When they host bottom-of-the-league Southampton in the Premier League at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon (3pm), the Toffees will look to bounce back after yet another poor result last time out. Will Everton win for the first time in nine competitive fixtures or will the struggling Saints heap more pressure on Frank Lampard and his men?
This EFC vs Saints preview aims to answer those questions before concluding with our betting tip for this Premier League match.
The FA Cup gave the Toffees a potential break from the struggles of the Premier League, but it wasn’t a happy break for Frank Lampard’s men, who were defeated by Manchester United, losing by three goals to one. The results signalled eight competitive games without a win for Everton, and it is now very easy to feel that the manager is just one game from being dismissed.
Under Frank Lampard, Saturday’s hosts sit inside the bottom three, though this game does represent a huge chance for them to get back to winning ways, as they will be facing a team with even fewer points than them.
It has been an awful season for Southampton, there can be no denying that. Ralph Hasenhüttl was dismissed back in November. Nathan Jones, who joined from Luton Town, has not really been able to turn things around. He is obviously going to need to time, but with the season chugging along, and the points still not coming, time is running out.
The FA Cup did buy Jones some breathing space, as his side went away to Crystal Palace and got the job done. That was a big win, their first in four matches. In the EPL, Saints are without a win since they beat Bournemouth back in October. That means that the new boss is yet to taste a first Premier League victory. They are on the road here, but given Everton’s struggles, he might just see this as his best chance yet.
Home horrors for Toffees
For a while, Everton were holding their own at home. After four Premier League games at Goodison, they had only lost one, while they’d lost only two of their first six home games. Things have gone downhill since and they have now lost each of their last three in front of a home crowd, losing five out of nine. They have also won just two of the other four.
Any defensive solidity that they may have had at home, and there was some, has now gone. Last time out at Goodison, they conceded four against Brighton, while both Wolves and Leicester left having scored multiple goals prior to that.
Defending is not the only problem that the Toffees have at home, far from it. In fact, their biggest issue is arguably their lack of goals at the other end. Lampard’s men have scored just eight goals in ten home games this season, scoring just two in their last three. Only Wolves have scored less home goals than Everton in the Premier League this season.
Southampton better than some of their results on the road?
In terms of results, it has been poor season for Southampton away from home. They have lost seven out of nine and have picked up just six travelling points.
However, there have been some promising moments, especially in games likes this. They beat a struggling Leicester side at home, and did the same to Bournemouth, winning by a goal to nil at Vitality Stadium.
Sure, they have lost each of their last three away games, but they can be forgiven for coming up short at Anfield, while they were very much in the game against Fulham when losing by just a single goal last time out. They were also hugely unlucky when losing by a single goal to Newcastle too. They do not lose by much and have been well in the fight against lots of teams, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they were to edge this.
Home teams usually on top
This is a fixture that has served up few away wins in recent times. Yes, Everton did win at St. Mary’s when the pair last met, coming out on top by two goals to one, but that was a rarity. Each of the previous four renewals of this fixture went the way of whoever was playing at home, with the pair claiming two wins each.
When they last met at Goodison Park, back in August of 2021, Everton won by three goals to one.
Saints could surprise a few
Both teams are struggling, so this is a hard one to call, but at the prices, the visitors appeal. If we take away their away defeats to Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City, then they have not lost an away game by more than a goal, while they’ve turned in a few performances which suggest that they could easily upset the hosts here.
Away against Crystal Palace, Bournemouth, Wolves and Leicester, the Saints bettered their opponents in terms of xG. Consider this in conjunction with Everton’s attacking woes, and it is not difficult to envisage Southampton glory.
Moreover, while Everton have conceded eight in their last three at home, conceding two or more in each of those three, the Saints have conceded five in their last three on the road, conceding more than once in just one of those three.
The Saints are by no means prolific scorers on the road, but they have scored no less than the hosts have at home of late, while they have given less away, which could be a real issue for the hosts, who lack a goal-getter right now. With Dominic Calvert-Lewin out, the Toffees really are struggling for goals. Demarai Gray and Anthony Gordon are joint top scorers with three each, but the former has scored only two league goals since August, while the latter has not scored in the league since October.
Both teams lack firepower, and ultimately, both struggle to get the job done, but it’s the visitors who are fancied to do a better job at the back and that could make all the difference in this relegation six-pointer. So, when it comes to the betting tips for this EFC vs SaintsFC preview, this is the sole selection in a bid to part the bookmakers from some of their profits:
- Southampton Draw No Bet @ best odds of 7/5 with BetVictor.
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.