Dec 29, 2013, 8:15 AM EDT
With their unbeaten home record broken, Everton must now match up with a quality Southampton side without goalkeeper Tim Howard.
Sent off in their loss to Sunderland midweek, Howard will miss the next three matches starting with today as the Saints visit Goodison Park at 8:30am ET live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.
The American’s absence between the sticks means 23-year-old Joel Robles will take over, making his first start of the Premier League season and just his second appearance.
However, the Toffees do see the return of Leighton Baines in defense, returning from a broken toe. Bryan Oviedo, who filled in for Baines, moves into the midfield to replace the yellow-card suspended Gareth Barry.
Kevin Mirallas, substituted at halftime against Sunderland, is only fit enough to make the bench.
Southampton have also made a goalkeeping change, but not due to injury. 37-year-old Kelvin Davis is another Premier League debutant this year as he not only takes over for benched Paulo Gazzaniga, but captains the side as well.
Impressive defender Dejan Lovern returns to the side having missed out two days ago due to illness. Morgan Schneiderlin is suspended for yellow card accumulation, and Victor Wanyama remains sidelined long-term.
Everton – Robles; Baines, Alcaraz, Distin, Coleman; McCarthy, Barkley, Oviedo, Osman, Naismith; Lukaku.
Bench – Springthorpe, Hibbert, Heitinga, Jelavic, Mirallas, Pienaar, Stones.
Southampton – K. Davis, Chambers, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Cork, S. Davis, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Rodriguez, Lambert.
Bench – Gazzaniga, Clyne, Yoshida, Ramírez, Hooiveld, Reed, Gallagher.
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