WILL DYER (@w2Dyer) continues his assault on the Premier League coupon. Both Southampton and Everton are out of sorts but the former nurse a Europe League hangover; will the Toffees capitalise?
Southampton v Everton | Sunday 16:30 | Sky Sports 1
Two sides who started the season well but have experienced mixed results this autumn go toe-to-toe at St. Mary’s stadium on Sunday afternoon. Saints suffered defeat in Prague on Thursday night and now the hosts welcome Everton to the south coast.
Southampton were the better side but that result means that only a win will do in their final Europa League game against Hapoel Beer Sheva, that’s sure to have had some effect on morale in the camp.
A hero returns
Ex-Southampton manager Ronald Koeman is also having a tough time at the minute. Everton have won just one of their last eight games in all competitions, scoring a paltry six goals in the process.
The 5-0 thrashing at Stamford Bridge was a real sucker punch. Everton were outplayed in every aspect and offered absolutely nothing going forward.
The subsequent game against bottom of the league Swansea offered the Toffees a chance to set things right but it took a late equaliser for Everton just to take a point.
Last time I previewed Everton I waxed lyrical about the capabilities of Romelu Lukaku, Ashley Williams and Idrissa Gueye. I won’t do that again but the fact that Gueye was suspended for the game at Chelsea and Everton were undone in midfield is by no means a coincidence.
Injuries to play a part
Southampton have a couple of absentees that could weaken them considerably for this game. Dusan Tadic could return but Jose Fonte is certainly out with a foot injury and that’s a blow.
Virgil van Dijk is a man mountain at the back and one of the best centre backs in the world right now but he’ll certainly miss his partner who’s been central to Saints imperious defence from the beginning of their rise from League One seven years ago.
Everton won this fixture 3-0 last season and haven’t lost any of their last three meetings with Saints. Against Liverpool last time out in the league, Southampton couldn’t muster a single shot on-target.
Indeed, they kept the Reds fairly quite themselves, a couple of glaring misses for Klopp’s side but all in all it was another solid defensive display at St. Mary’s.
Consequently, I can also see this game being a pretty dour affair and with Charlie Austin failing to score from open play in his last four Premier League outings I think we should side with Everton.
Returning managers are good at getting one over their old teams and it’s rare that you see Everton priced at 14/5 when playing a side that they are five points above in the table.
As a result, the value bet looks to be Everton +0.5 on the Asian Handicap line at 5/6 with BetVictor. An Everton win or draw and we get a full payout, defeat and it’s a losing bet.
Everton v Southampton – Everton +0.5 Asian Handicap (5/6 BetVictor)