Saints aim to eradicate Everton defeat with Midtjylland Europa League win
Southampton will look to bounce back from an unexpected 3-0 defeat at home to Everton in the Premier League last time out, as they host Danish side FC Midtjylland in their Europa League play-off clash and are odds-on at 3/10 with Coral to win.
Attacker Shane Long said the players have gone “back to the drawing board” in training in the aftermath of the Toffees defeat: “Everton is a side that we feel like we should be beating to keep up how we did last year, but fair play to them, they had a good game plan,” Long said.
“We’ll go back to the drawing board during the week and try and figure out what went wrong and where we can improve. We’ll try and put that into form next week.
“It’s hard to look at the positives straight after when you lose 3-0 at home. But we go back and try to improve during the week.
“We know we’re better than that and hopefully we have more to offer,” Long continued.
“It’s just back to the drawing board and try to learn from it and plan because we’ve got four games in two weeks coming up so we have the chance to make some difference.”
The 28-year-old who equalised against Newcastle United in the Saints’ first Premier League game of the season, is 6/5 to net anytime. Graziano Pelle, who has also been on target this term, is 7/2 to break the deadlock.
Midtjylland coach Jess Thorup is aware of the size of the task in front of the club, who haven’t made it to the group stage of the competition since 2007/08, when it was known as the UEFA Cup.
“Out of the possible opponents, [Borussia] Dortmund and Southampton were the worst when you look at the chances to go further,” Thorup said following the draw.
“It turned out to be Southampton, so in that way, the chances of getting through the needle’s eye – as we dream of – are hard.
“It’s the last hurdle for them to reach the group stage, where they will have ample opportunity to collect international experience, so there is no doubt that it will be a great challenge for us having to meet a team from perhaps the best league in the world.”
One to watch for the visitors is exciting attacker Pione Sisto, who is capable of the unpredictable and priced at 4/1 to score anytime, while veteran striker Morten Rasmussen knows where the goal is and has 9/1 odds to open the scoring.
Coral top tip: Long anytime scorer @ 6/5