Premier League Preview and Prediction: Everton vs Manchester City

Competition: Premier League – Everton vs. Manchester City

Venue: Goodison Park – Sunday, January 15 – 13:30 GMT (08:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Everton 16/5 – Draw 14/5 – Man City 4/5

Match Preview

Everton play host to Manchester City on Sunday with The Toffees looking to extend their Premier League unbeaten run to four games.

This is going to be a test for Ronald Koeman’s men, they face a Manchester City side who will be desperate for a win, but they will know they have the ability to upset anyone at Goodison.

Everton are on a three-game unbeaten Premier League run. That recent run of form looks to have them back on track in the league after a difficult spell. They did however exit the FA Cup last weekend in a disappointing home loss, so a response is needed.

This is Everton’s second league home game in a row, they demolished Southampton 3-0 last time out and they have a great chance of a positive result if they put in an impressive display like that again.

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Manchester City have won three of their last five away games. Their last league game was a 2-1 home win against Burnley, an unconvincing performance intensified the pressure on Pep Guardiola.

While Pep is not one to panic, he is in new territory in his managerial career and needs to find a way to silence his doubters. A win here at a ground renowned for being difficult for the top sides to take points from would be a step in the right direction.

City have won five of their last six games in all competitions, including progressing in the FA Cup with a ruthless 5-0 win away against West Ham. The squad should be fresh as their last game will have been nine days previous by kick off on Sunday.

Guardiola’s side have work to do to close the gap at the top of the league. A loss here could potentially see them drop out of the top four and then the alarm bells would certainly be ringing amongst the fans. They need a big performance.

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Team News

Everton’s squad is littered with injuries, they could be without as many as eight players for this tie. Yannick Bolasie, Dominic Clavert-Lewin and Muhamed Besic are all out, while Maarten Stekelenburg, James McCarthy, Bryan Oviedo and Matthew Pennington are all doubts. Idrissa Gueye is on international duty at the African Cup of Nations.

Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan remain long-term absentees for Manchester City, while Leroy Sane is a doubt. Fernandinho is also unavailable for selection as he remains suspended.

Key Points

Everton’s last five: W/L/W/D/W

Manchester City’s last five: W/W//W/L/W

Key Stat: Everton are unbeaten in 12 of their last 13 Premier League games at Goodison Park.

Key Player: Sergio Aguero – The Argentine made the difference in City’s last Premier League game. A lot is going to be expected from him over the second half of the season given his side trail top spot by seven points. He can remind everyone that City are well in the title race by contributing to an impressive away victory here.

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Score Prediction

Everton 2-2 Manchester City – An action packed draw. Everton have caused plenty of the big sides trouble at Goodison down the years and City could fall victim to that fate once again here. City’s defensive issues have been well documented, it would be a surprise if they keep a clean sheet this weekend, given Everton’s free-flowing attacking play.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Everton

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea vs. Everton

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Saturday, November 5 – 17:30 GMT (13:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Chelsea 8/15 – Draw 16/5 – Everton 19/4 

Match Preview

Chelsea welcome Everton to Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening in a fixture that has produced some classic matches full of goals in recent times.

Antonio Conte’s side continued their winning streak last weekend with their 2-0 victory over Southampton, it was their fourth consecutive Premier League win without conceding a goal.

If history is anything to go by we could be in for plenty of action in this one as there have been 23 goals in the last six meetings between the sides in all competitions.

Chelsea will want to go into the international break preserving their defensive record and will see this as a chance to increase their winning run to five games.

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Everton ended their four-game winless run with their 2-0 victory over West Ham last time out, but they know they have a tough game on their hands here.

Ronald Koeman’s side trail Chelsea by just four points heading into this one. They have had a strong opening ten games (W5-D3-L2) and look capable of pushing for the top six this season.

Everton have struggled for positive results at Stamford Bridge, they have failed to win away against Chelsea in their last 22 attempts. This would be an ideal time to put that unwanted run to an end.

The Toffees can take heart in the fact that they have scored at least twice in their last three matches against Chelsea. If they can breach the three-man backline they will be within a great chance of picking up a favourable result.

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Team News

Conte is likely to be without four players through injury as Cesc Fabregas, John Obi Mikel, Kurt Zouma and Marco van Ginkel remain in their recovery period.

Everton’s injury list seems to continue to worsen as Leighton Baines, Arouna Kone, Muhamed Besic, Tyias Browning, James McCarthy and Matthew Pennington are all expected to remain out. Idrissa Gueye is serving his one-game suspension.

Key Points

Chelsea’s last five: L/W/W/W/W

Everton’s last five: L/D/D/L/W

Key Stat: Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 22 home games against Everton in all competitions.

Key Player: David Luiz – Much was made of Chelsea resigning Luiz. The Brazilian has played an integral role since Chelsea switched to 3-4-3 and looks a far more mature player since returning to the club. The fan-favourite is showing both leadership qualities and passion that Chelsea lacked last season.

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Score Prediction

Chelsea 1-0 Everton – The Blues have been on an incredible run of form in the Premier League. They have looked far more resilient defensively and have the ability to make it five clean sheets in a row this weekend.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Sunderland vs Everton

Competition: Premier League – Sunderland vs. Everton

Venue: Stadium of Light – Monday, September 12 – 20:00 BST (15:00 ET)

Match Odds: Sunderland 12/5 – Draw 12/5 – Everton 11/10

Match Preview

Sunderland host Everton in this week’s Monday Night Football clash at the Stadium of Light, with the Black Cats desperate for a win after another slow start to the season.

David Moyes will need to rally his troops to try and beat the club he managed for 11 years and their 1-1 draw at Southampton two weeks ago should inspire some confidence.

Sunderland have scored in every game so far this term, but their only home game ended in a very disappointing 2-1 defeat to local rivals Middlesbrough. A much better display is needed here.

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They will be confident of getting a result against the Toffees here, given the fact they’ve only lost one of their last seven at home to Everton in the top flight.

Ronald Koeman has started life on Merseyside well, picking up seven points from their opening three games. They come into Monday’s game off the back of the 1-0 home win against Stoke and will be looking for three more points here.

The Toffees faithful are not best pleased about their transfer business this summer but they now need to focus solely on picking up results. They may have lost John Stones, but keeping Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku is a huge boost.

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Koeman could become the first Everton manager since 1919 to win his first two away games in charge, with Thomas McIntosh the last to do so 97 years ago.

Last year’s meeting at the Stadium of Light ended 3-0 to Sunderland, with Everton winning the reverse fixture 6-2, so another goal fest could be on the cards here.

Team News

Sunderland’s record signing Didier N’Dong is in line to make his debut but may have to come off the bench after playing 90 minutes for Gabon on Tuesday. Jan Kirchhoff is available for David Moyes for the first time this season, while Seb Larsson, Vito Mannone, Fabio Borini and Billy Jones are all out. Lee Cattermole is back in training and may start.

Everton could start with Seamus Coleman for the first time this season, with the Irish fullback fit again. Tom Cleverley and Darron Gibson are doubts, with James McCarthy, Tyias Browning, Matthew Pennington and Muhamed Besic all sidelined. Deadline day loan signing Enner Valencia is set to be in the squad.

Key Points

Sunderland’s form: L/L/D

Everton’s form: D/W/W

Key Stat: Sunderland have not won a Premier League game in the months of August or September for four years, losing 13 of the 22 games in these months since a win over Wigan in 2012.

Key Player: Jermain Defoe – The Sunderland striker has already scored twice this season and is the home team’s biggest goal threat. He has five goals against Everton in the Premier League – all of which have come at Goodison Park – and will expect to add to his tally here if the hosts are to get anything out of the contest.

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Score Prediction

Sunderland 1-1 Everton – There is little to choose between these sides ahead of Monday night’s clash but the home side will setup to avoid a second home defeat of the season against an attack-minded Everton team. Both look set to score, though they could play out a draw, on what could be a nervous encounter.

Are Everton be right to be chasing this £30m rated United star?

New Everton boss Ronald Koeman is looking to bring in one more attacking midfielder before the start of the new season according to The Times. The club have moved quickly to use some of the money raised by the £47.5 million sale of John Stones.

The paper suggests Mata will push for an exit from Manchester United with the Everton manager keen on trying to sign the 28-year-old midfielder, despite the fact that United have stated he is not for sale.

Mata’s unstable relationship with manager Jose Mourinho was thrown into the melting pot once again as he was subbed off after being subbed on in the Community Shield final last weekend.

So what could Mata bring to Everton?

Experience:

Mata has a wealth of experience at the highest level. He featured in the Spanish World Cup and European Championship winning sides and he has also won the UEFA Champions League.

At just 28 years old his is now heading into his prime and has already played a staggering 418 domestic career games, racking up 107 goals and 130 assists.

Utility:

The Manchester United man can play as a number ten as well as a left or right sided midfielder. Although Mata isn’t blessed with blistering pace, his ability to hold onto the ball and pick passes makes him a great option in any position in the final third.

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Set pieces:

Mata has a knack of scoring free kicks and creating chances from set pieces. One of his most notable assists from a set piece was in the Champions League final of 2012.

Temptation:

Signing a world class star like Mata arguably increases the possibility to sign other players. The Spaniard has close relationships with players at United, Chelsea and a whole host of Spanish league clubs.

Consistency:

Mata averages a goal ratio of just over one in four and he has contributed directly to 237 goals in his 418 domestic career appearances. His Premier League statistics to date make him an ideal player for any club. In the 168 games he has featured in he has scored 38 goals and registered 48 assists. He also has an incredible record in the FA Cup, where he has scored 12 goals in 23 games and registered nine assists.

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While it is unclear whether Everton will make a move for Mata or if United would overturn their decision to make their midfielder unavailable in this transfer window, he would offer a lot to the Merseyside club.

Would Mata be a good signing for Everton? Will Manchester United let the Spaniard leave this summer?

The Dugout: Can Ronald Koeman take Everton to the next level?

The 2016/17 Premier League season is less than a week away and a number of clubs will start the campaign with new managers. Fans will be expecting more from their team and here, ‘The Dugout‘ will explore if Ronald Koeman can take Everton to the next level…

Everton fans will be hoping the appointment of Ronald Koeman can signal the beginning of a new era for the club as their Premier League season begins at home against Tottenham this weekend. It has been a tough two years to take for the Toffees as they have finished 11th with 47 points in consecutive campaigns and have looked a shadow of the side that finished 5th just three years ago.

The time seemed right for Everton to part ways with Roberto Martinez and they have done very well to lure Ronald Koeman away from Southampton after a successful season. Koeman guided the Saints to a sixth-place finish and Everton fans will be hoping he can repeat that feat or even better it this season.

Koeman has a great platform to start with at Everton, with a squad who have been underachievers in the last two campaigns. It will be interesting to see how he can develop the players and push the side back up the table.

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So how can Koeman take Everton to the next level?

Motivation:

It is no surprise that a team performs much better when they are highly motivated and Koeman can do just that. The Everton players looked in disarray for large parts of last season despite some great results against the top clubs. Koeman has the experience of being part of a setup that thrives on motivation from both his playing and managerial days.

The Dutchman has been working on his squad in the summer transfer window, releasing a number of long-term servants to the club with the likes of Tony Hibbert, Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar all departing. He is clearly looking to freshen things up and bring forward a less predictable Everton for the coming season.

With Koeman’s ability to motivate players, Everton fans will be hoping top players will become more consistent. Kevin Mirallas, Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu are three players who came under some criticism last campaign for inconsistent performances. There is no doubt they are all capable of putting in world-class shifts and with Koeman directing the style of play, these three could massively benefit from his guidance.

While these three were in no way to blame for Everton’s below-par season last term, they are the types of players who are expected to provide. If Koeman can motivate the strong attacking trio to feed the striker – whoever that may be as uncertainty still looms over Romelu Lukaku’s future – the club should look more deadly in front of goal in the upcoming season.

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Premier League record:

Koeman has had a brilliant start to managerial life in the Premier League. He guided Southampton to a 7th place finish in his first season as manager and finished 6th in the last campaign, proof Koeman has the ability to improve a side in the world’s most competitive league.

Squad consistency:

Through their Premier League history, Everton have been a side who have boasted long-term squad players, something Koeman will relish the opportunity to work with. At Southampton Koeman perhaps didn’t – or wouldn’t – have had the opportunity to keep the same group of players for season upon season.

Koeman is already under pressure regarding the future of both John Stones and Romelu Lukaku. So far Everton have shown their resolve to keep their best players – a similar scenario to their continued rebuff of Chelsea’s efforts to tempt Stones away from the club this time last year.

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With this in mind Koeman has a great platform to build a squad with a strong core knowing that the club will be backing his every decision regarding the future of his players.

Koeman has a lot of work to do to take Everton to the next level but in joining the club he has the chance to do so. The Toffees appear to have a policy of giving players and staff every opportunity to reach their highest potential before stepping in and taking any action and he will be hoping to hit the ground running against Tottenham on Saturday.

Is Koeman the right man to lead Everton forward? Can he take them to the next level?

Podcast: Portland, Columbus & Southampton discussed

In this week’s MLSGB Podcast Zack Walford talks to Jamie Ives and Louis East about Week 3’s MLS action, with focus on the Portland Timbers and Columbus Crew’s disappointing starts.

The team then look at Southampton FC and ask whether they have enough to secure European football next term.

As always, comment below or get in touch on Twitter with your thoughts.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Southampton vs Arsenal

Competition: Premier League – Southampton vs. Arsenal

Venue: St Mary’s Stadium – Saturday, December 26 – 19:45 GMT (14:45 ET)

Match Odds: Southampton 12/5 – Draw 5/2 – Arsenal 11/10

Match Preview

Southampton welcome Arsenal to St Mary’s Stadium for the final game of the evening in what promises to be a pulsating Boxing Day bonanza in the Premier League.

The Saints are struggling at the moment and a 2-0 defeat at home to Tottenham last weekend extended their run of games without a win to five (D1, L4).

It’s the first time Ronald Koeman has really found himself in this situation since he took over at St Mary’s and he’ll be desperate to turn things round quickly – something they are more than capable of.

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Southampton are unlikely to find themselves in a relegation scrap and will expect to bounce back, although it may not happen here against Arsenal – the Saints have failed to win against any side in the top 13 as it stands (D4, L6).

Arsenal’s crucial 2-1 win against Manchester City on Monday night saw them become favourites for the Premier League title with the bookmakers, despite still trailing first-placed Leicester by two points.

Winning games like this one at Southampton will be imperative for the Gunners if they have any serious hopes of lifting the trophy that has eluded them for over ten years.

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Arsene Wenger’s side have won three on the bounce after a slight wobble in November, which saw them pick up just two points from a possible nine.

The Gunners struggled away at West Brom and Norwich – both of which were fixtures they would have expected to win – so they must avoid a repeat of those disappointments and seek a vital three points here.

The last meeting between these two sides saw Southampton ease past Arsenal on New Year’s Day at St Mary’s with a 2-0 victory after a calamitous performance from then Gunners goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Team News

Southampton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg could return to the starting lineup in place of Paulo Gazzaniga after recovering from a toe injury. 

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Arsenal’s squad remains thin on the ground as they are still without the injured Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez.

Key Points

Southampton’s last five: L/L/D/L/L

Arsenal’s last five: L/D/W/W/W

Key Stat: Arsenal have failed to win on their last four league visits to Southampton (D3, L1).

Key Player: Olivier Giroud – The Frenchman is continuously questioned and people continue to ask whether he is good enough. But he keeps on scoring goals and producing the performances. He will hope to be on the scoresheet again on Boxing Day.

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Score Prediction

Southampton 1-2 Arsenal – The Gunners have traditionally struggled at Southampton in recent history, but the Saints are at one of their lowest points for quite some time and come up against a confident and in-form Arsenal side.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Southampton vs Tottenham

Competition: Premier League – Southampton vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Venue: St Mary’s Stadium – Saturday, December 19 – 15:00 GMT (10:00 ET) 

Match Odds: Southampton 8/5 – Draw 9/4 – Spurs 7/4 

Match Preview

Southampton host Tottenham on Saturday afternoon in a game between two sides struggling for form as we enter the hectic Christmas period.

The Saints sit in 12th place after failing to win in their last four outings and Ronald Koeman will be desperate to see his side rediscover their best form quickly.

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Southampton were disappointing in last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace and the home fans will be expecting a much better display against Spurs here.

Tottenham are also looking to bounce back after last week’s shock home loss to Newcastle ended their 14-game unbeaten run in the Premier League.

Former Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino has been praised for the way he has solidified the Spurs team this term and he now needs to get a response from his players at his former club.

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Another Spurs man returning to familiar surroundings at St Mary’s is Toby Alderweireld, who controversially joined Tottenham in the summer after a successful loan spell at Southampton last season.

The most recent meeting between the two sides saw them play out an entertaining 2-2 draw at St Mary’s in April, with Spurs twice coming from behind to earn a point.

The Lilywhites have not lost to the Saints since 2005 and are now unbeaten in their last six meetings.

Team News

Southampton will still be without Maarten Stekelenburg, Fraser Forster, Florin Gardos and Jay Rodriguez. Paulo Gazzaniga will once again start in goal for Ronald Koeman’s side.

Spurs will not be able to call on the services of Alex Pritchard or Ryan Mason as both are ruled out with injuries again. Clinton N’Jie is a doubt as he is struggling with a knee injury, though Moussa Dembele should return to the starting lineup after missing last week’s loss through illness.

Key Points

Southampton’s last five: W/L/L/D/L

Tottenham’s last five: D/W/D/D/L

Key Stat: Tottenham are unbeaten in their last six Premier League games against Southampton (W5 D1), scoring 12 goals against the Saints in those matches.

Key Player: Moussa Dembele – Spurs are unbeaten in their last seven matches when Dembele has played. He missed the loss against Newcastle last weekend but will hope to pick back up where he left off by returning to the lineup here.

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Score Prediction

Southampton 1-2 Tottenham – This is a huge game for both clubs as they look to keep European hopes alive as we head into Christmas. The Saints have struggled over the last month and may come up short against a Spurs side that have an excellent recent record against them.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Southampton

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea vs. Southampton 

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Saturday, October 3 – 17:30 BST (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Chelsea 7/10 – Draw 14/5 – Southampton 15/4

Match Preview

Chelsea will be hoping to finally get their domestic season going after a dreadful start as Southampton make the journey north to the capital on Saturday evening.

After losing in Europe to FC Porto on Tuesday, the onus is very much on Chelsea to get back to winning ways as manager Jose Mourinho is absorbing more pressure with every winless performance.

Currently the champions sit eight points off league leaders Manchester United and that gap could be widened if Chelsea fail to pick up three points on Saturday.

Chelsea’s record in the Premier League: P7 – W2 – D2 – L3

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Southampton were always going to have a difficult task of remaining competitive for the European places following high profile departures in Nathaniel Clyne and Morgan Schneiderlin this summer.

However, with the return to fitness of Ryan Bertrand things are starting to fall into place for the Saints.

Southampton’s record in the Premier League: P7 – W2 – D3 – L2

With two wins in their last six, Ronald Koeman’s men will feel that they should be doing better and face a tough task of changing things quickly in this one.

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Team News

Chelsea are only missing one first team player through injury as Thibaut Courtois is still out following a knee injury that could keep him out until Christmas. Diego Costa is serving a domestic suspension so will not feature.

Southampton will be without Fraser Forster and Florin Gardos for the trip to Stamford Bridge as both are still nursing injuries. Jordy Clasie may be able to shake off a niggle in his ankle in time to feature but he remains a doubt.

Key Points

Chelsea’s last five: W/L/L/W/D

Southampton’s last five: D/W/D/L/W

Key Stat: Chelsea have only lost once in their last 23 home matches in the Premier League.

Key Player: Loic Remy – With Diego Costa currently serving a suspension it will be down to Loic Remy to lead the line. He’s a proven goalscorer and Chelsea need plenty of those at the moment.

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Score Prediction

Chelsea 2-1 Southampton – After another challenging performance in Porto in midweek it will be tough for Chelsea to turn it around but their home form suggests they will just edge this one against a Southampton side that has proven to be inconsistent so far.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Southampton vs Everton

Competition: Premier League – Southampton vs. Everton 

Venue: St Mary’s Stadium – Saturday, August 15 – 12:45 BST (07:45 ET)

Match Odds: Southampton 19/20 – Draw 23/10 – Everton 3/1

Match Preview

Southampton play Everton in this weekend’s Premier League Saturday lunchtime game in what could be a treat as both sides will want to improve after drawing on the opening day.

Southampton have faced another summer of overhaul as stars like Morgan Schneiderlin and Nathaniel Clyne have left for Manchester United and Liverpool respectively.

However, Ronald Koeman’s side remain a side to be feared and will be looking to replicate their excellent form from the last campaign, starting with a win in their first home game of the season.

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The Saints have Europa League commitments to deal with this season but will be hoping to push for a Champions League place as they did last time out.

Everton started this season with a disappointing draw against Watford last weekend, despite being at home.

Arouna Kone’s 86th minute equaliser earned Everton a point, however, Roberto Martinez will see it as two points dropped as opposed to a point gained and he is under pressure to get the Toffees firing after a poor 2014/15 campaign.

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Without the distraction of Europe this season, Everton will want to improve on last season’s bottom half finish and aim for a Europa League place at the least.

And picking up wins away at places like Southampton will be necessary if they are to reach their goals this coming season.

The last meeting between these two sides ended 1-0 to Everton at Goodison Park, though last season’s game at St Mary’s ended in a convincing 3-0 win to the Saints.

Team News

Southampton have Jordy Clasie, Steven Caulker and Gaston Ramirez as doubts for the visit of Everton. Florin Gardos and Ryan Bertrand are both out and Fraser Forster is likely to miss the entire season with a serious knee injury sustained last term. New signing Oriol Romeu will be hoping to make the squad after joining this week.

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Everton will be missing Leighton Baines, Tony Hibbert, Aiden McGeady, Darren Gibson and Steven Pienaar through injuries. Gerard Deulofeu, Muhamed Besic and Kevin Mirallas are all doubts but could feature. Arouna Kone will be pushing for a start after impressing from the bench last weekend.

Key Points

Southampton’s form: D

Everton’s form: D

Key Stat: Southampton have kept a clean sheet in their last three matches against Everton in all competitions.

Key Player: Ross Barkley – England international Barkley could be the most creative player on the pitch on Saturday so expect him to cause havoc to the Saints defence off the back of last weekend’s screamer.

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Score Prediction

Southampton 1-1 Everton – We’re expecting both sides to be on the attack as they search for three points after both drawing on the opening day. However, that could see them cancel each other out in a score draw in Saturday’s early kickoff.