LONDON (Reuters) - Southampton host Everton at St Mary’s on Sunday as Mauricio Pellegrino searches for his first league win since October.
Everton, who are still yet to appoint a permanent manager after the departure of Ronald Koeman, are winless in 14 away league matches, their second-longest run in the competition.
Here is what the fans have to say about their respective clubs:
Matt Markstone, Southampton Dellivery Podcast @sfcdell_ivery ”This is a pivotal match for Southampton. They need to find a way to put balls in the net and points on the board. If they fail on Sunday, it’s likely the pressure on Mauricio Pellegrino will continue to mount and even more fans will be calling for him to be sacked.
”I am predicting a 1-1 draw this weekend. With both teams conceding more than a goal per match on average, it’s unlikely either side will keep a clean sheet. However, Saints have only scored six goals at home in seven matches, so the chances of scoring more than one goal is fairly low, too.
”I think Everton can cause us some issues. Players like Oumar Niasse and, of course, Wayne Rooney have the potential to put balls in the back of the net, and a player like Gylfi Sigurdsson is always a threat to create chances.
”There is always a possibility that Wayne Rooney will score. There is a hope, though, that if Saints maintain the majority of the possession, as they like to do, that Rooney will become frustrated and drop deeper to try and get onto the ball. That will help nullify him as a threat.
“If one player has stood out beyond all of the issues at the club this season, it’s Mario Lemina. The new signing from Juventus has brought an energy and tenacity to the midfield that was desperately needed. His strength and tackling have been on display multiple times this season, and he’s been desperately missed when not in the line-up.”
Peter Mcpartland, Presenter, Toffee TV @ToffeeTVEFC ”Our last Premier League win on the road was back in January so it’s really hard to get excited by away games. Other than the game against Manchester City, we haven’t looked in control and instead always look likely to concede goals. Until we address that, the remainder of the season will be a struggle.
”I‘m going for a 2-2 draw this weekend because I think both teams will think they can get something from the game and are both likely to make mistakes at the back.
”Southampton have been poor recently, but a good run of form catapults any team up the league and confidence will grow from there. I‘m always wary of Charlie Austin, he is a proper goal scorer.
”Ronald Koeman needed to go but the lack of future planning really does make you wonder what is going on at Everton and who is in charge. Even if they didn’t have a man lined up, you would have thought they would have got someone in place within a couple of weeks. I’d love to see Thomas Tuchel or Sean Dyche take over.
”I think Everton are in a relegation scrap now along with every team below sixth place because the gap with the rest of the league is so big. Everyone will be looking over their shoulder.
“The return of Yannick Bolasie, with his pace and strength, could certainly help but I‘m not pinning all of my hopes on him. The return of Seamus Coleman is more valuable because he sets up how we play, drives us forward and gives us the leadership that some of the other players are looking for.”
Editing by John O'Brien