We bring you the lowdown ahead of Southampton's trip to Everton in the Premier League...
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Both teams head into 2017 in the top half of the Premier League, although both would surely like to be heading into this game in better form.
Everton will start the day in seventh position, but the Toffees have won just three of their last 14 top-flight matches, with Ross Barkley’s late goal salvaging a point in their most recent outing, away to Hull.
Saints had gone into Christmas in high spirits, with a good run having propelled them to seventh at that stage, but back-to-back home defeats, against Tottenham and West Brom, since halted that momentum and saw them slip to ninth.
A win for either side would, therefore, be an energising one, and if Claude Puel’s men can triumph against former manager Ronald Koeman’s side for the second time this season then it would be the perfect way to kick-start a huge month for them.
Everton: Former Saints goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg has been sidelined recently with a leg injury, meaning Joel Robles could well continue between the posts. Everton are without Yannick Bolasie and Muhamed Besić for the long term, while midfielder James McCarthy and full-back Bryan Oviedo have also been missing recently.
Southampton: Virgil van Dijk serves a one-game suspension in this the match, following his sending off against West Brom. Nathan Redmond, however, returns from a ban and is available. Matt Targett and Charlie Austin remain long-term injury absentees, while Puel has indicated he will need to make plenty of changes for the game, with his side having played only two days previously.
Everton’s last five:
Hull City (a) D 2-2
Leicester City (a) W 2-0
Liverpool (h) L 1-0
Arsenal (h) W 2-1
Watford (a) L 2-3
Southampton’s last five:
West Bromwich Albion (h) L 1-2
Tottenham Hotspur (h) L 1-4
Bournemouth (a) W 3-1
Stoke City (a) D 0-0
Middlesbrough (h) W 1-0
There is no doubt who Everton’s big danger man is. Roomful Lukaku has, once again, been in fine form this season, with ten goals – all of which have come in the Premier League – while he is also Everton’s joint-leading assist provider.
Top scorers: Romelu Lukaku (10), Ross Barkley (4)
Most assists: Romelu Lukaku, Yannick Bolasie (4)
Dušan Tadić’s assist for Shane Long in the 2-1 defeat to West Brom was only his first of the Premier League season, but he still leads the team in chances created in the competition this term, with 32. Nathan Redmond, who could return from suspension, is close behind him, on 31.
Top scorers: Charlie Austin (9), Jay Rodriguez (4)
Most assists: James Ward-Prowse (3), Dušan Tadić, Steven Davis (2)
Last five meetings:
November 2016: Southampton 1-0 Everton (Austin)
April 2016: Everton 1-1 Southampton (Mané)
August 2015: Southampton 0-3 Everton
April 2015: Everton 1-0 Southampton
December 2014: Southampton 3-0 Everton (Lukaku og, Pellè, Yoshida)
DID YOU KNOW?
Saints are looking to end a run of 11 Premier League trips to Everton without a victory (D3, L8)
If Southampton win, it will be the first time since the 1997/98 season when they have beaten Everton twice in the same league campaign.
Southampton have exactly the same record at the halfway point of the Premier League season under Claude Puel, as they did last season under Ronald Koeman (P19 W6 D6 L7, 24 points)
NOT AT THE GAME?
If you can’t make the trip to Goodison Park, we’ll be sure to keep you right up-to-date.
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