After they both shared four goals on opening day, Southampton and Everton will both be aiming for their first win in what promises to be a keenly contested encounter on the Hampshire coast.
Manager Ronald Koeman was not at Newcastle to see his Saints side finish level in an entertaining game which saw Graziano Pelle continue his red-hot start to the new season with a fine headed goal, and Shane Long grab an equaliser through similar means. Two late chances for Sadio Mane meant there was a tinge of regret at not emerging with all three points, but all the signs were there that the club are in for another strong campaign.
The experienced Maarten Stekelenburg looked relatively comfortable in goal, while both full-back positions had an unfamiliar look. Youngster Matt Targett was occasionally beaten for pace as he deputised for the injured Ryan Bertrand, while new right-back Cedric Soares looks likely to be a useful attacking outlet, although he too sometimes found the going tough against Newcastle’s wide men. Here they look for their third consecutive home win over the Toffees.
It looked like it might be another case of opening day disappointment for Everton as newly promoted Watford took the lead twice at Goodison Park, but they showed impressive battling qualities to come away with a share of the spoils. Ross Barkley began what he hopes will be a highly productive season by scoring a piledriver, while striker Arouna Kone will be keen for his late leveller to be the first of many goals after two injury-hit seasons.
A lot of the attention was on defender John Stones, who has been the subject of a public pursuit by champions Chelsea. For the most part he did not let it affect him on the day, but was well beaten by Odion Ighalo for the goal that put Watford 2-1 in front. On the whole, it seems difficult to be convinced that Everton’s problems are over and a place in the top half will be restored. The supporters will be expecting to see activity in the transfer market before the September 1 deadline to address their concerns.
Summer signings Jordy Clasie and Steven Caulker will both be missing for Southampton through injury, but midfielder Oriol Romeu could make his debut after joining from Chelsea.
Leighton Baines is a long-term absentee for Everton, who should have Kevin Mirallas available despite being forced off against Watford. Muhamed Besic, Gerard Deulofeu and Aiden McGeady could all make the match day squad.
Played for both – James Beattie: The striker made his name at Southampton during a seven-year stay between 1998 in 2005. He scored 68 goals in 204 Premier League appearances, peaking in 2002-03 when he helped his side to the eighth place and the FA Cup final as well as earning his only senior England cap. He was a high-profile signing when Everton spent £6m for his services, but he never looked at home while at Goodison Park and only managed 13 goals in 75 league outings.