Both Southampton and Everton head into this clash on the back of Premier League victories last weekend. Southampton won 2-1 away at Leicester City, while the Toffees enjoyed a comfortable 2-0 win over Bournemouth at Goodison Park. The Saints were knocked out the FA Cup third round in midweek, though, losing on penalties to Derby County, after drawing 2-2 with the Championship side after extra time at St Mary’s. Everton will have been relieved to have won last weekend, as it ended a run of two consecutive Premier League defeats.
Southampton gaffer Ralph Hasenhuttl will be able to call on Danny Ings for this game, and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Charlie Austin and Yan Valery are all back from bans. Michael Obafemi misses out with injury. Phil Jagielka is Everton’s only confirmed absentee with injury, but it should not affect the Toffees too much as he has only played five games all season.
Southampton vs Everton Prediction: Saints 1-2 Toffees
Our prediction for this game is that Everton will win, but it will be a hard-fought and close game. We suspect that Everton will eventually triumph 2-1. Marco Silva has warned his team not be complacent about facing Southampton, who have improved since Hasenhuttl took over as manager. The Saints are not an easy team to face, and Everton will need to work very hard to beat them. In the end, though, the Toffees will triumph as the Saints will be lacking energy after a late night in the FA Cup in midweek.
Our recommended tip: Everton 1-0
Our featured tip for this games comes from Paddy Power. The Irish bookmaker is offering a price of 17/2 on the Toffees winning the game 1-0. That they are offering the same odds for a 1-0 Saints victory perhaps indicates just how tightly poised this game could be. We suspect that Southampton’s efforts in the FA Cup earlier this week, and the disappointment of losing to Derby on a penalty shoot-out, will have drained their legs a little and that Everton will eventually have just two much for the home side on Saturday.
These two sides have faced each other 39 times in total in the Premier League. Out of those clashes, the Saints have won 11 times, with 10 of those victories coming at home. Everton have won on a total of 17 occasions, but just three of those victories have come on Southampton soil.
Earlier this season, Everton beat the Saints 2-1 at Goodison Park in the Premier League clash back in August. Theo Walcott opened the scoring after 15 minutes, and Richarlison added a second in the 31st minute. Danny Ings netted a 54th minute goal for Southampton, but they could not force an equaliser.
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Players to watch: Stuart Armstrong & Richarlison
Scotland international Stuart Armstrong has been an improving presence in the Saints midfield in 2018/19. Under Hasenhuttl he has become a regular in the side, after struggling to hold down a regular spot when Mark Hughes was in charge at St Mary’s. An all-round midfielder who is particularly useful in attack, he has hit three goals in 17 Premier League games in 2018/19. He keeps the ball moving for the Saints, having made an average of 24.41 passes per game this season.
Everton striker Richarlison is becoming a very important component of Marco Silva’s team in 2018/19. The Brazilian front man has netted nine goals in his 20 Premier League games this season, and has also contributed one assist. He can score goals in a variety of ways too, making him even more dangerous. He has scored five goals with his right foot, three with his left and one with his head, and has a shooting accuracy of 37% this season.