PREVIEW | Southampton vs Everton

Goodison was back to its raucous best in Frank Lampard’s first home game in charge of Everton. The Blues ran out comfortable 3-0 winners against Leeds United, which moved them to within a point of Marcelo Bielsa’s side, with a game in hand.

Goals from Seamus Coleman, his first since 2019, Michael Keane and Anthony Gordon secured the Toffees their first win in the League in six games. It was also the first time since Carlo Ancelotti’s second Everton game, against Newcastle, that the Blues had more than twenty shots in a game.

As mentioned, Seamus Coleman scored his first goal in over two years, and Everton have a very good record when he scores. They are unbeaten in twenty-seven games, winning twenty-one and drawing the other six.

Southampton on the other hand have had a bit of a resurgence the last few games. They are unbeaten in their last three, drawing 1-1 with both Manchester City and Manchester United, and beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-3 away from home.

In their last game against Manchester United, Che Adams scored his second goal in as many games to secure the Saints a point on the road, in what was an even game between the two sides. Like Everton, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side have also progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup, where they face West Ham United at St Mary’s.

The Saints will be without goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and full-back Nathan Tella, but apart from these injuries Hasenhüttl should have a very strong squad to select from.

The Southampton manager said that winger Nathan Redmond has returned to training, whilst Jan Bednarek and Mohamed Elyounoussi are both available after going off injured in last Saturday’s draw with Manchester United.

Everton were handed a boost in training this week, as midfielder Abdoulaye Doucouré took part in the warm-up on Thursday, though he will not be available for tomorrow’s fixture.

Frank Lampard will also be without Demarai Gray, Ben Godfrey, Fabian Delph, Yerry Mina and Tom Davies – with Davies confirming on his Instagram that he will not feature again this season.

Donny van de Beek will look to retain his place in the starting XI following his man of the match display, whilst new signing Dele Alli will be pushing for his first start following his tow substitute appearances.

However, the Blues will welcome back Vitalii Mykolenko after he missed the victory over Leeds with Covid. Though with how well Jonjoe Kenny performed last weekend, he might not get back into the team.

One to watch – Southampton
Chelsea loanee Armando Broja has been one of Southampton’s star players this season and the forward has six goals in twelve Premier League starts.

The 20-year-old has provided the Saints with more of a focal point this season, standing at six feet three inches. He has an average rating of 6.86 according to WhoScored and has excelled in his first season in the Premier League.

The striker has strengths too, including his dribbling, though he does lose the ball when pressured. Meaning that if Lampard has Everton pressing high again and trying to turn the ball over, Broja will either not get any service, or the service that he does get, he will be pressured into losing it.

One to watch – Everton
Richarlison seemed back to his brilliant best last weekend against Leeds United. He was a constant problem for the Leeds backline all game, and cruelly had a goal chalked off and given to Anthony Gordon after the ball flicked the 20-year-olds heel.

The Brazilian has seven goal involvements in fifteen games this season (four goals, three assists), having played in a number of positions. Last week, he was part of a two-man strike force with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and then when the England international went off on seventy-two minutes, he was the loan striker until he himself was replaced.

The 24-year-olds heading and defensive contributions are two of his strengths, and his defensive contribution was particularly effective and noted last week. He was however caught offside again, something which he really needs to improve as too often he is caught offside when Everton are in an attacking position.

Richarlison has scored five goals in his last six games against the Saints and will be hoping to continue that good run on Saturday.

Everton ran out 3-1 winners in the reverse fixture at the start of the season but fell to a 2-0 defeat at St Mary’s last season.

The Toffees go into the fixture with renewed hope and vigour following last week’s performance, yet so do Southampton after their recent run of form. Five points and undefeated against three of the top six is impressive and they will be hoping for a win against an Everton side that has only won once on the road all season.

However, there is no reason to dismiss Everton, especially on the back of last week’s performance, in which the Goodison faithful were back to their bear-pit, raucous best. Here’s hoping the away support will be just as good and inspire the team to another victory.

Prediction: 1-2.

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.