Chris Sutton threatens to give up on Everton as he predicts result of crucial Southampton clash for BBC Sport
Chris Sutton has backed Everton to secure a crucial home win against Southampton but says it is the last time he will if they fail to do so.
Both sides are currently in miserable league form, although the Saints did upset Manchester City in the Carabao Cup in midweek, and sit three points apart in the relegation zone so desperately need points.
And speculation around how long both managers can keep old of their jobs has been high heading into the clash, although Farhad Moshiri has publicly backed Frank Lampard in a surprise Thursday (12 January) interview with Jim White on talkSPORT, but Sutton has predicted will end with a narrow 1-0 home win.
In his predictions column for BBC Sport he said: “The last week has shown the importance of the cup competitions in changing the mood at a club – just ask Southampton boss Nathan Jones.
“Jones had lost his first four Premier League games with Saints, but beating two top-flight teams, Crystal Palace and Manchester City, in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup will really get the fans on his side.
“Saints rose to the occasion and played really well against City, but now can they maintain that against a team from the other end of the table?
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“Everton also got an impressive result against City recently, a 1-1 draw at Etihad Stadium on New Year’s Eve, but they lost heavily to Brighton at home in their next game after falling apart in the second half.
“I keep saying they will win Goodison without them getting the required results like they did last season, and sooner or later I am going to give up on them.
“For now, though, I am going to keep backing them – but this is the last time I will do it, if they lose.”
Clearly Everton aren’t down if they lose a game in January but the prospects for the rest of the season will look pretty awful if the Toffees follow up the gut-punch defeat to then-bottom Wolves on Boxing Day with another to the current worst side in the Premier League.
The 3-1 loss at Manchester United on 6 January that saw the club depart the FA Cup at the earliest opportunity was actually fairly encouraging in many respects, but the final scoreline and the unfortunate way it came about displayed a club completely out of luck at the moment.
Already, home games have taken on a similar feel to late last season where it seemed like Goodison Park outings were the only route to points.
A draw at the Etihad showed that isn’t necessarily the case this year, and the 4-1 defeat to Brighton three days later proved the opposite was far from true, but despite all the struggles Lampard has to be after a win here.
Showing fight against the top teams isn’t worth much if the team then surrenders to the bottom ones, so this is a major opportunity to put that right.
A 1-0 with the ugliest goal imaginable would do right now, and at least provide a point to build from.