Southampton will hope they can keep their positive run of form going after upsetting Chelsea last time out with a surprise 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge. The Saints will host Premier League leaders Everton this afternoon in a quest to deliver them their first defeat of the 2020/21 season.
As it stands, the Saints are just one point behind ninth place Spurs and could really make headway up the table with a win over the Blues. Ralph Hasenhuttl announced that Mohammed Salisu will still not make his debut this week, however. Fans must wait a bit longer before they see their new signing take to the big stage.
Football FanCast has predicted how Southampton might line up against the Toffees this afternoon…
Whilst Hasenhuttl is onto a winning formula, it’s unlikely he will make many changes where he doesn’t have to. But Theo Walcott will be unavailable for selection against his parent club, meaning the right-hand side will open up for new personnel with Stuart Armstrong having been suffering with Coronavirus. The Austrian could opt to shift James Ward-Prowse a bit higher up the pitch with Nathan Redmond, deploying both Ibrahima Diallo and Oriol Romeu in front of the defence.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been on fire for the Blues and it will be imperative to keep him quiet and shut out any potential attacks. With no Richarlison, he will be starved of his usual reception, which is a huge boost for Southampton, but they will still need to be on the look out.
Shifting Ward-Prowse further to the right will also allow him to link-up with Kyle Walker-Peters at right-back, nullifying the attacking threat of Lucas Digne. The former Spurs man enjoys joining the attack and could overlap the midfielder to keep Everton on their toes and create some surprise counter-attacks.
In an unchanged attack, Che Adams will pair up with Danny Ings, who will be looking to continue his impressive record against the Toffees. The ex-Liverpool striker has scored more goals against his former rivals than he has any other team, a goal for him will be almost sure to upset the league leaders.