Southampton are all set to host their game against Everton at the St Mary’s stadium. The Saints would be looking for victory after the 2-2 draw against Newcastle United. This will be their first home match of this season and Ronald Koeman will look for his side to build on positives from last weekend. The biggest positive would have to be the strong performances by the forwards. Goals from Graziano Pelle and Shane Long will boost both players’ confidences. Jay Rodriguez was also a bright spot for Southampton as the he returned after spending more than a year out due to his injury.
Interestingly, Everton also drew their last match 2-2 against Watford, and will enter this match looking to also secure their first win of the season. If Everton are looking to secure a place at least within the top 7, they need to address some serious concerns regarding their future play. Unlike last time, Everton Manager Roberto Martinez cannot blame the Europa League competition. One player Everton will need to rely on in this match — and for most of this season — is Tim Howard. The American goalkeeper will need to be strong at the post if Everton are looking to securing a result at St. Mary’s Stadium.
Manager Ronald Koeman has confirmed that Jordy Clasie and Steven Caulker will miss the match against Everton this Saturday. Clasie played against Manchester City in the U-21s, but had to make way through injury just at the start of the second half. Caulker has picked up a sinus infection during the week.
Roberto Martinez is hopeful Gerard Deulofeu will be good to play in the Everton game, since his return to the club this summer. Deulofeu missed their Premier League opener against Watford due to a hamstring problem but made a successful return to full training on Wednesday. Muhamed Besic and Aiden McGeady also have complained of hamstring injuries but they are in contention to play as well, while Kevin Mirallas is expected to shake off the ankle knock he sustained against the Hornets.
- The tower in Everton’s crest is actually Prince Rupert’s Tower, located in the Everton district of Liverpool. An iconic structure in the heart of the club’s home, the tower was first adapted into the Everton crest by team secretary Theo Kelly in 1938.
- Everton have remained in the top division since 1954, and were founding members of the Premier League in 1992.
- Everton are the fourth most successful team when it comes to top-flight titles, having won nine in their history. Their last championship success came during the 1986/87 season.
- Southampton have failed to score in the two games Jay Rodriguez has missed since his knee injury.
- Everton have won eight of their last nine Barclays Premier League games, losing only to Crystal Palace.
- Southampton have scored four goals in two of their last three home games.
LEAGUE HEAD TO HEAD
2014/2015 4th May Everton 1-0 Southampton EPL
2014/2015 20th Dec Southampton 3-0 Everton EPL
2013/2014 26th Apr Southampton 2-0 Everton EPL
2013/2014 29th Dec Everton 2-1 Southampton EPL
2012/2013 21st Jan Southampton 0-0 Everton EPL
2012/2013 29th Sept Everton 3-1 Southampton EPL
SOUTHAMPTON: Jay Rodriguez
The forward’s performance was satisfactory before his 65-minute substitution at St James’ Park on Sunday, but it was an intense afternoon for a player who returned to his team after 16 long months. The 2-2 draw meant there was no winning start for Saints, but assistant manager Erwin Koeman described Rodriguez’s return as a “big victory”. Rodriguez will undoubtedly propel Southampton to greater heights, and against Everton this Saturday, he is expected to perform even better with the home advantage. Graziano Pelle might be the striker to watch out for, but for this match, Jay Rodriguez is likely to be key for Southampton.
EVERTON: Tim Howard
Southampton strikers looked like they were on a high in their draw against Newcastle United. The Everton defence looked bad enough against Watford. The key for Everton would be to solidify their defence further because Southampton will have the home advantage and will be looking to capitalize. Hence, ultimately, it’ll all come down to how Tim Howard fares in front of the net. He will need to be a rock for Everton and should aim at maintaining a clean sheet.
Southampton just need to work on their defence because, at the moment, their strikers are extremely strong. The crowd at St.Mary’s will be more than happy to give them the support they need. On the other hand, Everton will also be looking to secure a Premier League win. However, my prediction is a 2-1 victory for Southampton.