Southampton’s south coast record imposing for visiting Everton
Both hosts Southampton (odds-on 10/11 favourites with Coral) and guests Everton need to shake-off slow starts to the season, which saw the two disappointingly draw their openers, with Ronald Koeman’s side needing to make the most of their St Mary’s advantage.
Recent meetings give the Toffees (10/3) a slight edge, with three wins for the Merseyside men, two for the Saints and a draw, but Everton’s defensive cracks are ripe to be exploited.
New rearguard recruit Mason Holgate is highly unlikely to be thrown into the fray anytime soon, still leaving Roberto Martinez with a threadbare backline.
The visitors must not gift sharper Southampton the same space they allowed top-flight new boys Watford, but thankfully for fans did show the spirit to fight back twice, and are 5/2 to snatch a draw on the road.
Ross Barkley turned the tide against the Hornets with a stupendous strike, and the young England midfielder is 5/1 to fire home again anytime, while leading man Romelu Lukaku (7/4) will be hoping for better luck after netting an own goal in this fixture last term.
Everton do have plenty of attacking options at their disposal, with Aroune Kona, whose goal grabbed a vital point last time out, 7/1 to strike last again, and crafty Kevin Mirallas 8/1 to snag the opener.
Yet Koeman’s men are, despite conceding two against Newcastle United, usually much more organised and sturdy in defence than their guests, and should capitalise on this.
Strong at St Mary’s last season, where they lost just four league games, the Saints are 2/1 to win to nil and shut out Everton completely.
Poacher Graziano Pelle has already been on the scoresheet this season, and struck against the Toffees last term, so is a tasty 9/2 chance to notch first.
Meanwhile, Sadio Mane (a 7/4 shout to be on target anytime) certainly has the ability to turn the tussle, while new signing Juanmi is 5/4 in the same market.
Betting tip: Pelle has already got off to a great start and is more than tempting @ 9/2 to net first