Newcastle United will be aiming to return to winning ways when they host Southampton at St James’ Park on Saturday afternoon.
The Magpies have been in a dreadful run of form and they have picked up only five points from the previous 11 league games.
Steve Bruce’ side appeared to have turned the corner last week with a 2-0 win at Everton, but that was soon followed by a disappointing 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace at home.
They have the chance to redeem themselves this weekend against a Southampton side, who suffered an embarrassing 9-0 defeat at Manchester United where they finished with nine men.
The result was the joint-worst in the competition’s history. The Saints matched the same feat last season where Leicester City put nine goals past them at St Mary’s.
Despite this, the Magpies can’t anticipate a straightforward encounter against the Saints, who should come up with a response despite the absence of several first-team stars. If you are betting on a home win, you can use this Coral open account offer to back Newcastle to win, and this is as good a time to play the Saints as any.
The Magpies are currently 16th on the table with 22 points, eight ahead of the drop zone. Meanwhile, the Saints have lost the past four games, but they are still 12th, seven points above the Magpies.
Since 2017, the Magpies have dominated the fixture and they have won four of the seven meetings while there have been two draws and one defeat.
The solitary loss, however, came during the reverse fixture at St Mary’s this season where the Saints won comfortably with a 2-0 scoreline.
There has barely been a dull affair between the sides with just one goalless draw in all competitions since 1972 (56 games).
The Magpies are unbeaten in four meetings against the Saints at St James’ Park. They have won the previous three encounters at the stadium.
The Magpies don’t have an extended injury list unlike Southampton, but they could be without two of their influential centre-backs. Federico Fernandez is out for a few weeks with a thigh problem. Skipper Jamaal Lascelles could be sidelined with a similar issue. Elsewhere, Joe Willock should make his debut after his loan move from Arsenal.
The Saints are in a dire situation at the moment with injuries to multiple first-team stars. Jannik Vestergaard, Mohamed Salisu, Nathan Tella, Theo Walcott, Ibrahima Diallo, Michael Obafemi, Oriol Romeu and Kyle Walker-Peters are among the key players sidelined. On top of this, Alexandre Jankewitz and Jan Bednarek are unavailable after their sending off at Old Trafford. The only positive will be availability of Takumi Minamino after his temporary switch from Liverpool.
Newcastle United (4-3-1-2): Karl Darlow; Javier Manquillo, Fabian Schar, Ciaran Clark, Jamal Lewis; Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden, Joe Willock; Miguel Almiron; Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser
Southampton (4-4-2): Alex McCarthy; Kayne Ramsay, Allan Tchaptchet, Jack Stephens, Ryan Bertrand; Moussa Djenepo, James Ward-Prowse, Stuart Armstrong, Nathan Redmond; Danny Ings, Takumi Minamino
The Magpies have had a good league record against the Saints over the past few years, but they were completely outclassed in the reverse fixture. However, they should fancy their chances of picking up maximum points this weekend against a Saints backline which may include Ramsay and Tchaptchet, who have played a combined three Premier League games. The south coast outfit will once again have a bench with several academy graduates and the Magpies could hand them a fifth successive league defeat.
Newcastle United 2-1 Southampton
Stats from Transfermarkt.com