The Southampton fans in the Transfer Tavern are feeling nervous ahead of their clash against Everton at Goodison Park tomorrow as a defeat would leave them needing a minor miracle to remain in the top-flight this season.
Mark Hughes’ side kept their slim hopes of survival alive last weekend at St Mary’s thanks to a brace from Dusan Tadic – a player who has fallen well below the high standards he has set for himself during the current campaign. The result has left Southampton just 1 point behind 17th place Swansea with 3 fixtures left to play, although their final fixture is against the newly-crowned Premier League champions Manchester City.
Southampton’s weekend fixture sees them pit their wits against a side who have virtually nothing to play for other than pride, so they will fancy their chances of taking a positive result away from Goodison Park. Hughes will need all of his players to be at their absolute best to stand any chance of securing a vital victory on Merseyside, but the performance of Dusan Tadic might prove to be the difference between the two sides once again.
On paper, Tadic (valued at £13.5 million by Transfermarkt) is one of, if not Southampton’s most talented creative outlet, but his performances have certainly not justified that opinion so far this season. The Croatian international took a huge step towards redemption last weekend by scoring both of Southampton’s goals against Bournemouth, but in order to save his side’s season he needs to produce three more performances of that level, starting tomorrow against the Toffees.
Everton’s defensive unit has been far from sturdy this season even under Allardyce – a manager who has built his reputation in football management based on his consistently solid defensive tactics – and Tadic needs to take advantage of their frailties tomorrow.
Southampton’s season has been nothing short of a disaster so far, but yet there is still plenty of hope for the club as they enter the final three fixtures, however, if Tadic fails to bring his a-game to Goodison then the Saints could be staring relegation in the face by the end of the weekend.
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