Premier League Previews: December 29th 2013
Sunday’s Premier League Previews kicks off at Goodison Park with Everton aiming to hit straight back after a shock home defeat to Sunderland on Boxing Day
Everton v Southampton (13:30)
Everton are unbeaten in their last seven head to head with the Saints (W3-D4). Despite losing their unbeaten home record in 2013, the Toffees have still lost fewer matches than any other side. They have won 11 of 15 matches, going in at the break in front in six of their last eight with middle-third teams.
Southampton have lost five of their last seven at top-six clubs. There have been no more than three goals in 13 of Southampton’s 18 league matches this season.
Goalkeeper Joel Robles will make his first Premier League start for Everton in place of the suspended Tim Howard.
Gareth Barry also serves a ban after being booked for the fifth time this season on Boxing Day, but Leighton Baines may return from a broken toe.
Southampton defender Dejan Lovren could feature, having missed the Boxing Day win at Cardiff because of illness.
Nathaniel Clyne and Dani Osvaldo are in contention to return from injury but Artur Boruc and Victor Wanyama are out.
The visitors will arrive off the back of one of their most comprehensive performances of the season so far, as amidst the highly-charged atmosphere of the Cardiff City Stadium they were able to cruise ruthlessly to their biggest away win of the campaign.
It was a timely result too as, despite continuing to impress all those who watch them, it actually ended a poor run of six winless games and eight without a clean sheet.
They’ll also have fond memories of their most recent visit to Merseyside, when they inflicted Liverpool’s first defeat of the season back in September.
That, though, is their only victory against a side in the top half of the table and, having secured only one win in 14 Premier League visits to Goodison Park, an away victory seems improbable.
Hang on a moment, didn’t we say that about the Sunderland game…?
- Everton are unbeaten in their last seven Premier League meetings with Southampton (W3, D4).
- The Saints have only won one of 14 Premier League trips to Goodison Park (W1, D3, L10), a 2-0 victory in November 1997.
- Everton suffered their first home defeat for a year against Sunderland on Boxing Day.
- They have not suffered successive league defeats since February, and last lost back-to-back home matches in October 2011.
- Twelve of Everton’s last 14 Premier League goals have come in the second half.
- Roberto Martinez’s side have earned 34 points so far this season, two less than his Wigan team picked up throughout the whole of 2012-13.
- The Toffees have the best defensive record in the division, conceding 17 goals and keeping eight clean sheets.
- Romelu Lukaku has gone five matches without a goal, his longest barren run in the last two seasons.
- Their 3-0 victory at Cardiff on Boxing Day ended a run of six matches without a win and eight games without a clean sheet.
- Mauricio Pochettino’s side have only once beaten top-half opposition this season, winning 1-0 against Liverpool at Anfield in September.
- Jay Rodriguez has scored seven goals in his last 10 Premier League games, with five of the last six coming away from home.
- Rickie Lambert has scored or assisted nine goals in his last 10 league matches (four goals and five assists).
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