Damien Delaney (ankle) is sidelined.
Holloway continued: "I am totally convinced our attitude and the way we are going to work hard for each other and what we have learned from last week, that we can take all of that into this next game.
"We have got to be right at it and on our game, but we are trying to gel this lot together and learn from our mistakes.
"As long as you improve and move forwards and don't go backwards on your belief, that is all you can ask from the players."