Date:Friday September 28 2012
September 29, 2012
Everton will host newly promoted Southampton at Goodison Park on Saturday. Everton will be looking to bounce back after they put in a horror show in their shock 2-1 defeat to lower league Leeds United in the League Cup, thankfully, Everton's league form has been very solid, currently sitting 3rd after a convincing 3-0 victory over Swansea last weekend, and the players know, with 3pts against Southampton, they could be equal top by the end of the day. Southampton have had a rocky start tot he season, a horror fixture list has not helped, however they did pick up their first win of the season against Aston Villa last weekend, a convincing 4-1 win, and they backed up that performance midweek beating lower league side Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 to progress to the 4th round of the League Cup. With both teams playing expansive, passing football, fans should be expecting an entertaining and high scoring game.
Everton captain Phil Neville has urged the team to move on from the shock loss to Leeds and to maintain their league form saying
"You've got to move on in football. It's about how you react to things like that. That's the big test for us now and we've got a difficult game on Saturday. They've got good front players, they've come up with enthusiasm but they had an incredible start to the season in terms of their fixture list and they're just coming out of that period now. I'm sure their win last weekend will have given them confidence and we need to make sure we produce that same level of performance we did against Swansea."
Southampton frontman and scouser Rickie Lambert has this to say about facing Everton
'For me, as a scouser, it`s definitely one I`ve been looking forward to. Everton are flying at the minute but even when they`re not flying it`s a hard place to go and we know we`ve got a hard game on our hands."
Expect multiple changes from the side that lost to Leeds on Tuesday. The likes of Howard, Baines, Jagielka, Jelavic, Pienaar should all return to the first team after they were rested in the loss during the week. The only injury concerns are still Darron Gibson with a thigh strain, although he is nearing a return to first team football, as is Tony Hibbert who is still struggling with a calf injury.
Possible Starting XI: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Coleman, Neville, Osman, Mirallas, Pienaar, Fellaini, Anichebe
Everton left back was sorely missed in the Leeds game, his combination play with Steven Pienaar this season has been the major drive behind Everton's early success. Despite being a left back, Baines offers Everton so much going forward, his constant bombarding runs down the left, coupled with his passing range, set piece ability, crossing and even his shots pose a threat to every team he faces. If Southampton harbour any hope of a result at Goodison, Adkins is going to have to try and figure out a way to stop Everton's left hand side.
For the visitors, they have a couple niggling injuries from the win against Sheffield Wednesday midweek. Midfielder Jack Cork will be out for up to 6 weeks after limping off in the midweek game against Sheffield Wednesday with a knee injury. Also striker Emmanuel Mayuka also injured his ankle in the game, and is a 50-50 chance of featuring against Everton.
Possible Starting XI: Gazaniga, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Fox, Schniederlin, Davis, Ramirez, Lallana, Puncheon, Lambert
The scourer has been in sensational form in front of goal. The leading goalscorer and player of the year in the Championship last season, many were surprised to see him start on the bench for the Saints opener against Man City, although Adkins and Lambert have never looked back since. His physical presence alone causes big problems for defenders and I imagine he will be throwing his weight around once again, although despite being a big physical lad, his technical ability and finishing is very good and if given a chance, he will score.
1. Everton have only lost once in the last 15 league games, last time they went on this kind of run was back in May of 1988.
2. Everton have amassed 45pts since the start of 2012, that is good for 3rd, only behind the two Manchester clubs
3. If Anichebe scores on the weekend, it will be good signs for Everton, as they are yet to lose when the big Nigerian is on the scoresheet.
4. Goodison Park has not been a kind ground to the Saints, Everton are currently on a 7 game unbeaten streak against the Saints, with the last Saint away win at Goodison Park coming in 1997
You have to imagine that the shock result midweek was only a blip for Everton given they made 6 changes to the side that crushed Swansea last weekend and that side will be the one to face Southampton. Despite playing good football, Southampton has been shipping goals this season, and at Goodison Park, a place where Everton have been dominant in 2012, this does not bode well for the Saints. I will go for an entertaining 4-2 win for Everton, as I do see goals in this game from both sides. COYB!!!! WIN AND WE MIGHT BE EQUAL TOP LADS!!!!
Date:Friday September 28 2012
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