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Southampton’s Danny Ings faces battle against in form James Tomkins

Danny Ings was a surprise omission from the starting line-up in the shock win over Chelsea on Boxing Day but he should be back to terrorise the Crystal Palace defence, which has looked strong this season.

On the chalkboard

Ralph Hasenhuttl made a gamble on Thursday that really came off as Michael Obafemi led the line with great composure and tremendous skill.

The former looked full of confidence as he ran at Kurt Zouma before finding the top corner and he could partner Ings against the Eagles on Saturday.

While visiting a top-four side is difficult, Saints may find Roy Hodgson’s team a more difficult prospect at home, as they have conceded fewer goals than Chelsea while St. Mary’s hasn’t been an enjoyable place for Hasenhuttl’s men – winning just twice in nine league games.

Palace had missed Gary Cahill but James Tomkins has stepped up in recent weeks by contributing to three clean sheets in six league games, of which his side have only lost once.

Ings therefore faces a man in form, but after recording ten goals in his previous 13 matches the striker will be raring to go after being rested until the final 20 minutes.

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Chance for a big win

Southampton may have surprised a few with their recent victories, particularly as they have struggled for much of the season, the defence alone letting the team down with 37 league goals conceded.

Hasenhuttl has come under pressure but a simple 4-4-2 formation is doing the trick, and the players are suddenly playing with new-found confidence, as their brilliant 15-pass goal against the Blues demonstrated.

There is no reason why they can’t follow up that huge victory by picking up another important three points, and if they manage that then their relegation fears can ease a bit for the first time this campaign.

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They had been reliant on Ings but Adams and Obafemi have now proven they can have a role to play and help out the 27-year-old, especially in terms of providing him with opportunities to maintain his average of 2.1 shots ger game.

Tomkins will be a tough competitor having managed 2.1 tackles and 5.5 clearances per game, and it is the latter that is most important, as many of Ings’ goals come as a result of his quick thinking and brilliant anticipation, though he does also finish like a true poacher. So far this term, he’s netted 11 times in the league.

Will Danny Ings score against Crystal Palace?

Yes

Yes

No

No

The Saints are playing with a bit of panache currently and their hard work has been rewarded recently, so there is every chance they will maintain that faith and style and see off Palace as a result, with Ings likely getting on the scoresheet.

In other Southampton news, Mario Lemina has been playing well in his loan spell at Galatasaray and could present Hasenhuttl with another option upon his return.

Article title: Southampton’s Danny Ings faces battle against in form James Tomkins

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