Everton boss Roberto Martinez has given great credit to Ronald Koeman’s Southampton side ahead of the Toffees clash with the Saints on Saturday, insisting they have been a “revelation” in the Premier League this season.
Southampton are still chasing Champions League football with just eight games to go and head to Goodison Park looking for another victory on Saturday afternoon.
Everton have had a hugely disappointing campaign by their standards and this time last year they found themselves in the same position Southampton are currently in – six points adrift of the top four with eight games to go.Embed from Getty Images
The Toffees ended up finishing fifth and earned a place in the UEFA Europa League, a competition they have thrived in this season but Martinez has heaped praise on Saturday’s opponents.
“The Saints have had a fantastic campaign, currently sitting just a point behind Liverpool in fifth place,” Martinez told the Liverpool Echo.
“We are facing a difficult side of the weekend. In my eyes they are the revelation team of the season.
“I will be very very surprised if Southampton don’t qualify for Europe and don’t finish in the top five.Embed from Getty Images
“They are very flexible in how they approach games tactically. They have foreign players who have come in and performed so well and that tells you a lot about the environment they have. It’s very strong.
“They are physically really strong, well structured and have creativity with their forward play. Defensively too they have the best record in the league and that’s why they’ve been so competitive in every game they go into.”
The Saints beat Everton 3-0 at St Mary’s in the reverse fixture back in December and Roberto Martinez will be hoping his side can earn a result this time around after back-to-back league wins.
Do you agree with Roberto Martinez? Have Southampton been a revelation this season?