Southampton host Everton in season defining clash


On Saturday, Everton travel south to face a Saints side in a similar situation. With both teams in perilous positions, pressure is certainly mounting on the two clubs.

Both in desperate need of a victory, the clash at St Mary’s promises to be a dramatic one.

The hosts sit in 18th place, three points adrift of safety. The Saints’ last win in any competition was way back on the 24th of September, where they beat bitter rivals Portsmouth 4-0.

However, the prominent moment of Southampton’s season is the 9-0 humiliation at the hands of Leicester City a fortnight ago. Even now, the scars suffered on that fateful Friday night will take a long time to heal. Accused of not caring, downing tools and lacking quality, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side need to urgently win back the supporters trust.

Meanwhile, Everton are also in need of a spark to ignite their season. Currently one place above the weekend’s counterparts, the Toffees are unquestionably underachieving with the quality of squad at their disposal. But a resilient score draw against Tottenham last week could be the sign of a resurgence.

Team news

The Saints will be without Ryan Bertrand, who will serve the final game of his three match suspension. The full-back picked up a straight red during their defeat to Leicester.

But Hasenhuttl will welcome back Cedric Soares and Moussa Djenepo after respective calf and muscle injuries.

Andre Gomes joins Everton’s injury list following the unfortunate scenes last weekend. The Portuguese suffered a dislocated ankle in their 1-1 draw with Spurs.

Jean-Philippe Gbamin (thigh) and Bernard (knee) remain out. Recently recalled England midfielder Fabian Delph faces a late fitness test after experiencing a tight hamstring.

Ralph Hasenhuttl has revealed his side have regathered their togetherness following the Leicester loss:

“It gives us a feeling that when we work together and are defensively organised and very disciplined, some teams score against us as we have shown, but on Saturday we need more qualities for winning.

“It’s been an intensive week and I think it puts us more together as a club and a team and that’s important for us. At this time of the season, it can help us to focus on the games and we have to deliver results and this is the most important goal we have in the next weeks.”

Toffees boss Marco Silva has refused to underestimate their upcoming opponents, despite their current struggles:

“They will want to react. They will want to show a different performance and reaction for their fans.

“It’s a tough place to play for Everton Football Club every time. But we want to go there and compete and do our best to take the three points. We need to show more and more and we did that in the game (against Tottenham) in the last 15 minutes.

“We showed strong character and togetherness and that is what we need to do in the next match.”


Southampton wins: 31

Draws: 22

Everton wins: 48


About Author

Football, Boxing and Cricket correspondent from Hampshire, covering southern sport. Editor and Head of Boxing at Prost International. Accreditated EFL & EPL journalist.

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