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Everton 2 v 1 Southampton
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, 18th August 2018 Kick-off 15:00
Saints At Everton The Preview
Friday, 17th Aug 2018 08:00

Can Saints win at Goodison Park for the first time in 27 years or will it be another afternoon of frustration on Merseyside

Saints suffered heartbreak at Goodison three months ago in what looked like a terminal blow when the Toffee's equalised deep into injury time, but they used the setback to stir them on to superhuman effort in going to Swansea and winning a few days later.

Can they now use this game to kick start the season and banish those negative times over the last 12 months.

Mark Hughes though has to consider first what formation to play whether to stay with three at the back and then who to play in it, also whether perhaps he has to be a little bit more defensive minded.

Some good players didn't get a game last week and does he put in the likes of Pierre Emile Hojbjerg or James Ward Prowse and does he start Danny Ings or hold him in reserve.

The good news is that Hughes now has a revamped squad and has options in all areas.

Rome wasn't built in a day though and for now it's about getting a good solid start to the season and taking it from there.

For me I would go back to a flat back four with Cedric, Hoedt, Vestergaard and Bertrand.

I would have a good solid midfield trio perming three from the four of Romeu, Lemina, Armstrong and Hojbjerg, I would play Redmond and JWP as the wide pairing and then their is the dilemma up front.

Is Austin mobile enough, is Gabbiadini strong enough and is Ing's quite fit enough, that is the question for Hughes.

All in all though its a good dilemma for the manager and again he should have a strong bench to change things if they don't go right.

Like last season we have to dig in earn the right to play and impose ourselves on the game, then we have to win it and unlike last year concentrate not to the very last minute but to the final whistle.

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CCSFC added 08:43 - Aug 17
4 - 3 - 1 - 2 - Width from Full backs, Solid middle, options upfront.
Cedric, Hoedt, Vester, Bertrand
Romeu, Lemina, Hjoibjerg
Armstrong (if fit) if not then Redmond
Gabbi, Ings

SonicBoom added 10:01 - Aug 17
From what we've seen a flat back 4 seems the obvious choice. If we are as open as we were last weekend we could be 3 down by half time and the game has gone.
I'd also start Ings. He says he's been for for a year so what's the problem?
Nick mentioned holding him in reserve - reserve for what? He's a footballer we paid a lot of money for, it's his job to play games. Get him on the pitch.

saintmark1976 added 11:17 - Aug 17
The fact that we need to have discussions as to how the team plays and in addition every place within it(apart from the keeper) is up for grabs shows one thing to me. We have assembled a squad of interchangeable identity kit players. We no longer have any above average players who's names are the first on the team sheet week in and week out.Frankly, it doesn't matter anymore wether "X" replaces "Y" because nobody is likely to notice any difference.

Saintmapa added 12:39 - Aug 17
The problem lies here, if Huhges opts to play back four, then don’t play Cedric because he can’t defend higher balls in the box. If Hughes opts 3central defenders, then Romeu can not be payed as a defensive midfielder, because he plays too deep and unables Saints to attack.

schatfield added 13:07 - Aug 17
4 - 3 - 1 - 2 - would be my team to get us the win
Svensson, Claus, Richards, Bridge
Oakley, Palmer, Hughes
Le Tiss
Pahars, Lambert

helpineedsomebody added 13:25 - Aug 17
take a point away from home NOW anything more is a bonus
set up if ely is not fit then nine man across the goal line with a couple of firemans ladders

BoondockSaint added 13:46 - Aug 17
schatfield- Are you holding Keegan in "reserve"?

BaselSaint added 15:24 - Aug 17
I'm quite sure the midfield will not be creative / forward thinking enough without Moi Elyonoussi. Hope he's not injured and starts with Ings.

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