Friday, February 21, 2020

Prediction: Southampton vs Everton

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 8 Nov 2019


Verdict: Total goals under 2.5

Best odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: bet365

Southampton will welcome Everton to St. Mary’s on Saturday afternoon, in a game that’s set to be a part of the 12th round of this season’s Premier League race.


It’s been a very long time since Southampton have looked this desperate in the English top flight. It’s not really a surprise, given how many times that had to completely rebuild their team in the last five years. Many of their former players now adorn the squads of the ‘big six’ – Luke Shaw, Calum Chambers, Sadio Mane, Virgil van Dijk, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana… Some are excelling elsewhere – Dusan Tadic, for example.

Over and over, they found suitable replacements, they changed managers, they worked very hard not to let this come to pass, but it seems it was inevitable to happen sooner or later. They recently broke an unwelcome record – the biggest ever home defeat in the Premier League – as they went a man down and conceded nine at the hands of Leicester City. The Saints now welcome Everton from the relegation zone, and at the moment, things are looking very black for them.

Team News

Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl will be able to call upon Cedric Soares, who is now back to full fitness following a longer spell on the sidelines, while fellow fullback Ryan Bertrand is suspended, having been the player sent off early in the Leicester debacle. On the other hand, winger Moussa Djenepo has recovered from his injury and could make his second league start of the season.


Things aren’t going all that well for Everton either. They aren’t far from the relegation zone themselves, sitting in 17th place with 11 points from as many games, and manager Marco Silva has come under severe scrutiny lately. There have been some encouraging results, such as the 2-0 win over West Ham for example, but there were also a few notably underwhelming ones, sich as defeats to Burnley and Brighton and Hove Albion.

Last week they drew 1-1 against Tottenham Hotspur, with Cenk Tosun scoring late to cancel out Dele Alli’s 63rd-minute opener, but the result took a back seat in this game to an extremely unfortunate incident. Midfielder Andre Gomes, very important for Silva’s philosophy, suffered a broken ankle under a joint challenge from Son Heung-min and Serge Aurier, with the South Korean receiving a direct red card which has since been overturned.

Be that as it may, there’s very little doubt that the atmosphere in the dressing room will have been shaken, and it will take a high level of professionalism from the players to recover quickly. It will also take a lot of reshuffling from Silva to compensate for the loss of Gomes.

Team News

Naturally, the former Barcelona man is out of action, probably for the rest of the season too, though Silva believes he may yet recover in time to take part in the late stages of the campaign. The manager’s headache when it comes to the middle of the park will have been made worse by a hamstring injury suffered by Fabian Delph, though the former Aston Villa and Manchester City player hasn’t been ruled out completely.


Neither of these teams has been very efficient in terms of goals this season, and a slow game is to be expected when they lock horns at St. Mary’s, despite both boasting attacking players of reasonable quality. It feels as if a single strike might be enough to settle the contest.

Verdict: Total goals under 2.5

Best odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: bet365


Veselin Trajkovic

Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on four different football blogs.



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