Instead it ended in Crystal Palace becoming the first the club in top-flight history to lose their opening five league games without scoring.
West Brom were Hodgson's last job in club management before he left to take the England position in 2012, and the short but sweet spell he spent in charge at the Hawthorns provides a reasonable barometer for what to expect at Crystal Palace. As far as goals are concerned, I am going for the under 2.5 goals since neither team has been able to score much this season so far.
If there is an upside it is that Hodgson's revival acts normally take a while to kick into gear.
In the promising midfielder's absence, the equalising goal that had once looked likely gradually proved beyond them, and only Southampton's Cedric Soares threatened, forcing another save from Hennessey late on. The goal was only Southampton's second from open play this season and came on Davis's 200th appearance in all competitions for the club. In the last five head to head records between these two teams in English Carabao Cup, English Premier League, and English FA Cup, Southampton won three matches and two matches by Crystal Palace.
"I still believe in the long-term, these players will pick themselves up from where they have been knocked down to", he said. "You can always get off to a bad start, what we've got to remember is our fate will be decided after 38 games, not four".
"There is no lack of attitude from players wanting to do better but we have a psychological fight on our hands, we have to make judgements on the games and the players know that".