Everton host Southampton at Goodison Park on Saturday in a huge relegation six-pointer in the Premier League.
Even though we are just about to hit the halfway point in the season, this game feels huge as to which direction the campaign will head in for both the Toffees and the Saints.
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Frank Lampard’s Everton are without a win in their last eight games in all competitions and they sit in 18th place in the table, just three points above bottom side Southampton. There is growing fan unrest, once again, as the Evertonians have hit out at owner Farhad Moshiri, long-time chairman Bill Kenwright and the rest of the Everton board. Lampard has to get results on the field but supporters are largely behind him as Everton’s owners have struggled to back him in the transfer market.
As for Southampton, they pulled off a huge shock in midweek to beat Manchester City to reach the League Cup semifinals as Nathan Jones is finally starting to show why Saints sacked Ralph Hasenhuttl and hired him in November. He has lost all four of his Premier League games in charge but they’ve won back-to-back cup games against Premier League opponents over the last week. Can they now translate that cup form into Premier League points?
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Here’s everything you need for Everton vs Southampton.
How to watch Everton vs Southampton live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday TV Channel: USA Network Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
Everton are in freefall once again. They have been better defensively for most of this season but last time out against Brighton they conceded four and it could have been more. There is growing unrest from the home fans at Goodison and this game feels like a pivotal moment in their season. Moshiri backed Lampard publicly ahead of this game and perhaps that will settle things down?
Southampton will be full of confidence after playing extremely well and beating Manchester City in the League Cup quarterfinals to back up an FA Cup third round win at Crystal Palace last weekend. The jury is still out on Nathan Jones from most Saints fans and that will be the case until they move off the bottom of the table and start to pick up points in the Premier League. Still, with a few new signings already in January there is renewed optimism in the air at St Mary’s.
In-form players to keep an eye on
Amadou Onana is Everton’s main man in midfield and he is back after his suspension, which is a huge boost. Jordan Pickford continues to do his best in goal, while Demarai Gray is a real threat on the counter.
Southampton’s captain James Ward-Prowse is getting back to his best form, while Sekou Mara and Adam Armstrong have chipped in with goals in the last week. Having 19-year-old midfielder Romeo Lavia back fit and firing is huge for Saints.
Everton team news, injuries, lineup options
Nathan Patterson, James Garner, Michael Keane, Alex Iwobi and Andros Townsend all remain out injured, so that means Seamus Coleman is likely to come in at right back and Amadou Onana will slot straight back into central midfield.
Southampton team news, injuries, lineup options
Tino Livramento is close to a return after his lengthy layoff, while Juan Laris, Theo Walcott and Alex McCarthy are also getting closer. Armel Bella-Kotchap is out for this game but could return next week, while new signings Mislav Orsic and Carlos Alcaraz could both feature. Nathan Jones has rotated his squad so much in recent weeks it is tough to know who will start.