Scout Report: Moyes Tactical Blueprint vs Southampton

After the misery of Leeds on Tuesday we welcome Southampton – comfortably the most interesting to watch of the newly promoted sides – to Goodison in a fixture which has produced some high scoring and exciting games in years gone by.
Adkins Tactics & Selection

Defensively Saints will look to play a high line and condense the play further up field. They have made the fewest fouls in the top flight but have made the most interceptions with midfield workhorse Schneiderlin making the most in the top flight. In a contact sport where contact doesn’t seem to be allowed anymore, interceptions are the most effective, low risk method of regaining possession. It does perhaps hint that our visitors lack some bite although at the same time it reduces the amount of free kicks conceded which was a crucial error Swansea made against us last week.On the ball, they have played the fewest long balls per game and the most through balls, so they obviously like to play a short passing game and look for incisive balls in the final third. They are very positive too as was shown by the fact they led against both the Manchester clubs going into the final stages of the games. The United match in particular demonstrated this positivity in possession, with 33% of their passes being played forward compared to United’s 27%. This approach should be applauded given the predominance of percentage football evil cabal bores such as O’Neill and fattie Allardyce.

Its more than likely Saints will open up in a 4-1-4-1 setup something like this; Gazzaniga – Clyne, Fonte, Hooiveld, Fox – Shneiderlin – Puncheon, Davis,  Ramires,  Lallana – Lambert
Strengths

In Schneiderlin they have the player who has covered more ground than any other Prem player this season. The ex Strasbourg man has averaged over 7 miles per game, peaking at.7.31 miles vs Man City. Their energy as a team is similar to Lambert’s Norwich last season but their style is more akin to Blackpool’s during their solitary season in the top flight.Going forward they have scored plenty with Toffees fan Adam Lallana the key creative force. He will start on the left but will come inside. He’s not got the pace to go past players but he does have a great knack of drifting into pockets of space and playing a killer pass with 2 assists to his name already. The best way to defend him is to show him the outside as he isn’t a great crosser as the below chalkboard demonstrates; misfiring all 10 crosses vs Wigan. In many ways Lallana is a bit like Leon Osman style wise. You can get the Soton man at 16/1 with Boylesports to get the first assist

Weaknesses
Averaging 3 goals conceded per game is quite a damning statistic. Already goalkeepers and centre backs have been shuffled in and out which doesn’t provide cohesion.   Man United got 3 goals from crosses whilst Gibbs – very much a poor man’s Leighton Baines – had a field day in the Gunner’s 6-1 slaying a few weeks ago against Clyne at right back who was afforded little protection from Puncheon on the right side of midfield.
The above shows an example of Arsenal overloading down the left 3 v 1 on Clyne for the first of Gibbs two assists. The below visual is from our last home game against Newcastle and shows how Fellaini (blue) similarly likes to drop into this zone to assist Baines/Pienaar (yellow)  overload the opposition down the left. It’s likely this is going to be an area we can get plenty of joy.
Betting Forecast
Everton are best priced for this one at 4/9 with Paddy Power. The draw is 4/1 With Skybet whilst you can get 15/2 with Totesport on an away win
4 to ponder;
11/1 Baines 1st assist  (Boylesports)
5/6 Both teams to score (Willie Hills)
13/8 Over 3.5 goals (Willie Hills)

4/1 Leon Osman anytime goalscorer, Everton win double (Willie Hills)

EB

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