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Friday, February 23, 2024

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Premier League: Everton vs Southampton; ‘I would like to be here when the new stadium opens’

What a week it has been for Everton!

The derby victory, the council approving the Bramley Moore stadium and Lucas Digne’s new contract.

Then in the Southampton press conference Ancelotti dropped a bomb on everyone.

He admitted that wants to be at Everton when their new stadium opens but his contract expires that summer.

Put two and two together and you have a new contract, if any Everton fan were to be against that then they are simply insane.

But now Everton need to not throw away such good momentum and the feel-good factor against Southampton as the Champions League is a real possibility, especially when the Toffees have a game in hand.

Ancelotti deserves huge credit for how quickly he has turned this Everton team around and for obviously ending that barren run at Anfield, whatever happens in the next few years Ancelotti will be remembered forever for that moment.

It was just a shame that the fans could not be there but hopefully from the start of the new season the Gladys street will be booming.

Southampton will pose a challenge even though since beating Liverpool in January their form has fallen off a cliff picking up one point in eight games.

Everton will be hoping the same does not happen to them but with Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Allan back and ready to start any fears will be slightly eased.

It would not be a shock to see the pair in the side from the off as Everton have had a week off so they should be fit and ready like the whole team.

Yerry Mina and Jean-Phillipe Gbamin will not be available unfortunately as Ancelotti said he expects Mina to be out for at least another two weeks whilst Gbamin’s return date is still unknown.

No surprise there then.

Home games for Everton have not been too kind in recent weeks and Ancelotti knows that saying that Everton “have to improve” their home form.

The last game at Goodison that the blues won was back in December against Arsenal, since then there has been defeats to West Ham, Newcastle, Fulham, Manchester City, and a draw to Leicester City.

That is simply woeful and if there is another poor result against Southampton then it will become a problem that will have to be fixed.

“Away, we are more focused defensively. At home, maybe we are thinking that the games are easier, and we are not able to keep the concentration that we had away” explained the Italian.

Concentration will be needed against Danny Ings who loves a goal against Everton however the striker hasn’t been firing on all cylinders this season having only scored eight goals in the league.

Takumi Minamino, on loan from Liverpool, has scored a couple since joining but is a doubt having picked up an injury in the defeat against Leeds.

Whilst Oriol Romeu also picked up an injury in the same game ruling him out for the rest of the season.

Southampton are down to their bare bones whilst Everton have two of their best players this season coming back from injury, on paper it only points to one outcome.

But Everton’s poor home form does point to a positive result for the Saints.

Ralph Hassenhuttl’s team dominated Everton in the reverse fixture with Everton having just two shots on target.

So, will they be able to do the double over Ancelotti’s men?

Or will the celebrations continue for Evertonians after the derby victory?

Written by Elliot Thompson

READ MORE: Lucas Digne signs new Everton contract until 2025

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