Ronald Koeman has been spitting truth ahead of Southampton’s trip to Everton and his words will make uncomfortable reading for the hosts.
The Toffees thrashed the Saints 3-0 at St Mary’s earlier this season, but the return fixture sees them engulfed in bitter self-analysis after five league games without a win.
“It looks like they’re a little bit more under pressure when they play [at] home,” the Dutchman told reporters.
“They have a good away run but a difficult home run and that’s all about us and how we start the game. How difficult we make [it] for them to win the game.
“If you start well the game maybe the home crowd is not that supportive of the home team.”
Koeman’s gambit is harsh, but fair, as the Toffees would be fifth in a Premier League based entirely on the matches they have contested away from home.
Conversely, only two top-flight teams average less points per game in front of their own diehards this season.
Their last nine league games at Goodison have yielded a single win, with that coming courtesy of downward-spiraling Newcastle United.
Southampton’s away form suggests they are well suited to serving up just the kind of teeth-grittingly, eye-rollingly frustrating fare necessary to enact Koeman’s fiendish game plan.
They’ve conceded more than once in just three of their 19 away games to date this season, keeping nine clean sheets including three in their last six.
Three wins from their last four outings means they arrive on Merseyside in excellent form to boot.
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