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Football News: Southampton v Everton Match Preview for 19 January 2019

Southampton v Everton Match Preview for 19 January 2019
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Well, what to say about Everton? They're at best mercurial, at worst inconsistent. The season started well for them and they found a new star in Richarlison. But as the weather has deteriorated, so has Everton's form. The winter period has been poor; they've only won 2 of their last 9 league games, losing 5 and drawing 2. Everton fans may point out that run includes games against Liverpool, Man City and Tottenham, but it also includes losses to Brighton and Leicester and draws against Watford and Newcastle. Anyone who saw their game against Bournemouth, who are in wretched form, will also be aware that despite Everton winning that game, on another day the result could've been very different.

Their away record reads almost exactly the same with only 2 wins from 10 away games, 5 losses and 3 draws. Everton are currently 10th in the league table 2 points off 7th spot. They sit comfortably in a little huddle with other inconsistent performers like West Ham, Leicester and Wolves.

Southampton can therefore look at this match as winnable. After a solid win at Leicester, the team should ignore the midweek cup result and take confidence into the game. Everton have struggled with the number of individual errors they've made this season, ceding possession and with a consistent team press at the weekend, Saints will be looking to capitalise.

Saints will also be bolstered by the return of some key players. Danny Ings, Pierre-Emile Hojberg and Charlie Austin. Nathan Redmond remains in good form and Stuart Armstrong is working hard and showing flashes of what he's capable of. It'll also be interesting to see what role some of the younger squad members play in coming fixtures with the likes of Jake Hesketh, Josh Sims and Callum Slattery all in and around the first team squad and pushing for inclusion. I'd like to see Cedric return to playing on the right side ahead of Valery unless he is looking to leave. Whilst Cedric isn't great in the air, he has more defensive nous than his junior and as a wingback, he's less of a target. He's also better at getting forward and produces better crosses.

But the slight caveat is that midweek cup match against Derby. The performance niggles a little. There've been several games since RH took over where the team has looked tired and less convincing in their performance. So far, the team has always followed such a performance with a more energetic and committed one, so I'm hopeful of the same against Everton. Even though this game is winnable, Everton remain a good side and are more than capable of taking advantage of a team not playing at 100%. Just ask Burnley (5-1 on Boxing Day). Richarlison remains a threat and Gylfi Sigurdsson enjoys playing against us. Romeu remains a weak link defensively and I can't see him keeping close enough tabs on Sigurdsson to hamper his play unless RH has given clear instructions for him to do so. We shall see.

With the return of some key players to the team, I'm hoping for a re-energised performance. If we press Everton and take the chances we're given, we should win this game. I predict a 2-0 win.

Written by figodasilva January 18 2019 11:29:13

 

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