Southampton boss Mark Hughes believes it could be an opportune moment to face Everton following their summer of transition. The Toffees spent around £90million on new players during pre-season, as well as appointing manager Marco Silva as successor to Sam Allardyce.
Saints head to Goodison Park on Saturday for their first away trip of the new campaign and Hughes hopes his players can take advantage of the hosts’ recent upheaval.
“They’ve made a big investment in the team and in the manager, by all accounts,” said former Everton striker Hughes.
“It may be that now is the best time to play them given the changes they have undertaken and maybe mid-season they will be better acquainted with the guys they brought in.
“But games at Goodison are always difficult for opposition teams.”
The Toffees began the season with a draw at newly-promoted Wolves last Saturday, while Southampton also had to settle for a point on the opening weekend following Sunday’s stalemate with Burnley.
Hughes feels his team can challenge for European qualification this season, despite almost being relegated in May.
“Clearly we want to do much better than we did last year,” said Hughes.
“We view last year as a setback to where the club wanted to be. But more a lump in the road.
“Now we want to get back to the path and the road that this club has been travelling on for the last few years, which means we want to be in the top half of the Premier League, hopefully competing for European places.”