Although they departed as the final English team in Europe, Everton have found solace in the form of two straight victories, coming 3-0 against Newcastle and then 2-1 versus QPR. Everton are currently in 13th place after halting their torrid run of form.
Southampton endured a dip in form before taking seven points from their last nine. That upturn in form has enabled for the Saints to take sixth place ahead of Tottenham. Incredible stat of the day tells us that Southampton have a goal difference of +21, while Tottenham only have +5. The disparity there is startling.
Romelu Lukaku has not been especially effective since his £28m move to Everton from Chelsea last summer. In fact, it was only recently that the Belgium international striker broke his league goal drought of five games. The youngster is possible doubt with hamstring trouble, but he could still make the game with some rest.
Everton need to line up with a threatening striker like Romelu Lukaku if they are to worry the best defence in the league. Should Kevin Mirallas miss the game, Everton will struggle further challenge to Southampton’s defence.
Southampton are built on keeping clean sheets and winning by a single goal. Their 21 goals conceded is four better than Chelsea’s 25. You also should not forget that eight of Southampton’s 42 goals scored came against the woeful Sunderland.
Although Graziano Pellè is yet to score in 2015, the Saints can look to the likes of Shane Long, Sadio Mané, and Dušan Tadić for goals and creativity. Southampton’s attacking depth is much greater than for Everton.
Southampton’s three-man midfielder can outmuscle Everton’s, with Victor Wanyama, Morgan Schneiderlin, and Steven Davis having all proven effective this season. Of course, Everton holding midfielder James McCarthy will not be easy to overcome.
Tip one: Draw @ 3.1 with Betfair
Tip two: Under 2.5 goals @ 1.57 with Betfair
Southampton cruised this fixture 3-0 when it was played at St Mary’s in December. On this occasion, a draw makes much more sense at odds of 3.1 with Betfair. Everton have improved vastly, while Southampton can struggle for goals.