Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
Marco Silva takes charge of his first Everton game at Goodison Park as they welcome Southampton to Merseyside. The Toffees picked up a point at Wolves on the opening day in what was a very encouraging display under the new boss. Phil Jagielka was sent off in the first-half but Everton still more than held their own and ended up drawing 2-2 thanks to a brace from big-money summer signing Richarlison. His transfer to the club caused major talking points with pundits quick to point out that he was overpriced, however he has shown he will be a major asset to the club.
Everton looked controlled for large parts at Molineux, controlling the play but they will want to be on the front foot against the Saints. They head into the clash with a point to their name as well, although it wasn’t as entertaining as they drew 0-0 with Burnley.
Mark Hughes has made a few changes to the squad in the summer and is adopting a 3-4-3 formation that he hopes will bring success. Clear chances were few and far between last week, although the introduction of Danny Ings and Mohamed Elyounoussi gave them more cutting edge and the pair could start this afternoon.
This is a game between two sides who are expecting improvements from last season, with both fans unhappy with the direction the clubs were heading. However, changes have been made and this is a chance for them to show that they can have a positive season, with both looking to get their first wins of the season.
Everton vs Southampton Prediction: Everton 2-0 Southampton
Everton were very impressive at Molineux when you consider the circumstances and you could already see that Silva is making an impact on the training pitch. They were well organised, controlled possession and importantly had pace and cutting edge in the final third, which was often missing last season.
The arrival of the former Hull City manager gave fresh optimism to the club and united the fan base who are desperate for him to produce a side that plays fast, attacking football. Therefore, it should be a very good atmosphere tomorrow and that will help Everton as they look to set a high tempo.
With that in mind, and there’s no doubt they have a more talented side on paper, it should be a home win for Everton. There is quality in the final third for the Toffees and they are up against a Southampton side that have struggled away from home in the past 18 months.
Our recommended tip: Everton to win
With that in mind, it should be a fairly comfortably home win for Silva’s men, who will play with a real energy. The recruitment has been smart this summer and they look to have a real balanced look to the side. Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines provide quality from out wide, whilst Gylfi Sigurdsson and Richarlison can score the goals to win games.
Everton look well-equipped to push for seventh place and their home form will be crucial to that and in reality they need to be winning games like this if they are to challenge for European football. Silva will be demanding a similar performance to the one at Molineux and providing they don’t lose their discipline they should be the superior team. It’s by no means an easy game but there is a feel-good factor around Everton that could see them get off to a positive side.
This is a fixture that has been a regular over the years in the Premier League. Everton have obviously never been out of the top-flight, whilst the Saints did endure a fair few years in the lower leagues but they spent plenty of time in the top division.
As for the results, Everton have had the better of the previous encounters, winning 47 of the previous 98 games. However, they will take more encouragement from their record at Goodison Park. The hosts are unbeaten on their own turf against the Saints since 1997 which covers 13 games, of which nine were victories.
That will be a major worry for Southampton, who will have very bad memories of their last visit to the ground. The match ended 1-1 after Tom Davies scored a 96th minute equaliser for Everton at a time when Southampton were desperately fighting against relegation and it was heartbreaking for the South Coast side at the time.
As for the previous games this season, Everton drew 2-2 at newly-promoted Wolves, whilst Mark Hughes’ side were held to a goalless draw against Burnley on their own patch.
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Players to watch: Richarlison & Danny Ings
Brazilian winger Richarlison arrived at Goodison Park very much under the spotlight after a mega-money move that could cost around £50m. Whilst many felt it was overpriced, it’s clear that he will provide the side with much-needed pace and cutting edge in the final third. His display against Wolves was superb, as he scored two and worked extremely hard to the team. If he maintains those levels he will transform this side and could be a talisman for the Merseyside club. With Sigurdsson and Walcott also in the side, they are a dangerous attacking unit but there’s no doubt the former Watford man is the go-to man for Silva.
Southampton made several summer signings but the most eye-catching one was arguably their deadline day purchase of Liverpool’s Ings. The forward has had rotten luck over the years with injuries that have seriously hampered his progress. However, he is fit and available now and we saw last week just how much he can add to the Saints side, with his intelligence, movement and technique. Scoring goals was the problem for Southampton last season and they often lacked creativity too in the final third but Ings solves those issues if he is out on the pitch. He should get the nod at Goodison Park and will be desperate to show his ability after a few years of injury hell.