Pundits make identical prediction with Saints and Everton tough to split

Southampton must bounce back from back-to-back defeats (Pic: PA)
Southampton must bounce back from back-to-back defeats (Pic: PA)

PUNDITS Paul Merson and Chris Sutton both made identical predictions for the upcoming Premier League clash between Saints and Everton.

The Toffees visit St Mary’s Saturday on the back of four without loss in the league, including a 0-0 draw with Liverpool and 1-0 win over West Ham.

They have shipped just two goals in the four matches, and Saints have slipped to a 1-0 defeat in each of their last two matches – successive visits to the Midlands.

Neither former professional-turned-pundit is willing to pick one team to win, both predicting a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s in the eighth match of the season.

Saints had ran out comfortable winners in this same fixture back in February, with Stuart Armstrong and Shane Long on the scoresheet.

"I don't really know what to make of Southampton," former Chelsea and Blackburn striker Sutton claimed in his BBC Sport column.

Chris Sutton (Pic: PA) (Image: PA Archive/PA Images)

"They sometimes play with blood and thunder under Ralph Hasenhüttl, but other times they don't seem to attack very much at all.

"Everton have been better recently but, along with Newcastle they are the draw specialists in the Premier League this season, and I can see the points being shared again here."

Meanwhile, Merson, speaking to Sportskeeda, said: "This is going to be a massive match for Ralph Hasenhüttl.

“They play Everton at home this week, and he'll need his team to win this football match. I do worry for the manager if they don't get a good result in this game.

"Everton are working hard and have become difficult to beat. Frank Lampard is getting the best out of his players, and that's all you can ask for from a manager.”

He added: “Everton fans ask for only one thing - a hundred per cent from their players every week. The team has lived up to that expectation and they've produced a couple of good results.

"Everton are far from the best team in the Premier League, but Frank Lampard is getting a tune out of them. Southampton have the home advantage in this fixture and could play out a draw this weekend."

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