It’s the first of successive fixtures against Everton to end the Premier League 2 season for Southampton’s B team this weekend, with St Mary’s hosting the action on Sunday.
Saints B vs Everton
Premier League 2
St Mary’s Stadium
Sunday 2nd May, 2pm BST
It’s been just under two weeks since Saints’ last outing in Premier League 2, where Dave Horseman’s side suffered defeat to a strong Leicester side away from home on Monday 19th.
A hat-trick from Jacob Wakeling, alongside strikes from Thanawat Suengchitthawon, Cole Dasilva and a double from Tyrese Shade cemented a dominant evening for the Foxes.
Oludare Olufunwa did mark his return to the starting eleven with a goal in half-time stoppage time, but it wasn’t enough for Saints to rescue anything from the game.
Everton last played on Saturday, with Brighton the visitors to Haig Avenue.
The Toffees took the lead just shy of the break through Nathan Broadhead’s penalty, but Brighton equalised on 52 minutes thanks to Ulrick Brad Eneme Ella, as both sides had to settle for a point.
Three points for Saints could see them move to within a point of West Ham, whilst a win for Everton could see them leapfrog the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United and move to as high as fifth.
The last meeting between these two sides came back at the start of January 2020, where the two teams met at Staplewood Campus.
In what was an even evening encounter Saints took the lead after 65 minutes; Dan Nlundulu bursting down the right before finding a cross which was tapped in by Lucas Defise.
The lead didn’t last long, however, with Everton breaking forward two minutes later and equalising thanks to defender and captain Morgan Feeney.
Both sides had to settle for a point, but it certainly hints at an intriguing battle to come on Sunday.
Sunday brings another opportunity for Southampton’s youngsters to get a feel of football at St Mary’s, despite the obvious exclusion of any fans.
For Horseman and his side, it proves another tough test in Premier League 2 against another talented side.
“Everton are an excellent team,” he said “with pace and quality going forward, and a strong organisation and physicality against the ball.
“They will have some standout players and will be a tough game. Our young group will have to move the ball quickly and work hard to find spaces to create chances.
“As always we will be looking to challenge the players to bring our intensity against the ball and invest everything to produce a positive performance.”