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News

17 Aug 2018

Premier League 18/19: Everton vs Southampton - Lineups, Preview and Prediction

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15:00 BST, Saturday 18 August, Goodison Park

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Last Time Out

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Everton Lineup

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Southampton Lineup

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Key Battle: Cenk Tosun vs Jannik Vestergaard

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Talking Points

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Prediction: Everton 2-0 Southampton

REUTERS/Craig Brough

15:00 BST, Saturday 18 August, Goodison Park

Everton and Southampton meet on Merseyside on Saturday afternoon searching for their first victories of the season after both sides opened their 2018/19 campaigns with a draw. 

The Toffees met newly promoted Wolves at Molineux and played out an entertaining 2-2 draw while Southampton were held to a goalless stalemate at St. Mary's by Burnley. 

Everton once again spent heavily over the summer and new boss Marco Silva will be expected to deliver exciting, attacking football to Goodison Park after recent sub-par seasons in the blue half of Liverpool.

Southampton took four points out of six against Everton last season, with a Charlie Austin brace helping his side to a convincing 4-1 win in November on the south coast before a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture at the end of the season. 

Last Time Out

Wolves 2-2 Everton

Marco Silva's reign as Everton manager was ten minutes away from starting with a win, but summer recruit Raul Jimenez stole a point for the home side late on. 

Everton's transfer policy was brought into question at the end of last season after heavy spending failed to bear fruit, with Gylfi Sigurdsson, Michael Keane and Davy Klaassen struggling to cope with the expectation at their new club. 

REUTERS/Darren Staples

The initial £45 million spent to bring in Brazilian Richarlison in this summer's window once again raised eyebrows, but the winger has set about proving his critics wrong from the off. Scoring a goal in each half, Richarlison looked set to mark his reunion with Silva in fashion until Jimenez spoiled the party. 

Everton played the second half with ten men after captain Phil Jagielka was dismissed before the break, with Portuguese star Ruben Neves scoring brilliantly from the resulting free kick. 

Southampton 0-0 Burnley

Mark Hughes' side played out 15 draws last season, five of which were goalless. The Saints have developed a tendency to feature in low-scoring matches and Sunday's clash with Burnley provided exactly that. 

The scoreline, though, wasn't a true reflection of the attacking play on offer as 34 shots were aimed at both goals, with nine hitting the target. 

REUTERS/Matthew Childs

Joe Hart made an impressive league debut for his new side, making several stops in the second half. His opposite number, Alex McCarthy, was the busier of the two stoppers, though, as Burnley fired six efforts on his goal. 

Southampton grew into the game in the second half though either side could have stolen all three points. 

Everton Lineup

Manager Silva opted to name a familiar starting lineup for the trip to Wolves last time out, with many of his new signings still to get up to match speed. 

New winger Bernard may be in the frame to feature for his new side on Saturday while Andre Gomes could also press for a spot in the midfield.

Phil Jagielka will sit this one out after being sent off at Molineux, so Yerry Mina could be in line to make his Everton debut alongside Michael Keane. Leighton Baines' position has come under threat since Lucas Digne arrived at the club, though Silva stuck with the Englishman last time out.

Richarlison was substituted after picking up a calf injury late on last weekend though he should recover in time to take up his position on the left wing. 

Southampton Lineup

Southampton's slow start against Burnley will concern Mark Hughes, who will have been happy with the improvement after the break. 

The introduction of Danny Ings and Mohamed Elyounoussi gave Southampton an added impetus and their impact will give Hughes a selection headache ahead of the weekend. 

Alex McCarthy looks set to continue in goal while new signing Stuart Armstrong, who was replaced before the hour mark on Sunday, could miss out with a knock. 

Key Battle: Cenk Tosun vs Jannik Vestergaard

Turkish international Tosun hit the ground running at Goodison Park after his January move. The ex-Benfica forward hit five goals in 14 games for the Toffees in the second half of last season. 

The Everton fans expect big things of the number 14 this season and he'll be the focal point of their forward play throughout the season. 

REUTERS/Ed Sykes

Silva's side carry pace in abundance in attack - with Richarlison and Theo Walcott in wide areas, flanking Tosun - and the trio could give the Southampton back three lots to think about. 

Vestergaard's recruitment was a shrewd piece of business for Southampton and his height and physical presence will bring solidity to a previously frail backline. 

Tosun, though, is four inches shorter than the Dane so the Toffees' approach isn't likely to be direct, giving Vestergaard the difficult task of tracking Tosun's movement. 

Talking Points

Can Everton get into the higher gears?

New boss Marco Silva will be eager to replicate the start to last season that his then-Watford side had last time out; the Hornets were in the top six after nine games. 

Richarlison shone in the early stages of last season under Silva, and his two goals on the opening day at Wolves will do wonders for his confidence having not scored before then since November. 

REUTERS/Ed Sykes

The recruitment over the summer points to Silva wanting fast-paced attacking football which could become an exciting spectacle, but it may take time for his side to fire on all cylinders. 

New signings Bernard and Andre Gomes could feature for the first time this weekend and they will be expected to take the game to their visitors. 

Southampton have to get into a rhythm

After flirting dangerously with relegation last time out, Southampton must put the past behind them and head back up the league table this season. 

Recruitment has improved slightly this summer and gaps appeared to have been filled. The stop-start nature of last season, though, didn't allow them to get into a rhythm and string performances together which must change this time around.

Winning only seven matches all season, Saints failed to win consecutive fixtures in a campaign littered with draws and defeats. The lack of firepower was obvious as Charlie Austin finished as the club's top scorer with only seven strikes. 

The acquisition of Danny Ings is a clever bit of business, though, that suits both parties. The ex-Liverpool forward is champing at the bit to get an injury-hit career back on track, from which Saints will benefit.  

Prediction: Everton 2-0 Southampton

Everton's frontline, should it gel, could be a problem for every defence in the division this season - especially at Goodison Park. 

Southampton's lack of creativity will be an issue for them for most of the campaign, especially against sides who will enjoy the lion's share of the ball and Everton will press the issue from the first whistle. 

Tosun will be hungry to open his account and the Southampton backline will need to be on top of their game to prevent that from happening. 2-0.