Preview: Southampton v Everton

Southampton will look to put an end to their four-game winless streak in the Premiership when they host Everton at the St. Mary's Stadium on Sunday.

Five points separate Everton in seventh and 11th-placed Southampton with the two teams' recent league form-guides looking almost identical.

The Saints recorded five points from their last five league meetings, which include stalemates against title-contenders,  Manchester City and Liverpool respectively. 

Following their Europa League defeat at the hands of Sparta Prague, the Southampton mentor lamented his side's lack of a clinical edge and called for more concentration heading into the encounter on Sunday.

"It's a bad result," he told reporters.

"We played a good first half without a clinical edge, but after we lost the structure in the second half to keep our calm.

"It was a good position for the other team, because they made it difficult for us to find solutions on a bad pitch, but that is not an excuse. 

"Now it's important to keep our concentration. Of course tonight it is disappointing. We now have to keep a good spirit for Everton on Sunday," he said.

The Toffees also recorded a mere five points from their last five league matches, playing to draws against Pep Guardiola's side and Swansea City, whilst defeating West Ham United 2-0.

The Goodison Park-based outfit were on the end of a 5-0 thrashing by Chelsea and have scored as many goals as they have conceded this season in the league this season (12).

Koeman admits to giving his side the hair-dryer treatment at half-time during their 1-1 draw against Swansea, which subsequently led to Seamus Coleman's 89th-minute equaliser.

"I was not calm at half-time," he told reporters.

"We spoke before the game about what happened to us at Chelsea and that we needed to press, play aggressively and make things difficult for Swansea.

"But that didn't happen so I was angry. We saw the reaction in the second half, but not in the first half. Maybe it's better for me to be angry before the game!'

"I think we deserved the equaliser. Not how we played in the first half, I was really disappointed with that, but from the start of the second half," he concluded.

Puel's side will be without the services of Jeremy Reid and Matt Target, who are recovering from hamstring and knee injuries respectively, whilst Matthew Pennington, Ramiro Funes Mori, Tyias Browning and Muhamed Besic will not feature for the visitors.

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