Monday, December 11, 2017

Prediction: Southampton vs Newcastle United

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Bet 365

The Premier League returns from the international break this weekend as Newcastle United make the long trip to play a struggling Southampton team at St Mary’s.

Southampton

It’s fair to say that Southampton have had an unconvincing start to the season under new manager Mauricio Pellegrino. The saints are currently sitting in 12th position in the league and have desperately struggled to score goals with five in seven matches. For some reason their strikers haven’t really got going yet and Charlie Austin, Manolo Gabbiadini and Shane Long have only netted twice between them. It isn’t like the Saints have been outplayed, though, in most matches they have enjoyed the majority of possession without being able to find that little bit of quality in the final third. There seems to be a problem at St Mary’s as Pellegrino’s men have failed to score in eight of their last nine Premier League games at the stadium. With their ability to be quite tight at the back, this has resulted in a few games lacking in terms of entertainment and it looks likely that we could be in for another close, low scoring game on Sunday.

Team News

Matt Dummett will miss the game due to injury.

Virgil van Dijk looks set to play with his transfer saga over now, until January at least.

Newcastle United

After a bad start to the season, in which Newcastle lost their first three games in all competitions, they now find themselves just three points outside the top four. Rafa Benitez’s men were impressive last time out in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool that was testimonial of their improving defence. This is largely to do with 23-year-old Jamaal Lascelles who was nominated for September Player of the Month award and is the youngest ever Premier League captain. The Englishman plays with great maturity for his age and will mean his side will be difficult to break down on Sunday for a Southampton team struggling for goals. One concern, however, is the Magpies’ form away from home having lost two of their three fixtures and scoring only one goal that was good enough to beat Swansea City. Newcastle haven’t taken a point from the South coast since the Saints’ return to the top flight, and with both teams having their strengths in the defensive department, it could make for a very tight game that could be decided by the odd goal.

Team News

Paul Dummett and Massadio Haidara will definitely miss the match due to injury.

Jonjo Shelvey will play despite a fractured hand, while Matt Richie and Christian Atsu are both expected to be fit.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Southampton have now failed to score at St Mary’s in eight of the last nine games.
  • Newcastle have failed to collect a point in his last three visits to St Mary’s (all with different teams).
  • The Magpies have only scored once in their last three away games.
  • The Saints’ Charlie Austin is top scorer at home since the start of last season, despite playing only 12 times (five goals).
  • Newcastle have one just once in 16 Premier League away games versus Southampton.

Conclusion

Southampton have a shocking record scoring goals at home, while Newcastle have only scored once away from home all season. When you combine that with strikers who are struggling to find any form, you can’t really see this being a classic.

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Bet 365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ashley Randall


Ash is a freelance football writer who lives, breathes and dreams the beautiful game. A lifelong Wolverhampton Wanderers season ticket holder, if he isn’t at Molineux then he will be watching any game on television that he can set his eyes on. Producing work for various football websites and publications, Ash has also written for regional newspapers and global magazines.

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