Everton midfielder Gareth Barry has praised Southampton on the Toffees' official site, saying that they are having an unbelievable season.
Southampton have surpassed everyone's expectations by staking a claim for a Champions League place, and Barry has certainly been impressed by their progress under Ronald Koeman.
"It’s been an unbelievable season for them," said Barry. "It was documented that a lot of people thought they would get relegated with the players they were selling and a new manager coming in.
“Not too many knew a lot about his managerial skills so they deserve a lot of credit. To be at this stage of the season and be fighting for the Champions League, they deserve all the plaudits they are getting."
Southampton are currently six points off the top four so they will have plenty to play for when the take on Everton after the international break finishes.
The Saints are determined to ensure that they do not fall away at the closing stages of the season and Barry doesn't believe that they will.
Indeed, the experienced midfielder admits that he is expecting his side to face a tough test on Saturday and he realises the need for Everton to be at their best in the fixture.
"In terms of our game against them, it’s going to be really tough because they still have that opportunity to break into the top four and I’m sure they are going to fight right until the end," he said.
Everton have their own motivation to do well in the game, as they need to prove that they are heading in the right direction ahead of next campaign.
The Toffees have had a really disappointing season, which has seen the pressure on Roberto Martinez increase, and they will be looking to finish strongly to try and get some momentum to build upon for next term.