Southampton v Everton: Close contest awaits in the Koeman derby

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Before the weekend’s action began, both Southampton and Everton found themselves in the top eleven. But a quick look at the form guide suggests both of these sides could really use three points.

The Saints can claim just one win in six ahead of this return of former boss Ronald Koeman, while the Dutchman has won just one of seven with his new employers.

Koeman jumped ship in the summer, but opinion was split on whether Everton represented a step up from the south coast outfit.

The Toffees certainly had the upper hand in this fixture last year, with a Romelu Lukaku brace helping Everton to a 3-0 win.

But this time around we could see a contest akin to the 1-1 draw from the sides’ last meeting at Goodison Park in April, with Southampton 23/20 and Everton at 13/5.

A draw can be backed at 12/5, which may be a smart move with Claude Puel’s men already producing that result in half of their home games this season.

That man Lukaku could be a due a big performance after just one goal in four, and the Belgian is 5/1 to open the scoring.

But he isn’t the bookies most likely deadlock-breaker, with Saints’ Charlie Austin favourite at 9/2. The former QPR striker has been in great form this season and already has eight goals in all competitions.

The Toffees have failed to score in three of their last four visits to St Mary’s, but after netting in 10 of their 12 games this season, both teams to score looks assured at 17/20.

A score draw can be backed at 10/3, while 1-1 is 5/1.

On paper Everton’s squad may be stronger, but Southampton have already drawn at Man City and managed to keep Liverpool out a week ago.

Both sides could really use a win to regain some momentum, but as Koeman arrives with his new side, he’s likely to find that what he left behind will put up a very tough test.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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