Southampton welcome Newcastle United to St Mary’s Stadium in a huge clash at opposite ends of Premier League table.
Victory will ensure Southampton stay out of the relegation zone, whereas Newcastle can go third with a win for a few hours at minimum.
Armel Bella-Kotchap could return for Southampton if he is declared fit following a recent shoulder injury, which has kept him out of their last three matches.
Valentino Livramento (knee) and Kyle Walker-Peters (thigh) remain ruled out.
Newcastle will be without Joelinton due to suspension after the Brazilian collected his fifth booking of the season in their victory against Aston Villa last weekend.
Fabian Schar (hamstring), Elliott Anderson (ankle) and Callum Wilson (illness) are slight doubts but expected to be declared match fit by club doctors prior to kick-off.
Karl Darlow (ankle), Emil Krafth (knee), Paul Dummett, Matt Ritchie (both calf) and Alexander Isak (muscle) remain absent.
- Southampton have won just one of their last 10 matches against Newcastle (W1, D3, L6).
- Newcastle are unbeaten in four of their last five trips to Southampton (W2, D2, L1).
- In 42 Premier League meetings, both teams have received two penalties apiece from which Southampton scored both of their penalties to Newcastle’s one successful spot-kick.
- Six different players have scored at home for Southampton this season, with only Joe Aribo netting twice.
- Miguel Almiron has scored three goals in two of his last three away appearances for Newcastle, only failing to score in a goalless draw at Manchester United.
Consistency seems to be a huge issue for Southampton this season but I can’t fault their obvious improvement in recent games, although they were simply wasteful of their chances in defeat at Crystal Palace last weekend whilst defence lacked urgency off the ball at times to close gaps down.
Newcastle meanwhile totally dominated Villa at home last weekend amidst their own wasteful chances, which they successfully corrected with a clinical second-half performance – especially in their defence into attack turnovers which were just excellent to watch.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints though should mount a tougher defence than Villa produced and can produce strong moments at times, so I don’t see Newcastle having it their own way here but if they continue to play a strong press then I can see the Magpies snatching a win here.
Prediction: Southampton 1-2 Newcastle
Result: Southampton 1-4 Newcastle