Preview: Southampton vs. Everton

Espanyol coach Mauricio Pochettino gestures during his sides match with FC Barcelona on February 21, 2009
© AP Photos
Sports Mole looks ahead to Mauricio Pochettino's first game in charge of Southampton against Everton.

It will be interesting to see what the atmosphere will be like at the St Mary's Stadium tomorrow evening when Everton travel down to take on Southampton.

After all, the match will be the first encounter for the Saints since the club's board took the controversial decision to sack Nigel Adkins and replace him with former Espanyol coach Mauricio Pochettino - a man that has no previous Premier League experience.

Adkins was a popular figure among the Southampton faithful so it wouldn't be a surprise if some of the crowd made their feelings known.

On the football side of things Pochettino will be without midfielder Adam Lallana, who is still suffering with a knee injury.

Centre-back Jose Fonte has also been ruled out of the clash with a similar problem.

Visiting manager David Moyes has some injury concerns of his own, with both Darron Gibson and Kevin Mirallas unlikely to shake off hip and hamstring complaints respectively.

A win for the Toffees will move them just one place and one point away from a Champions League berth, while Southampton can haul themselves six points clear of relegation trouble if they triumph.

However, the last two times that these teams have met on the South Coast, the matches have ended in 2-2 and 3-3 draws.

Recent form

Southampton: LDDDWD

Everton: DWWLWD

Possible starting lineups:

Southampton: Boruc; Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Shaw; Schneiderlin, Cork, Puncheon, Ramirez; Rodriguez, Lambert

Everton: Howard; Nevilla, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Coleman, Osman, Fellaini, Pienaar; Jelavic, Anichebe

Sports Mole says: 1-1

Nigel Adkins
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