PREVIEW: Everton vs Southampton: Toffees seek top-half finish

Everton will look to rebuild their winning ways on Thursday night as the Toffees welcome Southampton to Goodison Park.

Project Restart had been greatly successful for Carlo Ancelotti’s side as they went unbeaten in the first three, with wins over Leicester City and Norwich City complimenting a goalless draw with local rivals Liverpool on the opening weekend.

That was until a freak own-goal sealed a loss against Tottenham Hotspur earlier this week which brought about the first defeat since March. However, Everton are unbeaten at home since the 0-2 loss to Norwich in November.

Southampton come into the tie with two wins from their last two, including a historic 1-0 over heavyweights Manchester City last time out.

Team news

Fabian Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin will miss out yet again for Everton as they continue to recover from long-suffered injuries.

The big questions surround the wellbeing of young defender Mason Holgate, who limped off in the first half against Spurs. Should he be unfit to start, Yerry Mina will likely take the 23-year-old’s place.

Alex Iwobi has been ruled out with a hamstring issue following his halftime substitution on Monday.

Southampton could benefit from the return of Moroccan maestro Sofiane Boufal, who has spent three matches recovering from an injury. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is included in the squad.

Predicted line-ups

Everton: Pickford; Sidibe, Keane, Mina, Digne; Sigurdsson, Davies, Gomes, Gordon; Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin. (4-4-2)

Southampton: McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand; Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg, Redmond; Ings, Adams. (3-5-2)

Players to watch

Richarlison

Brazilian Richarlison has netted 10 times in his second season with the Toffees, and has found the net since the restart. His pace and attacking guile cause real issues for defenders and – if he doesn’t find the net himself – he often drags the opposition away to create room for exploitation.

Danny Ings

27-year-old Danny Ings has been the stand-out performer in the Premier League this season with an astonishing 18 goals in 33 matches so far. A major part in rescuing the Saints from relegation, the Englishman’s eye for goal has attracted a lot of attention from big clubs.

Previous meetings

Southampton have failed to win in any of their last 14 Premier League visits to Goodison Park. On the previous four occasions, they have scored just three times.

The reverse fixture in November saw a late Richarlison strike claim all three points as the Toffees edged a 1-2 win at St Mary’s Stadium.

Where to watch on TV

The match kicks off at 18:00 on June 9, broadcast live on Amazon Prime.

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