Everton vs Southampton in important Premier League clash

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Everton will be hosting Southampton this Saturday, April 4 in an important English Premier League clash for both teams. Southampton’s chances of finishing in the top four and making the European Champions League next season are fading, but they may be able to finish in the top six and earn a spot in the second-tier Europa League.

The Saints enter the weekend in sixth place with 53 points from 16 wins, five draws and nine losses. They’re just one point behind Liverpool, but are six back of fourth-place Manchester United. However, a Europa League berth isn’t guaranteed either since Tottenham is just one points behind them. Southampton can’t afford to drop points at this stage of the season if they hope to play in one of the European competitions next season.

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There’s still eight games to go though and 24 points up for grabs and anything can still happen in the final two months of the campaign. Southampton has lost two of their past six matches with their last outing being a 2-0 win over Burnley. The Saints don’t score a lot of goals as they’ve got 42 on the season, but they own the league’s tightest defence with just 21 against. Goaltender Fraser Foster is a big reason for this, but he recently pulled out of the England international squad due to an injury. If he’s not healthy enough to start against Everton it could give the home side a decided advantage.

According to bet365, Everton favored at 13/8 to win this showdown with Southampton 11/5 and a draw at 9/5. Bet on Everton vs Southampton at bet365!

Forster has allowed just six goals against in his last nine outings with three clean sheets. As far as the attack goes, Italian international Graziano Pelle leads the way with just eight on the season and hasn’t found the back of the net in his last 13 league games. He did manage to score for Italy though in their 1-1 home draw against England on March 31. The last time Pelle scored in the league was against Everton earlier this season in a 3-0 victory. The Saints have beaten Everton in their past two meetings by a combined score of 5-0.

Everton has eight wins, 10 draws and 12 defeats this term and sit in 13th position with 34 points. They’re nine points above the relegation zone and 19 behind Southampton and a shot at Europe. They’ll likely stay afloat this season, but have no chance of reaching Europe. The Toffees have just three wins in their past 14 league outings with two of the victories coming against 19th place Queens Park Rangers and last place Leicester City. However, they’ve beaten Southampton five out of the last six times at home with the other game being a 0-0 draw way back in 2003.

Belgian international striker Romelu Lukaku leads the squad with eight goals this season. He has three goals and a pair of assists in his last four outings in all competitions. American international goalkeeper Tim Howard has struggled this season and has allowed seven goals against in his last five games. bet365 lists Everton at 13/8 to win this showdown with Southampton 11/5 and a draw at 9/5.

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