December 18, 2014

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman will be back in the dugout for Saturday's home match against Everton after missing last weekend's opener at Newcastle due to an Achilles injury.

Shane Long scored a late equaliser to earn the Saints a 2-2 draw against the Magpies. Graziano Pelle gave Southampton an early lead, only for Newcastle to hit back with two goals on either side of halftime.

The Magpies looked to set to record a victory in Steve McClaren's first league match in charge, before substitute Long rescued a point for the Saints when he headed home a cross from Dusan Tadic 10 minutes from time.

Republic of Ireland international Long was delighted with his goal but felt the Saints might have gone on and beaten Newcastle.

"Once we got to 2-2 I thought we caused them all sorts of problems, and if any team was going to win then it was going to be us," Long told his club's website. "We're disappointed not to get the win.

"It's disappointing because we know we put on a good performance and we're looking forward to next week."

Striker Jay Rodriguez made his first Premier League start in 16 months at St James' Park. The 26-year-old England striker tore his ACL in April 2014.

Everton twice rallied from a goal down to earn a 2-2 draw against newly promoted Watford at Goodison Park last weekend. Ross Barkley and Arouna Kone scored for the Merseysiders.

The Toffees, though, took a blow after learning England left back Leighton Baines will be out for three months after undergoing ankle surgery.

Despite that setback, manager Roberto Martinez is confident Everton can cope during Baines' absence.

"We have Bryan Oviedo coming back to full fitness and I think it is going to be important over the next few weeks that he regains his match fitness level," Martinez told his club's website.

"Brendan Galloway is a young man but when he plays, he is and out-and-out defender. He has been very impressive and is someone who can play in that position for us for a long time."

Both teams won at home last season, with Southampton running out 3-0 victors in December. Romelu Lukaku scored a first-half own goal, before Pelle and Maya Yoshida netted after the break to confirm the win. Everton beat the Saints 1-0 at Goodison Park in early April, with Phil Jagielka scoring the game's only goal.

Overall, Everton hold the edge over Southampton in Premier League clashes, winning 14 times to the Saints nine victories. The sides have drawn nine of their 32 meetings.

Southampton are unbeaten in their last six home league matches against Everton, with three wins and three draws.

Everton have won just one of their last 14 top-flight matches at Southampton, a 1-0 victory in April 2002. They've lost eight times in that span, drawing the other five.

Southampton finished with the second-best home defence in the Premier League last season, conceding just 13 goals in 19 games at St. Mary's.

Everton lost 10 times away from home last season, the most league defeats on their travels in a single season since dropping 11 in the 2003-04 campaign.

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