Saints meet Everton at Goodison Park for a place in the last 16 of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night. Get game ready with our in-depth match preview...
Everton vs Southampton
Tuesday 2nd October, 7.45pm BST
Carabao Cup Third Round
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Tuesday night’s encounter at Goodison Park sees Southampton and Everton meet for the second time in little more than six weeks.
A trip to last season’s quarter-finalists Leicester awaits in the last 16; both sides have struggled for form in the Premier League so far, the distraction of the Carabao Cup may well be of use.
Marco Silva’s Blues picked up their first league win in five matches against Fulham on Saturday, their only previous successes coming against Saints in the second weekend of the season followed by a 3-1 victory over Rotherham to set up this meeting.
A reshuffle and regroup is in order for Saints after back-to-back away league defeats to Liverpool and Wolves brought an end to a three-match unbeaten run which included a Second Round 1-0 win over Brighton at the Amex Stadium.
Mark Hughes’s men pushed the Toffees hard in both of their previous meetings at Goodison and despite holding a poor record there of late, have won two of their last five matches against them, albeit both at St Mary’s.
Everton: Marco Silva was able to name an unchanged side for the second consecutive week against Fulham and has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the visit of Saints. Eight changes were made to Silva's Premier League selection for the visit of Rotherham in the previous round and extra minutes may be granted to the likes of Maarten Stekelenburg, Kieran Dowell and Oumar Niasse.
Southampton: Similarly, Mark Hughes has no further selection issues for his team's third away game on the spin. Angus Gunn, Jan Bednarek, Maya Yoshida and Jack Stephens all delivered confident performances at Brighton in the Second Round and will be hungry to stake their claims further at Goodison Park.
Fulham (h) W 3-0 (Sigurdsson (2), Tosun)
Arsenal (a) L 2-0
West Ham (a) L 3-1 (Sigurdsson)
Huddersfield (h) D 1-1 (Calvert-Lewin)
Rotherham (h) W 3-1 (Calvert-Lewin (2), Sigurdsson)
Wolves (a) L 0-2
Liverpool (a) L 0-3
Brighton (h) D 2-2 (Højbjerg, Ings)
Crystal Palace (a) W 2-0 (Ings, Højbjerg)
Brighton (a) W 1-0 (Austin) (Carabao Cup)
Marco Silva: "We played with players who were 20 or 21 years old against Fulham. It is hard, but for them to develop, they have to play. In some moments, they make mistakes, but in this way they can grow as players.
“I hope [the win will maintain confidence] to sustain what we are doing and the way we want to play.
"The results will be the best way to grow this confidence with our fans and our players because it is something really important.”
Mark Hughes: “We’ll go into the game with different personnel; the guys who didn’t feature against Wolves will see it as an opportunity to press their claims to get in the team and I hope they do because that will show me that the strength of the group is right and we can build on that."
Everton’s victory over Fulham last time out was largely owed to the performance of Icelandic talisman Gylfi Sigurdsson.
The midfielder struck a decisive brace to set his team on course for a much-needed victory; first sweeping clinically into the bottom corner from 18 yards before netting again one minute from time for his third Premier League goal of the season.
The club-record signing was instrumental in getting the Toffees over the line against a threatening Fulham side and but for his spot-kick against the crossbar he would have had a well-deserved hat-trick.
Although replaced by Cenk Tosun partway through Saturday’s game, academy product Dominic Calvert-Lewin does hold one of the most prolific scoring records in the Carabao cup in recent seasons.
Since his debut in the competition in August 2015, only Kevin De Bruyne (seven) has scored more goals than striker Calvert-Lewin (six); five of them have come in his last three appearances for Everton in the cup.
Alex McCarthy has continued the form that earned him a call-up to the England squad for September’s international fixtures and demonstrated why he ought to remain in Gareth Southgate’s thoughts for the coming fortnight.
The 28-year-old was instrumental in protecting Saints’ lead at Crystal Palace last month and was unfortunate to be beaten twice at Molineux after saving brilliantly from Jonny Otto and Raul Jimenez either side of half time.
Angus Gunn is likely to take on the gloves from McCarthy at Goodison on Tuesday night and will be keen to maintain the strong start to the season in the Saints goalkeeping department.
Previous five meetings:
Aug 2018: Everton 2-1 Saints
May 2018: Everton 1-1 Saints
Nov 2017: Saints 4-1 Everton
Jan 2017: Everton 3-0 Saints
Nov 2016: Southampton 1-0 Everton
DID YOU KNOW?
This will be the 100th meeting between Everton and Southampton in all competitions but just the second in the League Cup – the Saints won 2-1 in the second round in 1971-72 in the only other meeting.
Southampton have won nine of their last 11 League Cup matches against Premier League opposition, with their two defeats in this run against Liverpool in the 2015-16 quarter-final and in the final in 2016-17 against Manchester United.
Southampton manager Mark Hughes has progressed from five of his previous six League Cup fourth round ties – his only defeat came against the Saints in 2014-15 while he was Stoke manager.
NOT AT THE GAME?
Not with us at Goodison? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Our interactive match centre at southamptonfc.com will have all the build-up, in-game updates and live commentary, while we’ll also be keeping you bang up-to-date and bringing you behind-the-scenes access on our various social channels, so make sure you’re following us…