Everton vs Southampton Preview: Saints hoping for a positive response

Everton vs Southampton Preview: Saints hoping for a positive response

Neither side managed to end 2016 with a win, but Everton's draw at Hull topped Southampton's defeat at home to West Brom.

Aaron Stokes

Southampton haven't had a great time of late and back to back defeats will have wiped away the festive spirit on the South Coast. 

Everton have been grinding out results but are struggling to string a row of consecutive positive results together. 

The two sides meet today at Goodison Park, hoping to get 2017 off to a flyer. 

Latest form

As mentioned, the sides have varied in form but their league positions are respectively strong. The Saints sit in ninth, while Ronald Koeman's men sit two places higher, three points ahead. 

Everton have beaten Arsenal and Leicester City in the last 30 days but dropping points against Hull City and Watford will have angered the Toffees.

Southampton also managed two victories in December but their shock exit of the Europa League still remains at the forefront of Saints' fans minds.

Team news

Everton have no doubts or fresh knocks but are still without a few key players, in James McCarthy, Yannick Bolasie and Martin Stekelenburg.

Claude Puel will be without his main central defender as Virgil van Dijk is suspended after his red card against West Brom. While midfielder Jordy Clasie is a doubt. 

Jose Fonte is likely to partner Maya Yoshida at the back.

History of the tie

The two sides last met in November, with Southampton coming out on top by one goal to nil that day. However, over the years Everton have faired well when playing the South Coast outfit. 

Despite only winning two of the last six against the Saints, Everton failed to lose against the side for a period of ten years between 2003 and 2013. 

Koeman took charge of five games against the Toffees, when he was Southampton manager, winning only one. 

In the previous eight meetings between these two sides, only two of the clashes have ended with both teams finding the back of the net.