Last Updated: Fri, 27 Sep 2013 13:22
Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne is looking forward to facing his former club Crystal Palace for the first time since departing.
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.
Fitness problems and the emergence of 18-year-old Calum Chambers, another graduate of Saints' fabled academy, meant Clyne was reduced to watching the first three league games of the season from the bench.
"I was a bit frustrated knowing that I didn't start the games, but, obviously, I took a knock in pre-season, which stopped me from playing a few pre-season games," he said.
"Then, as the season started, I wasn't match fit, so I had to get myself prepared.
"Chambers came in and he did well. I knew I had to step my game up and work hard in training to get myself back in the squad.
"He is a quality player and has learned well. He is coming through and pushing me, really, to make me a better player as well.
"It is good to have competition. It is healthy for the team and it will only make me a better player. I know there is someone on my back that if I don't do well, then he is going to come in."
It certainly looks to have helped, with Saints keeping clean sheets in the two league games since Clyne's recall to the starting line-up.
In fact, the full-back was one of the standout performers in last weekend's 1-0 win at Liverpool, where he made more tackles in a single Premier League match than any other player since 2010.
"One of my mates sent me a picture of that stat," Clyne said of his 13 tackles. "I thought I did well in that game, marking my old mate Victor Moses.
"It was a good overall team performance from us to come away from Anfield with three points..
"It is a tough league and every team you are going to play against is going to be difficult, but we've been doing well and hopefully we can keep up the good run of form."
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