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Premier League preview: Everton v Southampton
Sep 27, 2012 3:17 PM GMT
Everton will resume their quest for a European berth when they play host to Southampton on Saturday.
The Merseyside club bowed out of the League Cup to Championship side Leeds United midweek, but remained buoyed by an impressive start to the Premier League season.
Everton are third with 10 points from five matches, having claimed the prized scalp of Manchester United as well as victories over Aston Villa and Swansea.
The positive run has prompted manager David Moyes to suggest the team can qualify for a spot in European competition next season.
"A Champions League place would probably be seen as unrealistic with the quality of the Premier League, but I think pushing for a European place is a realistic target for Everton," Moyes said following the Swansea win.
Everton have not featured in a European tournament since 2010, when they lost to Portuguese outfit Sporting CP in the knockout phase of the Europa League.
Southampton travel to Goodison Park full of confidence, having thumped Aston Villa in the Premier League before beating Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup.
The win at home to Villa was Southampton's first in their return to the top flight, ending a four-match losing streak and moving them above the likes of winless Liverpool and Queens Park Rangers.
Former Burnley striker Jay Rodriguez could return to Nigel Adkins' starting line-up after netting a brace against Sheffield Wednesday.
"I just want to play, and to get two goals for the team is brilliant. I'm really chuffed," Rodriguez said.
"I've got to keep working hard and maintaining things so that I can keep scoring as many goals as I can, and that's what I aim to do."