Southampton (A): Predicted line-ups, pre-match thoughts & team news

I didn’t expect to say this a few weeks ago – even if results have always been steady this season – but win at Southampton and we’ll be spending Friday night in the top four!

After a solid yet uninspiring point at Wolves, we came away deserved winners in a 2-1 victory over Everton last Sunday, sending us into this trip to Southampton with decent momentum in our final game before the dreaded international break.

Southampton are in even better form and have been brilliant to watch recently, picking up 13 points from a possible 15 in their last five, however they come into this game with a few big injury setbacks, with top scorer and star man Danny Ings’ absence the big one.

After recently facing an Everton side without several key players, we’ll be hoping to take advantage against another strong yet depleted side, with Callum Wilson and Karl Darlow also having points to prove after failing to make Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

That said, we’ll need to show much more adventure in the attacking third than we did at Wolves if we want to come away with more than a point here!

Team news

Steve Bruce gave a positive injury update in his Thursday morning press conference, confirming that there’s no new injury issues ahead of our trip to the South Coast.

With that in mind, Isaac Hayden is fit enough to start this time around and the dead leg Allan Saint-Maximin suffered against Everton must be fine.

Jonjo Shelvey remains out after a hernia operation with Martin DubravkaMatt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle also long-term absentees.

For the hosts, star man Danny Ings has been ruled out alongside Ryan Bertrand, while first-choice centre-back Jan Bednarek and Ibrahima Diallo are also doubts.

Predicted line up

Predicted NUFC XI (5-3-1-1): Darlow – Murphy, Schar, Lascelles, Fernandez, Lewis – S Longstaff, Hendrick, Almiron – ASM – Wilson.

He’s rarely done it this season, changing systems five times in seven games so far this season, however I can see Bruce sticking with this 5-3-1-1 formation and us being unchanged from the side that beat Everton 2-1 last weekened.

After all, we defended well against the Toffees, competed well in midfield and also moved the ball forward well from time to time, with Longstaff looking sharper than we’ve seen for several months and Almiron’s energy playing a big part in springing counter attacks for Saint-Maximin and Wilson to join.

One change I would be tempted to make is Hayden in for Hendrick, however.

The Irishman put in a solid display against Everton, however I expect this high-energy and high-pressing Southampton side to throw more at us this time around and feel Hayden is the most mobile midfield spoiler we have.

Fraser will be pushing for a start after an impressive cameo last Sunday, however he may have to settle for another impact role here.

The opposition

Here’s a few ones to watch in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints side:

Che Adams – The Saints striker has often been in Danny Ings’ shadow, however he’s been in very good form over the past few weeks and will need to step up in their star man’s absence. A handful who works hard and has two goals and as many assists in his last three league outings.

James Ward-Prowse – I’m not sure there’s a player in the Premier League who’s more devastating from dead ball situations. He rattled two incredible free-kicks into the top corner in their 4-3 win at Villa last weekend and also bagged an assist for their opener that day with a brilliant cross. It’s vital we don’t give away cheap free kicks or needless corners.

Jannik Vestergaard – The 6ft 6′ centre-back has two goals in his last three games, being their big threat in the box from Ward-Prowse’s devastating deliveries. He’s also banked three clean sheets in their last five, but does lack pace and could be got at if we can get Wilson, ASM or Almiron running at him. If there was a list of superstitious athletes, he’d be on it after backing himself to keep on scoring, so he’s a player to watch out for in both boxes on Friday night!

Theo Walcott – A friend of mine is a big Saints fan and thinks he’s looked revitalised after returning to his boyhood club this summer. He’s also being tipped to play up top in Ings’ absence, so he’ll be one to watch.

Predicted Southampton XI: (4-4-2): McCarthy – Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Vokins – Armstrong, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Redmond – Walcott, Adams.

Prediction

I don’t know about anyone else, but I come into this one with a very similar feeling to the Everton game – if we were playing their full strength side I’d fear the worst as they’re in great form, however I fancy us to frustrate what will be a weakened Southampton side.

As stated earlier in the article, I feel we’ll have to give them something to think about on the counter if we’re to get a good result – as they still have the quality to pick us off if we’re sitting ducks – however I think our pace in attack could cause them problems.

With them blunted by Ings’ absence and Wilson arriving with a point to prove, I fancy us to come away with another decent point on the road in what should be a more open game than the one we saw at Molineux.

PredictionSouthampton 2-2 Newcastle

HWTL!

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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.

62 thoughts on “Southampton (A): Predicted line-ups, pre-match thoughts & team news

  1. I am hoping for a win with S’tons injuries. As Olly said that should help us like it did against Everton. However, I am also a longstanding NUFC fan and have to look at the other omens. When was the last time we played an unchanged team as Olly is suggesting we will? I think it was Brighton – our worst performance of the season. It was 4 at the back though, so the system was different.

    However, if we set up to defend with 9 players within 30 yards of our goal it does not matter if it is 4 or 5 at the back. I will say this until I am blue in the face because Brucie has a tendency to revert to this when pressed.

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  2. So Clarke the head of the FA supported the big 6 power grab. He was trading a few crumbs for the lower divisions for complete rule by the big 6. That may have got a bit of short term extra money but it is anti-competition. And what are the NUFC fans taking the PL to a tribunal over – anti-competitive actions in our takeover.

    I have no doubt in my mind that Masters and Co were corrupted at a minimum by Spurs and Liverpool and there is also indisputable evidence that they knew the details of the big 6 power grab the day before they told a meeting of the PL 20 teams they had no knowledge.

    Mixing lots of metaphors – they are fat cat weasels concerned with feathering their own nests. It will backfire though as once the big 6 have all of the money they will want even more and the only way to get it will be a European super-league. Many of us would say good riddance but that makes the PL a less valuable product and hurts the PL and also the FA financially. You wouldnt be seeing Everton sign James Rodriguez in this scenario for example.

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  3. This is for Stuart:

    Even though the margins are razor thin and the pollsters got the percentages totally wrong, this US election is turning out exactly as predicted:

    The States Biden thought he would win, he has won. He might even win Georgia.

    The Democrats thought it was a long shot to take back the Senate simply because of which seats were in play. Looks like it will be 49-51.

    The Republicans picked up a few house seats but it remains Democrat.

    Trump is questioning the validity of everything that didnt go his way. He is a litigation-happy big orange baby which is the way he has been all of his life. The difference here is he is questioning the democratic process and inciting violence and will probably do this more as the weeks drag on.

    Some Republicans are questioning his crazyness but most are staying quiet.

    Trump is out unless the stacked supreme court fraudulently rules for him. That would be a travesty.

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  4. If ASM is still carrying any kind of knock then I’d rest him & put Fraser in from the start. I thought he looked direct & dangerous when he came & with less game time than ASM is probably that but fitter. Al would still be on the bench if needed, but no point risking greater injury if we’ve got good cover.

    Other than that, unchanged. I’m a big fan of Hayden but Hendrick didn’t do too bad against Everton so it would be harsh to drop him.

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  5. Eric, I find the whole process bizarre. I find it absolutely mad that states are still counting postal votes that they receive after 3rd Nov. Regardless of whether Trumps a sore loser (which he evidently is), the whole process of open to fraud. I think it would be better if they just had a cut off for postal votes and that cut off was 3rd Nov.

    To be honest the whole thing is showing the US up. People complain about our politics but good grief – we are sane and sensible in comparison.

    I’d be concerned if Trump won but I’d be concerned about Biden. He’s likely to be a front for the extreme left. Whatever happens – I doubt the US will be in a better place in 4 years time.

    That’s not to mention the civil war that’s about to erupt.

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  6. Stuart, mate. It is totally bizarre that a New York elitist and Trust Fundian is now telling the blue collar workers in the heartland that he is one of them whilst taking their tax dollars and giving them to his billionaire buddies. Then exhorting them to take up arms. He is crazy!!!

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  7. Hey Stewie: at least we can disagree without resorting to insults and too much bickering. Unlike somewhere else I can name. A bit of insultery, but not that much, man!

    I do respect other peoples’ opinions no matter how wrong they are 🙂

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  8. Reckon it could well be a draw tonight, would like to see Fraser start too he was rapid last week and that partnership with Wilson still working.

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  9. On the footie I think after last week we can expect a decent performance and even a good result. That’s the cue for a ****e performance and a thumping.

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  10. I see on our favourite subject of Covid the SAGE “experts” have been exposed. Their graphs showing how bad it will be if we don’t take action have been shown to be false and greatly exaggerated. Well who knew?!! It’s only taken the UK statistics watchdog to expose these charlatans.

    Seen a joke today. Someone asked a Hamish person why Covid didn’t effect their community he replied “Cos we don’t have TV’s”!

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  11. Now… ???

    Does T-Rex arms get his place back at Everton? Southgate says there is no-one better. What a t!t.

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  12. Stu, been out, late reply.
    When you said the joke about the lack of tv was why they didn’t have covid, i thought you were implying that it was all tv propaganda .
    My mistake .
    Still don’t get the joke really, it’s not funny and an insult to over a million and counting who have died from it globally .

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  13. Eric Sykes:
    Now… ???

    Does T-Rex arms get his place back at Everton? Southgate says there is no-one better. What a t!t.

    He’s an idiot if he really believes that.

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  14. Newcastle Consortium Supporters
    @NCSL1892
    ·
    37m
    EPL and Big Six seem to move quickly when they choose! Press reports that “accelerated talks” under way for scheme that allegedly will deny NUFC of concluding the PIF takeover. NCSL’s legal team reject EPL’s pleas for more time. We remain UNITED in this fight for transparency!

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  15. kimtoon:
    Stu, been out, late reply.
    When you said the joke about the lack of tv was why they didn’t have covid, i thought you were implying that it was all tv propaganda .
    My mistake .
    Still don’t get the joke really, it’s not funny and an insult to over a million and counting who have died from it globally .

    It’s a joke, Kim. People use to find them funny a while back.

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  16. There’s a butt of every joke so I can only assume you don’t find any joke funny because someone somewhere is the butt of it.

    Shame…

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  17. Shame !

    We shouldn’t find it distasteful that over a million dead are the butt of a joke ?
    Aye ok Stu, whatever you say.

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  18. Sharpy17:
    I don’t remember SAGE being on the ballot paper?!

    😂😂😂😂

    You’re classic joe public, Sharpy. Doesn’t matter what government do it’s either not enough or wrong. If they’d have ignored SAGE you’d have criticised them.

    #cantwin

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  19. Welcome Joe Biden as President. It is not like Boris Johnson. Boris might be an idiot , but he is not an Orange Man Baby and he doesnt bring with him his whole family of “deliverance” tweeters and their spouses. Seriously!!! Who brings in their son-in-law to negotiate middle east peace?

    Fck off Donald. You are what we all knew you would be. Next stop Jail.

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  20. Stu – I just want the government to manage the pandemic.

    You do know what SAGE stands for don’t you? – scientific ADVISORY group for emergencies … advisory.

    As you have quite rightly pointed out a few times this week, the Government should also be taking into consideration the economy, mental health, ALL health, education … et al. Not just science.

    IF and it’s a big IF, Boris knew his tier system was working – why did he change the approach??.
    If he didn’t – why didn’t he??

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  21. Stewie: I will explain the US Senate to you soon, and how it fits with other branches of US govt. Not today. There is a football game going on. International break 🙂 That’s what that is for…

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  22. I take it the sh!te running of NUFC is not down to Ashley but Charnley & all the other cronies based on your opinion of Boris then Stu?

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  23. 🤦🏼‍♂️🤦🏼‍♂️🤦🏼‍♂️ What a start 😡😡😡

    Almiron p!ssinf about there!!

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  24. 🤦🏼‍♂️🤦🏼‍♂️🤦🏼‍♂️ What a start 😡😡😡

    Almiron p!ssinf about there!!

    YEP

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  25. Sharpy17:
    I take it the sh!te running of NUFC is not down to Ashley but Charnley & all the other cronies based on your opinion of Boris then Stu?

    I think epidemiology is slightly more nuanced and scientific than football. Epidemics haven’t happened in our lifetime so I suspect any government is prone to listening to their experts on the matter with it being life and death – running a football club isn’t…

    But anyway, you can never lose, Sharpy. As I pointed out in your eyes they’re damned if they do and dammed if they don’t. I find it kind of pointless debating on that basis.

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  26. Alan Smith hit the nail on the head. Southampton’s press is more organised. They know what they’re all doing and basically we don’t. What do they do in training? I’m sure all they do is practice getting the ball and giving it to ASM

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  27. F#ck it, I’m just gonna leave it in the background and do something else. Thanks Mike, Lee and Steve for a great product 👍 Bravo

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  28. Stuart79: I think epidemiology is slightly more nuanced and scientific than football. Epidemics haven’t happened in our lifetime so I suspect any government is prone to listening to their experts on the matter with it being life and death – running a football club isn’t…

    But anyway, you can never lose, Sharpy. As I pointed out in your eyes they’re damned if they do and dammed if they don’t. I find it kind of pointless debating on that basis.

    Stu – you may or may not remember that I was all for face masks and reducing the 2 mts to get things back moving – shops and schools re-opened.
    SAGEs advice was that face masks were no good & the best way to stop the spread was 2 mts – of course it is, but society can’t function like that. I was shouting about face masks when the government were still listening to SAGE.

    I want the government to manage the pandemic, not hide behind the experts. Hear the science, take the advice & make the tough calls with a bit of conviction.

    His own party are loosing confidence in him – but you STILL think he’s top dog. You’re right, debate is futile 🤷🏼‍♂️

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  29. Sharpy17: Stu – you may or may not remember that I was all for face masks and reducing the 2 mts to get things back moving – shops and schools re-opened.
    SAGEs advice was that face masks were no good & the best way to stop the spread was 2 mts – of course it is, but society can’t function like that.I was shouting about face masks when the government were still listening to SAGE.

    I want the government to manage the pandemic, not hide behind the experts.Hear the science, take the advice & make the tough calls with a bit of conviction.

    His own party are loosing confidence in him – but you STILL think he’s top dog.You’re right, debate is futile

    Don’t think he’s too dog. How on earth can you think that after I have criticised them more than anybody for their handling of this pandemic with their stupid lockdowns. Did you miss all them critical comments?

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  30. FFS MAN!!!

    When we are good we are bang average – but when we are sh!t we are absolutely dog sh!t.

    These pundits watch this sh!t and still stick up for Bruce & have a go at the fans for criticising him?!?!?!!!

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  31. Stuart79: Don’t think he’s too dog. How on earth can you think that after I have criticised them more than anybody for their handling of this pandemic with their stupid lockdowns. Did you miss all them critical comments?

    Yet defend him every time I criticise him?!. Shall we just agree it’s been a total balls up from start to finish and have done with it?!

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  32. Shocking, shocking, shocking … sh.it owner, shi.t manager and totally sh.it players… a horrible fu.cking game. 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

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  33. Hell shrug his shoulders and blow his cheeks and say ‘well we couldn’t get going tonight you know. Saints just closed us down quicker and we could get the ball moving. It’s a difficult place to come & we are carrying a few injuries. We got a couple of weeks now to work on few things & and get a few back’.

    I was just thinking, other than WH & Everton, I’ve preferred watching our opponents in every game so far this season.

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  34. Eric Sykes:
    I fell asleep. What happened? I was watching and literally dozed off.

    It has that effect on people, Eric.

    But it’s true, Sharpy. We are bad in every game whether we, lose or draw!

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  35. His post match interviews blow me away. He comes out and describes how poor we are & congratulations to Saints – but never offers an explaination why!!.

    How do you change it at half time when you’re 1-0 down?

    Well we wanted to come out and have a quick start but the 15mins after the break was probably our worst period of the game 🤔.

    So 1. Your half time team talks are sh!t then & 2. If it was our worst spell, what did you do to change it?!.

    Then he goes on to say that in his 15mths in charge, our inconsistency is what frustrates him still … imagine how the fans feel you bell end!!.

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