Everton manager Roberto Martinez has described Saints as “one of the most attractive teams in the league.”

Martinez brings his Champions League chasing side to St Mary’s tomorrow but is wary of the threat they will face.

He said: “Southampton, in terms of football concepts, are one of the most attractive teams in the league and they have a bravery about the way they play.

"They already have eight points more than they had last season and that shows you the incredible progress they have made.

"In our eyes it is another very important game we need to be as good as we can be.

"I have huge admiration for (Mauricio) Pochettino. He came in at a difficult time when Southampton had a very successful period with two promotions and he embraced the good work Nigel (Adkins) did and all of a sudden he transformed the team.

"They are very dynamic and they have really good quality in the young players and they have been very impressive.

"They get good results at home against the top teams and the team plays with an incredible swagger and intelligence."

Martinez has urged some of the club's young players to seize the opportunity presented by their current injury problems.

The Toffees have eight players sidelined after defender Sylvain Distin (hamstring) and forward Kevin Mirallas (groin) were added to the growing list after last week's win at home to Manchester United.

It leaves Martinez short of options ahead of the trip to Southampton but he has already put faith in younger players this season with great success and has no qualms about asking members of the Under-21s to contribute to their bid for Champions League football.

"We have young players who are capable of coming in and showing what they can do and that excites me," Martinez said.

"This weekend maybe we will have to bring in someone from the Under-21s and give him an opportunity.

"That is what we are as a club. We will not blame players that are missing we just celebrate the opportunity given to young players.

"This season we have given opportunities throughout the season. Players aged 19, 20, 21 have been given important roles in the side and it is not about being young, it is about being prepared.

"Probably that unknown quality has given us that extra edge. Look at John Stones and how he has been performing aged 19.

"Sometimes you need that opportunity, which comes through suspension or injury, but that is not a case to be worried we will drop the level of the performance.

"We pride ourselves on the work we do with the youngsters and we need to be brave enough to give them an opportunity.

"You rely on senior figures to help and protect them but the younger players bring you other qualities: bravery, energy, and it is trying to use the good things they bring rather than highlight the lack of experience."