|English Premier League 2014-15|
ScheduleSaturday, 20 December 2014 at 14:00 GMT / 14:00 UK / 19:30 IST
VenueSt. Mary’s Stadium (Southampton)
Next Saturday, 20th of December 2014, a highly fragilized Southampton will measure forces with an inconsistent Everton side at St. Mary’s Stadium for round 17 of the English Premier League, on a match of the utmost importance for the home side who is clearly going through a dreadful period with five defeats from their last respective matches.
Sheffield United inflicted the final blow to Southampton’s already fragile motivation levels by knocking them out of the Capital One Cup last Tuesday’s night at Bramall Lane. The Blades “offered” the ball possession to the visitors but were a far more cohese team than the Premier League side and in the end they deserved to win the match. For Ronald Koeman’s boys, this defeat was just another rusty nail on their already perforated coffin and the experienced Dutch manager will certainly need to dig deep in order to restore his players’ motivation levels after such a sour defeat.
Apart from last Tuesday’s clash at Bramall Lane, Southampton managed to put up some quality performances and may consider themselves unlucky, especially during their home defeat against Manchester United, where they had several more goal chances than their opponents, but for some reason, they failed to capitalize the attacking avalanches they usually produce.
The Saints’ next match against Everton will definitely be far from easy but another defeat might force them to drop several places on the league table. For that particular clash, Ronald Koeman will probably still not be able to rely on the contribution of Schneiderlin, Cork and Jay Rodriguez, who remain sidelined due to injury.
As for Everton, after a fairly complicated period, the Toffees returned to wins last round after overcoming QPR by 3-1 at Goodison Park. Roberto Martinez’s boys have been fairly inconsistent on domestic competitions so far this season, probably at the expenses of their excellent and almost flawless UEFA Europa League campaign.
Their win against QPR have certainly lifted the team’s morale and they will surely travel to St Mary’s Stadium with renewed hopes of extending the Saints’ misery a bit further. For that clash, the Spanish manager will probably still not be able to count on Christian Atsu, who remains sidelined due to injury.
Regardless of Everton’s strong comeback last round, Southampton are slightly favourites for next Saturday’s clash, because they will play at home and due to their imperious need to win.
Stats: W-0 L-5 D-0
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Stats: W-1 L-3 D-1
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Southampton (4-3-3) - Forster - Clyne - Fonte - Aldewereld - Bertrand - Wanyama - Davis - Ward-Prowse - Tadic - Mane - Pelle
Everton (4-3-3) – Howard - Hibbert - Distin - Jagielka - Baines - Barry - Besic - McGeady - Mirallas - Barkley - Lukaku