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Prediction: Southampton vs Everton


Verdict: Both teams to score – No

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: William Hill

Southampton will be keen to end a four-match winless run in the Premier League when they face top 6 rivals Everton at St Mary’s. The Toffees have been blowing hot and cold this season and they have been especially disappointing on the road, losing three of last four away matches.

Southampton

Former Lyon and Nice boss Claude Puel has enjoyed a bright start to his career in England, but the hectic schedule is slowly starting to affect his side’s results. Even though he usually fielded weakened sides in Europa League, several key men were used in European matches as well, and it is clear that they are not in the best possible shape at the moment. Southampton have suffered a serious dip in form of late, losing three of last five matches on all fronts, while they are winless in last four Premier League fixtures. Midweek’s 1-0 loss to Sparta Prague not only damaged their chances of reaching the Europa League knockout stages, but also served as another confidence blow, and it is clear that the Saints desperately need a morale-boosting win to turn things around. However, they could face a tough task against hard-working Everton side, having failed to score in three of last five matches, and Claude Puel will be hoping the return of playmaker Dusan Tadic will bring improvement to the attacking department. Southampton did well to win six of ten home games this season (D3 L1), but it is important to note that they failed to register a goal in two of last three matches at St Mary’s.

Team News

Serbian midfielder Dusan Tadic is set to return after missing the Liverpool game through a broken nose, but Jeremy Pied and Alex McCarthy remain in the infirmary.

Claude Puel will recall a number of starters to the side after they were rested in midweek, with Charlie Austin, Oriol Romeu, Steven Davis and Ryan Bertrand among those set to return.

Everton

Everton are pretty much in the same position as their next opponents, as they, too, are punching well below their wait. The only difference is that there are no European distractions for the Toffees, meaning they’ve got no excuses for under-par results. It is the former Saints boss Ronald Koeman who is now in charge of the Merseyside outfit, and he has so far failed to bring any sort of improvement to Goodison Park. Another disappointing season could be detrimental to the club on numerous levels, considering that star players Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley and Seamus Coleman could express their desire to leave if they fail to the potential at Merseyside. Everton have largely struggled over the last two months, winning just one of last eight matches in all competitions, crashing out of the EFL Cup at the hands of Norwich City, while slipping to seventh in the Premier League standings. Just like their opponents, the Toffees are in need of a morale-boosting triumph, but seeing as how they are lacking confidence at the moment, we cannot really expect them to go all guns blazing at St Mary’s, especially given the poor away record.

Team News

Veteran midfielder Gareth Barry is back after serving a suspension, and James McCarthy is expected to make way.

Aaron Lennon and Yannick Bolasie should keep their places, but Muhamed Besic and Matthew Pennington remain in the treatment room.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Both teams scored in one of their last five meetings
  • Everton won 3-0 in the same fixture last season
  • Saints won six of ten home games this term (D3 L1)
  • They failed to score in three of last five matches
  • Everton lost three of last four away fixtures (D1)

Conclusion

A nervy affair can be expected when two out of confidence teams face each other at St Mary’s, and it goes without saying that we shouldn’t see too many goals. Both sides have struggled up front of late and we, therefore, cannot see both Southampton and Everton getting on the scoresheet.

Verdict: Both teams to score – No

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: William Hill

Fri 25 Nov, 2016
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