Competition: Premier League – Everton vs. Southampton
Venue: Goodison Park – Saturday April 4th – 15:00 (10:00 ET)
Match Odds: Everton 17/10 – Draw 11/5 – Southampton 13/8
Everton host Southampton on Saturday afternoon in a tasty looking Premier League fixture that sees 13th place take on 6th place at Goodison Park. Everton are looking to extract revenge on the Saints after suffering a huge 3-0 defeat at St Mary’s back in December.
The Toffees come into this one with only three wins since the turn of the year, with two of those coming before the international break and they are languishing in 13th place – a position much lower than they should be.
Everton do however have a superb record following International football, with three wins out of three so far this season, scoring seven in the process. They will look to make it four in a row with a win at Goodison this weekend.
Southampton have had their fair share of ups and downs since the turn of the year with six victories, including wins over Arsenal and Manchester United, plus a creditable draw at Chelsea.
A loss at home to Swansea and a home draw with West Ham have left Southampton with sour tastes though, especially when they beat those teams away from home in previous fixtures.
The Saints are still chasing Champions League places with eight games to go and are six points behind Manchester United in fourth heading into the weekend.
Like Everton, Southampton haven’t lost after an international break, including the 8-0 drubbing of Sunderland back in September, taking two wins and a draw with the other victory coming against Newcastle and the draw coming against Aston Villa.
The reverse fixture saw a comfortable 3-0 win for Southampton, with goals coming from Graziano Pelle, Maya Yoshida and an own goal from Romelu Lukaku so the Toffees will be eager to gain revenge for that defeat in front of their own fans.
For Everton, Bryan Oviedo is not due back for a couple of weeks, while Leighton Baines withdrew from the England squad for the Italy friendly and there are question marks whether the left-back will play. Romelu Lukaku faces a late fitness test along with Darron Gibson and Kevin Mirallas. Arouna Kone could be back in contention for the Toffees.
Southampton have no Fraser Forster for the rest of the season following his season-ending knee injury against Burnley. Meanwhile Jay Rodriguez is still a long way off returning from his ACL injury. Steven Davis and Matt Targett face late fitness tests.
Everton’s last five: D/L/L/W/W
Southampton’s last five: L/L/W/D/W
Key Stat: Everton have only conceded one goal in their three matches that they have played after international breaks.Embed from Getty Images
Key Player: Steven Naismith – The Scotland international hasn’t found the back of the net in the league since January 22nd for Everton but scored against Gibraltar and he will be raring to find his golden touch in front of the Everton faithful.
Everton 1-0 Southampton – The Toffees’ incredible streak after international friendlies could play a huge part in what will be a tough game for the travelling Sants. It will be close but could be decided by the one goal. Defeat for Southampton would all but end their top four hopes but Everton look better of late and should gain revenge for their defeat earlier this season.