Everton – Southampton will be an intriguing clash at Goodison Park on Saturday (start time 10am ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as Rafael Benitez returns to the Premier League as a manager, while Saints have to cope without several experienced players they moved on this summer.
Benitez has been given a lukewarm reception (at best) by the Everton faithful as the former Liverpool boost replaced Carlo Ancelotti this summer after the latter jumped ship to return to Real Madrid. Benitez has a solid squad at Everton but he needs to ignite the likes of Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin and maybe James Rodriguez (if he stays) if they’re going to push for a top six finish.
As for Southampton, it’s been a big summer of ins and outs for the Saints as Hasenhuttl has lost experienced trio Danny Ings, Ryan Bertrand and Jannik Vestergaard. They have bought in the likes of Adam Armstrong, Romain Perraud and Tino Livramento and have a very young squad, as many people believe they could be relegated.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Everton v. Southampton.
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Everton have Richarlison back in the starting lineup, just a few days after he played a key role in Brazil winning the Gold medal at Tokyo 2020 and after he was at the Copa America earlier this summer. Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray make their Premier League debuts for Everton after their summer arrivals, while Jordan Pickford is back after an extended break and will be key in goal. Andre Gomes and Jean-Philippe Gbamin are battling to be fit. Dominic Calvert-Lewin starts after getting over a knock.
📝 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠 𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗦! 📝
— Everton (@Everton) August 14, 2021
Southampton have captain James Ward-Prowse fit to start as he has missed the last few weeks of preseason training, and games, due to a knee injury. With Aston Villa and Tottenham reportedly chasing JWP, Saints will hope he is fit to lead them this season as they do not want to sell their skipper and free kick specialist. Adam Armstrong, Perraud and Tino Livramento all make their Southampton debuts.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) August 14, 2021
Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)
Everton are the big favorites at -112, while Southampton are outsiders at +300 and it has been a long, long time since they won at Goodison Park. The draw is +250.
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It’s tough to see past Everton here, especially given how many players Southampton have lost this summer, but a draw seems likely. Everton 1-1 Southampton.
How to watch Everton – Southampton, stream and start time
Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: NBCSN
Online: Stream online via NBCSports.com