- Southampton vs Everton

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Saturday 20 December 2014 | St. Mary's Stadium | Kick-off 15:00

Southampton
Southampton
0 - 0
Everton
Everton

Match preview

Everton manager Roberto Martinez is paying little attention to Southampton's current form ahead of the sides' Barclays Premier League clash at St Mary’s Stadium.

Southampton made a promising start to the season, prompting some to speculate over whether they could sustain a push for UEFA Champions League qualification.

But five defeats on the bounce in all competitions have seen Ronald Koeman's men slip to fifth and exit the Capital One Cup to third-tier outfit Sheffield United in recent weeks.

Dusan Tadic missed a penalty as Southampton lost 1-0 at Burnley last time out in the league, but Martinez, whose team travel to St Mary's Stadium on Saturday, believes it is only matter of time before the south-coast side rediscover their form.

"I don't assess Southampton by their moment of form," he said. "I assess them by what they've done in the season.

"Alongside West Ham, they are the best team in how they started the season.

"Everything levels up. They are a joy to watch, well structured.

"Koeman bought some players who adapted to the league very quickly, adapted to attacking football and full of flair.

"I like to watch them and I'm not paying attention to results. I went to see the Burnley game and if they score the penalty they win the game.

"They're a really strong team and can compete for the top six until the end of the season."

Southampton are facing something of a midfield selection crisis, though, with Victor Wanyama and Morgan Schneiderlin both suspended, along with defender Florin Gardos, while Tadic (fatigue) and Jake Hesketh (knee) are both out.

Steven Davis and Graziano Pelle add Koeman's injury problems as they are doubtful for the weekend, but Koeman has backed his players to recover from their midweek cup exit.

"It's the past," he insisted. "That's the nicest part of football - you always have the next game.

"We can change a lot of things. We have to change our teamwork, our belief and our spirit. That's the key in my opinion for Saturday's game.

"I like how Everton play. It's all about football, good ball position, and that means this Saturday it will be an attractive match because it's about football."

Everton will be without Kevin Mirallas, although his ankle injury is not as serious as first thought, while Leon Osman (ankle), James McCarthy (hamstring) and Darron Gibson (knee) all face a race against time to be fit.

Southampton (from): K Davis, Forster, Gazzaniga, Alderweireld, Bertrand, Clyne, Fonte, Targett, Yoshida, S Davis, Isgrove, Mane, McQueen, Reed, Ward-Prowse, Long, Mayuka, Pelle.

Everton (from): Howard, Joel, Stanek, Alcaraz, Baines, Browning, Coleman, Distin, Garbutt, Hibbert, Jagielka, Stones, Atsu, Barkley, Barry, Besic, Gibson, Junior, McCarthy, McGeady, Osman, Oviedo, Pienaar, Eto'o, Hope, Kone, Long, Lukaku, McAleny,  Naismith.

Match Appointments
Referee:
Jonathan Moss Assistants: S Bennett, D Eaton Fourth Official: G Sutton

Match Facts
Southampton's 2-0 home win in the Barclays Premier League last season, courtesy of two own goals (Antolin Alcaraz and Seamus Coleman), ended a run of eight league matches unbeaten for Everton against Saints (W4 D4).
If matches ended at half-time this season, Everton would be third in the BPL table with 28 points.
Dusan Tadic has not scored or assisted a single goal in his last eight BPL appearances; this after having a hand in seven goals in his first matches in the competition (six assists, one goal).
Nevertheless, Tadic has created the most goalscoring opportunities from open play than any other player in the top flight this season (42).
Steven Naismith has scored four goals from just eight shots on target in the BPL this term.
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has made just 38 of the 48 substitutions available to him in the league this season; no club has used as few.

 

Current form

Last six matches

lost

1 - 0 v Burnley (A) 13 Dec 2014

lost

1 - 2 v Man Utd (H) 08 Dec 2014

lost

1 - 0 v Arsenal (A) 03 Dec 2014

lost

0 - 3 v Man City (H) 30 Nov 2014

drawn

1 - 1 v Aston Villa (A) 24 Nov 2014

won

2 - 0 v Leicester (H) 08 Nov 2014
Last win/defeat

won

2 - 0 v Leicester (H) 08 Nov 2014

lost

1 - 0 v Burnley (A) 13 Dec 2014

Southampton club profile

Current form

Last six matches

won

3 - 1 v QPR (H) 15 Dec 2014

lost

1 - 0 v Man City (A) 06 Dec 2014

drawn

1 - 1 v Hull (H) 03 Dec 2014

lost

2 - 1 v Spurs (A) 30 Nov 2014

won

2 - 1 v West Ham (H) 22 Nov 2014

drawn

1 - 1 v Sunderland (A) 09 Nov 2014
Last win/defeat

won

3 - 1 v QPR (H) 15 Dec 2014

lost

1 - 0 v Man City (A) 06 Dec 2014

Everton club profile

Last corresponding meeting

Southampton Everton

Sat 26 Apr 2014 | St. Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 31,313

Southampton 2 - 0 Everton
  • Antolin Alcaraz (1 OG)
  • Seamus Coleman (31 OG)
  Possession
Southampton 53%
Everton 47%
Shots on Goal On Target Off Target
Southampton 4 4
Everton 2 2
  Fouls Yellow Cards Red Cards
Southampton 13 0 0
Everton 12 2 0
Total 25 2 0
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