Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Prediction: Newcastle United vs Southampton

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

With only a point between them just outside the dropping zone, both Newcastle and Southampton head into the Saturday’s clash at St James Park looking for a win that would earn them vital points in relegations struggle.

Newcastle United

The Magpies welcome Southampton on Saturday in a massive Premier League bottom square off. Newcastle United were beaten by Liverpool 2-0 last Saturday and currently sit two points above the relegation zone and just one above this weekend’s visitors.

Having suffered their first defeat in last five matches in the league at Anfield, Rafael Benitez’s men are desperate for points. A win would push Magpies further away from the relegation zone, possibly five points clear if other results go their way and it’s fair to say that hosts will be quite motivated heading out to the pitch. A potential three points would also be a huge morale boost for the team ahead of a blank weekend and a 21-day break from football. Newcastle’s trip to Tottenham Hotspur on Friday has been rescheduled due to Spurs’ FA Cup quarterfinal and Magpies face an extended time without football that could come quite handy at a crucial part of the campaign.

Team News

The 32-year-old defender Jesus Gamez remains a long-term absentee for Newcastle.

On-loan Leicester City forward Islam Slimani is suffering from a thigh injury whereas Jonjo Shelvey is a major doubt due to his knee problem.

Southampton

The goalless draw against Stoke last Saturday saw Southampton extend their home winless run to eight games, which is a new club record in the Premier League. The Saints lost only one of their eight matches in the Premier League but such a result is far from satisfactory with the club struggling to claw back to safety.

With only two goals scored in their last four matches, the Saints’s attacking struggles have only been highlighted last time out against Stoke. Southampton created plenty of chances but failed to find an all-important winner with a goalless stalemate only highlighting their relegation fears. Southampton could find themselves deep into the relegation zone in case of a defeat at St James Park. That is if other results go against them, although it is hard to believe that both Crystal Palace and Stoke would be able to beat Chelsea and Manchester City, respectively. Either way, Mauricio Pellegrino is walking on thin ice at St Mary’s and is under great pressure to turn things around for Saints in what’s so far been an underwhelming season to say the least.

Team News

The 28-year-old England striker Charlie Austin continues to miss out due to a thigh injury that’s kept him out of action since December.

Maya Yoshida’s knee problem came back to haunt him once again this season, whereas the Northern Ireland midfielder Steven Davis is set to miss the third straight match due to an injury.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Newcastle are unbeaten in their last five home matches
  • Saints set a new club record with eight-match winless run at home last time out
  • Magpies failed to keep a clean sheet in four of their last 5 matches
  • Southampton continue without their top scorer Charlie Austin (6 goals)
  • Newcastle last defeated Southampton in 2013

Conclusion

A glance at the head to head records offers little promise to home fans who will be urging their players to do their absolute must to win ahead of an extended break from football. Southampton have been firing blanks against Stoke last time out and efficiency remains one of their biggest problems. Both sides are under great pressure and will have no time to waste going for a win. That said, goals could be the best option here.

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

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