- Everton hasn’t won at Saints since Apr. 2002
- Toffees lead all-time series 45W-20D-27L
- Home teams posted clean sheet wins last season
A pair of teams coming off tricky opening day draws hope to find the win column at St. Mary’s early Saturday morning (Watch live at 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).
The Toffees drew 2-2 at home to Premier League new boys Watford, while Saints came off a tough midweek Europa League match to snare a late point at St. James Park in a 2-2 draw of their own.
Everton has lost influential back Leighton Baines for three months after ankle surgery, and that’s a huge hit for a unit that is still waiting to see if the Toffees will stand firm on their commitment not to sell young back John Stones.
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Saints looked dangerous against an energetic Newcastle United side, and Sadio Mane was one of the players of the week (even if he wasn’t recognized for it). If not for Jack Colback’s lunging block of his late shot, Southampton could’ve easily picked up all three road points.
What they’re saying
Saints’ midfielder Steven Davis on picking up a win: “They’ve got a lot of quality in the team, so we have to be aware of the danger they bring. But at home we want to win every game and that’s the mentality we’ll have for Saturday.”
Everton boss Roberto Martinez on the import of new signing Tom Cleverley: “He’s a trusted footballer and I thought his influence on the game [against Watford] was very significant. He’ll carry on growing, he’ll carry on getting better and I think people forget how young he still is in footballing terms and we are just delighted to see how quickly he has hit the ground running with us.”
Home field has to be the difference here, especially with Everton missing Baines (though they’ve dealt with that before). Given a full week of rest, look for Saints to snare a quality win against a tough opponent, 1-0.