Southampton make the long trip to Merseyside this weekend as they face an in-form Everton at Goodison Park tomorrow evening.
The Saints picked up their first home league win since November last weekend as they beat Bournemouth at St Mary’s in what was a big day for the club.
It gives them fresh impetus to go on and secure their Premier League status for next season.
The result ended a run of just one win in 22 in the Premier League as the Saints looked on top form.
As for the Toffees, they come into the match having done Saints a favour by picking up a 2-0 win at relegation threatened Huddersfield Town last weekend.
There has been a real lift in the city since that result and it has boosted confidence in the squad that they can get out of the current situation.
Mark Hughes side are now placed just one point behind Swansea City who sit in 17th placed and just a further two off the struggling Huddersfield, making a positive result at Everton an absolute must.
Saints have picked up just four points from their last five encounters in the Premier League but look to be up for the challenge as they battle to stay in the division.
There isn’t too much riding on it for Everton with them well clear of relegation while they are also out of reach from catching Burnley to secure a 7th placed finish.
The Toffees boost an impressive home record collecting 33 points from their 18 outings at Goodison Park.
As for Saints, they have largely struggled on the road, picking up 13 points from their 17 trips on the road.
The two teams came up against each other earlier in the season when the Saints ran out easy 4-1 winners at St Mary’s as goals from Charlie Austin (2), Dusan Tadic and Steven Davis saw Saints to the win.
Saints boss Hughes has this week sat down and spoken to the media ahead of the visit of Bournemouth asking for his players to put the pressure on the teams around them, As reported by the club’s official website, Hughes said:
It’s only one quarter really of what we have to do and what’s ahead of us, but that reality of winning those three points has put pressure on others.
You see the tone of the media reports on our game and it’s all about maybe teams around Southampton are now looking over their shoulder, and that’s what we wanted to do.
We wanted to have maximum points and get a little more pressure on those teams above us.
We’ve been able to do that and, if we can back it up with another three points at the weekend, that’s a huge amount of pressure on teams that maybe haven’t got the momentum we have.
In terms of team news, Saints are set to just be without club captain Steven Davis for the game with him ruled out with an Achilles injury.
As for Everton, they continue to be without long-term absentees James McCarthy, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Eliaquim Mangala, while they will also be without Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Mason Holgate.
Saints play after both Stoke City and Swansea City in the weekend so it’s likely they will go into the game with the pressure on them but, also knowing what they need to do in reaction to other results.
Hughes side have a poor record at Goodison but, this is something which they really need to change if they are to get out of the trouble which they are currently in.
I expect the players to come into the game full of confidence after last weekend’s huge victory against Bournemouth and put in another quality performance.
I feel that Saints will just take this one on Saturday evening by 1-0.