Southampton (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line ups

Barely 48 hours on from our brilliant victory at Brammal Lane and we’re back at it again, with an in-form Southampton side due to arrive at St James’ Park this weekend.

The Saints come into this one on the back of two huge 2-1 wins over relegation rivals Watford and Norwich, but there’s absolutely not reason why we can’t come away with another big three points here.

It feels like our side is finally starting to gel, with Bruce getting the balance just right in recent weeks between bodies behind the ball and intensity in attacking areas when we get the chance to counter.

Beating Sheffield United was a strong statement and great start to our busy festive schedule, but win here and we’ll momentarily have eyes on a top-half finish – not a fight for survival.

Predicted XI

Bruce will be reluctant to change a winning team, but with us set to face a ruthless run of fixtures between now and new years day, I’d expect the odd alteration.

One on Sunday will be the return of Joelinton for me. Andy Carroll put in a big shift in place of the Brazilian at Brammal Lane, but can he really start two games in four days after so long out?

In midfield, Sean Longstaff will be pushing for a recall, yet with Hayden our key ball winner and battler in midfield and Shelvey showing some superb form with the captains armband, I don’t see either being left out just yet.

At the back, Manquillo deserves another chance to impress at right wing-back, whether Yedlin’s fit or not, while Dummett, Clark and Fernandez have barely put a foot wrong in our last two.

He may have to settle for a place on the bench once again, but Fabian Schar could be one to watch this weekend. Having a player of his ability back in the side could be key in a game where we’ll be expected to create and come onto a much improved yet beatable Saints side.

Preferred NUFC XI – (5-2-2-1) – Dubravka – Manquillo, Schar, Fernandez, Clark, Willems – Hayden, Shelvey – Almiron, Saint-Maximin – Carroll.

The Opposition

Here’s a few key men to watch out for in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints side:

Danny Ings – No player in the bottom half of the Premier League has scored more than the former Liverpool striker this season, with him scoring 8 times in 15 games so far for the Saints. He’s scored in each of his last FOUR games and will be looking to add to his tally here. A sharp finisher who never needs a second invitation to shoot in and around the box.

Moussa Djenepo – The former Standard Liege winger made a £14m move from Belgian over the summer and has quietly caught the eye with some bursts of pace, impressive dribbling and moments of magic, scoring two brilliant goals in early-season wins over Brighton and Sheffield United. One to watch for Jetro Willems.

James Ward-Prowse – A dead ball specialist who has the ability to deliver inch perfect balls into the box or put a 25-yard free-kick into the top corner. Both he and Jonjo Shelvey have bags of ability, so let’s hope the latter comes out on top this Sunday.

Predicted Southampton XI (4-4-2): McCarthy – Cedric, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand – Djenepo, Ward-Prowse, Højbjerg, Redmond – Ings, Long.

Team news

Andy Carroll started in Sheffield on Thursday, but Joelinton is being tipped for a recall, with the 6ft 4′ Gateshead-born battering ram unlikely to play two games in four days.

Jamaal Lascelles and Matt Ritchie remain out, while it’s not yet known if Florian Lejeune could return to the squad after several months out.

Stuart Armstrong (hamstring) has been ruled out, while wing wizard Sofiane Boufal (toe) will be monitored.

Prediction

Fans will arrive to the ground with a spring in their step ahead of this one, with us stifling the champions and beating a brilliant Sheffield Utd side in their own back yard in our last two, however we can’t allow our levels to drop here.

Southampton have a newfound confidence and belief after a draw at Arsenal and back-to-backs wins took them out of the bottom three over the past week.

Danny Ings is in fine form and they have several capable attackers, with quality in central areas and pace out wide, but they don’t like defending.

It really could go either way, but I fancy us to see another score draw at St James’ Park here.

Prediction: Newcastle 2-2 Southampton

Howay the lads!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

28 thoughts on “Southampton (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line ups

  1. This one worries me a little bit for 2 reasons – 1. Is this a game the players will expect to win, and as a result the performance isn’t there.
    2. Our threat is the counter attack – making our lack of possession count. Will Saints come to attack us or will they sit in and look to play their own counter attack.

    Ings is a good player, but I feel confident in our defence. I think their biggest threat is Ward-Prowse on set pieces.

    Ultimately though, I see us winning this one 2-0.

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  2. I think we have Arlo White commentating on the Manchester derby. Cue some Malcolm Allison and fedora references and Dennis Law and possibly even further back? Duncan Edwards maybe?

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  3. As for our game. We need at least a draw to keep pressure on Southampton as it is getting tight mid-table.

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  4. Fck, it is a 3 man commentary team. It will be incessant yapping. They have already told me this is the 171st Manchester derby with UNITED winning 81, but the power has shifted to East Manchester. Just hoping for a good game.

    It is available with Spanish commentary. Although I only know – Una cerveza por favor and Golllllll, gol, gol, gol……..

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  5. For all of the money they have spent, this should be what Man U are. It wont last. OGS is an empty paper bag and they will go nowhere with him as manager.

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  6. Ferguson’s teams were not always rampant but found ways to win. This is an aberration, a mirage though. It will not continue. I still think we have a good chance against them on boxing day.

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  7. So that’s Liverpool Champions then. Must feel like a double edged sword for Man U. But I am glad because I like Klopp and the way Liverpool play.

    Man City would be mad to fire Pep. That’s what the papers will write about. But he is one of the best managers in the history of the game and this is a blip. He will be back and they will probably finish second.

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  8. Torn – I want to be really pleased for AJ coz he had a good game plan, stuck to it and got his belts back.

    But – he’s just beat a kid who clearly got Steve Bruce’s fitness DVD for Christmas last – but is a dangerous puncher ???‍♂️.

    It’s effectively beating Peterbough in the FA Cup.

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  9. I see Jarrod Bowen got another 2 goals today and effectively won the game single handed for Hull again. I hate to think what kind of price tag Hull have put on him now like ?

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  10. City put a statement out about one of their fans racist abuse of the Man Utd players before the United fans had even left the stadium yesterday.

    Is the irony missed that Bernardo Silva was on the pitch yesterday???.

    Can’t say they handled that one particularly well.

    It also wasn’t missed that Sterling – the figurehead of racism in English football, was stood pushing and shoving the Man Utd players who were remonstrating with the City fans – madness.

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  11. Well that was a really sh.it first half… yawn… I hope we can up our game in the second half or we could get beat here. Another opportunity to get into the top half and it looks like we will blow it again.

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  12. You’d think I’d be used to the inconsistency of NUFC having supported them over 30yrs now – and yet it still manages to p!ss me off every time!!.

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  13. Sharpy, what you were saying about the City racist earlier, got me thinking a little.
    Me and one of lewis carers were chatting last night about the rise in racism over last two years or so both online and at football matches. We wondered if it’s anything to do with Brexit ?
    Do people feel freer to express these views because 17 odd million voted to get out and stop foreigners coming in ? Some of the disgusting stuff i have seen online from folk in reply to articles regarding brexit and this election are really really worrying .
    I’m sure this was less evident pre the referendum and racist chants at football games had pretty much stopped in this country but seems to have started up again since this whole brexit fiasco started. Incidents at Yeovil in the cup, Bristol City, Man City to name just a few.
    Sad times.

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  14. Get innnnnn… a great win and 2 fantastic goals. Not a pretty game, but another great result. Onwards and upwards lads and lasses. ????

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  15. kimtoon:
    Sharpy, what you were saying about the City racist earlier, got me thinking a little.
    Me and one of lewis carers were chatting last night about the rise in racism over last two years or so both online and at football matches. We wondered if it’s anything to do with Brexit ?
    Do people feel freer to express these views because 17 odd million voted to get out and stop foreigners coming in ? Some of the disgusting stuff i have seen online from folk in reply to articles regarding brexit and this election are really really worrying .
    I’m sure this was less evident pre the referendum and racist chants at football games had pretty much stopped in this country but seems to have started up again since this whole brexit fiasco started. Incidents at Yeovil in the cup, Bristol City, Man City to name just a few.
    Sad times.

    Kim – goodness me that’s a can of worms to open.

    Sadly I think racism is a cancer that always exists. I think it’s always been there in football, it just seems more frequent because more people are conscious and less accepting of it.

    In politics, yeah, I think the likes of Farage has whipped up a bit of a frenzy and scared folk about immigration – and some have bought into it with a real bitterness and poison.

    But social media gives it an unregulated platform. So those conversations that once took place in living rooms, pubs and canteens at work – they now get stuck up on social media site – most of which aren’t policed or are difficult to police. You even get some who dismiss it as banter or freedom of speech. We are miles off getting a grip of it – largely because politicians get away with racism themselves.

    Sorry, that’s my last non footy post.

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  16. Well that another good home win – especially coming from behind, and another 3 points in the bag in the first half of the season.

    Broken record time, but another game goes by without a goal from our 3. But Shelvey is on fire and striking a good partnership with Carroll.

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  17. Great win. Another below average performance but a win and I suppose that’s where we are at the moment.

    Not a coincidence that Shelvey is scoring and he has started to get forward more and got into the box instead of trying the Hollywood passes all the time. Wonder if it’s because he wants a new contract…

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