Everton remain at home on Saturday after suffering their first Premier League defeat at Goodison Park this season as well as the first this calendar season, since last December 30th. It was another first for Tim Howard who got his first Premier League red card after taking out Ki Sung-Yueng to give up the match winning penalty. After giving up the goal Everton took hold of the match and dominated with 55% possession as well as 26 shots and nine on goal. Despite all of this they were not able to break down Sunderland’s, previously weak, defense.
Southampton jumped all over Cardiff City early in the match and were up 3-0 at Cardiff within 27 minutes. Jose Fonte and Dejan Lovren should be back as partners after Lovren missed the Cardiff trip due to illness. This should give them more defensive solidity at the back, which they will need against Everton.
What to expect
Everton have won 3 and lost 0 of their last 7 Premier League meetings with Saints and have lost only 3 of their last 37 league games at Goodison Park, although 1 of those was in the Boxing Day defeat to Sunderland. Saints have won only 1 of 14 Premier League trips to Goodison Park, though they’ll draw confidence from their 3-0 win at Cardiff on Boxing Day. However, a trip to Merseyside will be a much daunting task for the south coast club.
Everton suffered their first league defeat in 11 with the 1-0 defeat to Sunderland and the Toffees will be looking to bounce back with the welcome of Southampton. Darron Gibson, Arouna Koné and Gerard Deulofeu will certainly miss out through injury, while Tim Howard and Gareth Barry are suspended. Leighton Baines and Kevin Mirallas are doubts, though the latter is expected to recover from illness to start.
Saints’ 3-0 win over Cardiff was their first in 7, but will face a much sterner test against Everton. Guly, Artur Boruc, Victor Wanyama and Daniel Fox are all sidelined through injury, while Morgan Schneiderlin is suspended. Kelvin Davis and Dejan Lovren are both doubts, while Nathaniel Clyne and Pablo Osvaldo will face late fitness tests.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
Despite the loss to Sunderland on Thursday, Everton will be confident of returning to winning ways with the welcome of Saints. Both teams will be without their number goal keeper now that Tim Howard is suspended for the match. Morgan Schneiderlin will be missing after he picked up his fifth booking of the season as well as Gareth Barry. Both have been key pieces for their respective teams this season and this could prove decisive in the middle of the pitch.
Everton 2-1 Southampton
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