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Southampton vs Everton: Match Preview | Premier League 2021/22

Southampton-vs-Everton-Match-Preview-Premier-League-2021-22

With the onset of the newest round of the Premier League season, Southampton will go up against Everton on Saturday afternoon. In a rich vein of form with respectable results in their last three outings against three top teams, the Saints will clash with the Toffees who won their first game under Frank Lampard’s management in their last outing – in a Premier League contest that pits the tenth-placed and the sixteenth-placed teams against each other at St. Mary’s Stadium.

Southampton have been in a rich vein of form leading up to the game, earning five points out of a possible nine against much more favoured opponents. While the Saints first held Man City to a 1-1 draw, they followed it up with a 3-2 away win over Tottenham Hotspur before drawing 1-1 with Man United. Che Adams cancelled out Jadon Sancho’s opener to secure another good result on their travels this season, as Ralph Hassenhüttl’s now sit in the top half of the points table – the Saints will welcome Everton while sitting tenth with a tally of 29 points from their 24 games.

However, Hassenhúttl might have drawn way too many games for their liking this season, and will hope to convert some of those stalemates into victories if they want to finish in the top half of the table. Three straight home games will give them the opportunity to pick up the form at one of the most crucial stages of the season, and it will be a great achievement for the Saints if they manage to finish above teams with backed with much more investment than them.

In order to cut the deficit between themselves and ninth-placed Brighton & Hove Albion to one point, Southampton will go head-to-head with Everton. The Toffees are fresh off securing their first win under the management of Frank Lampard, a 3-0 win over Leeds Utd at Goodison Park that Everton will be hoping serves as a precursor ahead of a tough schedule in front of them. Everton will face Man City, Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers in their next three games – a win over Southampton will help them build momentum for the fixtures ahead.

However, Everton’s away form this season has been unenviable – the Toffees have the third worst away record, racking up only six points from their 11 away games this season having not won on their travels in the league since August. The Merseyside side are sitting 16th with 22 points, only five points off the relegation spots but with two games in hand over Saturday’s opponents. Recent history against Southampton will be encouraging as the Toffees have won their last two games against the Saints – including the reverse fixture on the opening weekend.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Date: Saturday, 19th February, 2022.
Time: 3 pm (UK).
Venue: St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton.

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Andy Madley.
Assistant Referee: Darren Cann, Wade Smith.
Fourth Official: Keith Shroud.
VAR: Andre Marriner, Derek Eaton.

TEAM NEWS

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The hosts will continue to miss the services of Alex McCarthy, Lyanco and Nathan Tella through injuries, but the good news for the Saints is that Ralph Hassenhüttl will be able to call upon the rest of his squad. In the pre-match press conference leading up to the game, the Austrian confirmed that Nathan Redmond has returned to training, while Jan Bednarek and Mohammed Elyounoussi are both available despite picking up knocks against Man Utd. It is likely that the Saints will be unchanged, with Adams and Armando Broja starting up front again.

As for the visitors, Demarai Gray and Abdoulaye Doucouré are not yet ready for a return to action, though the latter can be available for the Toffees’ next game. Ben Godfrey, Fabian Delph, Yerry Mina and Tom Davies also remain unavailable for selection, but Vitaly Mykolenko will be available to make his return if required. With Donny van de Beek impressing against Leeds Utd alongside Allan in the heart of midfield, Dele Alli is likely to have to wait until his first start for Everton in the Premier League – much like their opponents, Everton are likely to be unchanged.

MATCH ANALYSIS

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Both sides are evenly matched, but it is Southampton’s home advantage as well as their recent form that makes their case stronger for the weekend’s outing. The Saints are unbeaten in their last three games in the league, and in fact, have lost only once in their last eight league outings. The Saints are coming into the game off the back of commendable results, and a resilient performance is once again expected from what is shaping up to be quite a decent side both in and out of possession. While the back four impressed once again in their last outing against Man Utd, Oriol Romeu had a superb game – also filling in as the third centre-back to facilitate a change of formation when required. The strike pairing of Adams and Broja has also looked formidable of late, having scored thrice amongst themselves in the last two games.

The visitors got a fresh breathe of air with the appointment of Frank Lampard last month, who brought in a couple of midfield reinforcements in his bid to plot a turnaround in fortunes. It will not be wrong to say that things have not changed with Everton since the sacking of Rafa Benítez, as Lampard has overseen major improvements in the individual performances of the players. The Toffees looked like a revitalized side against Leeds Utd in their last outing, a dynamic team that took their chances and also secured only their fourth clean sheet of the season – their first since November. One of Lampard’s new recruitments in Donny van de Beek has rediscovered himself as a player – the Dutchman will hope to build on a solid performance in his last appearance. A draw is a possible outcome considering the hosts’ knack of a stalemate at home and Everton’s inability to get three points on the road, having won only one away game this season.

KEY PLAYERS

Che Adams

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The Scotsman has made a bit of a habit to find the net of late, and hosts will turn to their man in the form up front to come up with another important goal. The 25-year-old first scored the late winner at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and then followed it up with another well-taken goal that earned a draw for Southampton at Old Trafford. Adams is the Saints’ joint top scorer in the league this season tied with James Ward-Prowse and Broja, and in fact, has three goals in his last five Premier League outings – the Saints will hope for him to continue in that rich vein of form when he lines up against Everton. Adams was also on the score sheet in this fixture last season, as he opened the scoring for the Saints in a game that ended in a 2-0 win.

Richarlison

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The visitors will be hoping for their Brazilian forward to rediscover his shooting boots in a fixture that he has a good history in. Although Richarlison has not had the best of seasons with only four league goals to his name so far, his form has shown signs of improvement under new management. The 24-year-old scored in his first game under Lampard in the FA Cup, and followed it up with an assist last weekend against Leeds United – and Southampton might have been the Brazilian’s first choice of team to try and end a goal scoring drought. Richarlison has scored five times in his last seven appearances against Southampton, including two in the last two Premier League meetings – and Lampard will back him to extend his record even further.

PROBABLE LINEUPS

Southampton (4-2-2-2): Forster; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Salisu, Perraud; Ward-Prowse, Romeu; Armstrong, Elyounoussi; Broja, Adams.

Everton (4-4-2): Pickford; Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Mykolenko; Iwobi, Allan, Van de Beek, Gordon; Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.

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