Southampton v Everton
Sunday 26 November 2017
David Unsworth expects to have Phil Jagielka and Morgan Schneiderlin back for Sunday’s game against Southampton - but says the trip to St Mary’s will probably come too soon for youngster Mason Holgate.
Jagielka was rested for Thursday’s clash against Atalanta, while Schneiderlin, who was suspended for the visit of the Italians, has also been nursing a toe problem.
The pair will train ahead of the game on the south coast in a bid to prove their fitness but Unsworth doesn’t expect Holgate to overcome a groin problem in time.
Everton will also be without Oumar Niasse following the two-game ban imposed upon him by the FA this week, while Tom Davies is also suspended having amassed five Premier League bookings this term.
Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino has confirmed Mario Lemina will face a late fitness test to determine whether he will be involved at St Mary’s, while another midfielder, Oriol Romeu, is suspended.
Everton travel to St Mary’s off the back of a disappointing 5-1 home defeat to Atalanta in the Europa League on Thursday night.
But before that, the Toffees had secured four points from their previous two Premier League matches. Last up in the league was the 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace.
Everton twice went behind but came back each time through a Leighton Baines penalty and an Oumar Niasse strike and will hope to go one better and get their first away win of the season.
Southampton come into Sunday’s clash having lost 3-0 to Liverpool at Anfield last time out. Their last win came nearly a month ago, at home to West Brom, and they have found themselves on the end of two losses so far this November.
ONE TO WATCH: MANOLO GABBIADINI
The 2016/2017 season was one to remember for Gabbiadini. The Italian striker joined Southampton from Napoli in the January transfer window and instantly made an impact, scoring the Saints’ only goal in a 3-1 loss to West Ham on his debut. In his second game, he bettered that, netting two inside 45 minutes against Sunderland in a 4-0 win.
In the League Cup final against Manchester United, Gabbiadini scored another brace which had looked to be enough to take the tie to extra-time until Zlatan Ibrahimovic got the winner late on.
This season, Gabbiadini’s goal tally stands at two, both coming against Newcastle United in October. The first that day was an excellent solo effort, picking up the ball at the right-hand side of the area, beating his man and finishing low into the corner. The second then came from the spot to equalise for Southampton after they had gone behind.
LAST TIME: SOUTHAMPTON 1-0 EVERTON
The last time the two sides met on the south coast, Southampton grabbed all three points. Charlie Austin put the home side ahead after only 41 seconds, with the Blues going closest when Idrissa Gana Gueye fired over the bar when well placed.
MAN IN THE MIDDLE: KEVIN FRIEND
The Leicester-based official joined the Select Group of Referees in the 2009/2010 season, after a number of successful years in the lower leagues of English football with his most high-profile game being the 2008 play-off semi-final between Watford and Hull City. Since then he has taken charge of the 2012 FA Community Shield between Manchester City and Chelsea and the 2013 Capital One Cup final between Swansea City and Bradford City.
This campaign, Friend has taken charge of six top-flight fixtures, none of which being Everton however did officiate the Blues against Watford towards the end of last year.