Riding a hot streak of five unbeaten in the Premier League, Saints will play host to Newcastle on Friday evening missing some important stars for the side.
Currently sitting at fifth in the Premier League table, the hot-start Saints scrapped with Aston Villa to get three points in a 4-3 match over the weekend. Unfortunately, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side lost three players to injury during the victory including Danny Ings, Ryan Bertrand, and Jan Bednarek.
With Ings set to miss about a month of play and Ryan Bertrand and Jan Bednarek likely to also miss the match, Saints could be without three of their consistent starters for Friday’s match.
Newcastle will be looking to take advantage of the injury-laden side as they currently sit six slots behind Saints at 11th, but only two points off in the table.
The Magpies have had a mixed bag of form lately, winning two of their last five with one loss and two draws, most recently besting Everton 2-1 on Sunday.
In regards to injuries, Newcastle will be without DeAndre Yedlin, Jonjo Shelvey, Martin Dubravka, Dwight Gayle, and Matt Ritchie; meanwhile, Saints will likely be without the aforementioned players as well as Moussa Djenepo.
How Southampton Will Win
Even down quite a few starters, Saints still have every chance in the world to take all three points at home against an up-and-down Newcastle side.
In order to get all three, however, someone (likely Che Adams or Nathan Redmond) will have to step in to fill Danny Ings’ boots upfront as the striker was the side’s leading scorer on the season with five goals. James Ward-Prowse could also look to continue his success from last week after scoring two goals off of set pieces.
Ralph’s side will look to contain Newcastle’s Callum Wilson on the attack, the opposition’s leading scorer with six of his side’s ten goals on the campaign thus far.
Newcastle’s defense has played fairly strongly thus far on the season even while only having one clean sheet through seven matches while their last four away matches have seen less than 2.5 goals per match.
If Saints can step up and score early, they should be able to contain the Magpies’ attack and take three points at home, maintaining their hot run of form.
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How Newcastle Will Win
While having only maintained one clean sheet on the season, Newcastle’s defense has still done a good job of containing matches of late.
If they hope to continue their streak of six unbeaten against Southampton, Newcastle will need to step up on the attack, likely hoping for a big match from leading goalscorer Callum Wilson and goalkeeper Karl Darlow.
The Magpies will also be looking for forward Allan Saint-Maximin to step up his form, having not scored in just over a month in league play.
If Steve Bruce’s side can contain a Danny Ings-less Saints attack, they should be able to take points at St. Mary’s.
Goalkeeper: Alex McCarthy
Defenders: Yan Valery, Jack Stephens, Jannik Vestergaard, Kyle Walker-Peters
Midfielders: Theo Walcott, James Ward-Prowse, Oriol Romeu, Stuart Armstrong
Strikers: Che Adams, Nathan Redmond
Newcastle United: 3-5-2
Goalkeeper: Karl Darlow
Defenders: Fabian Schar, Jamaal Lascelles, Frederico Fernandez
Midfielders: Jacob Murphy, Isaac Hayden, Jeff Hendrick, Sean Longstaff, Jamal Lewis
Strikers: Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin
Southampton 1 – Newcastle 1
I predict that Ralph’s side may struggle to find goals without Danny Ings in play, and that Newcastle’s Callum Wilson will continue his goalscoring form with an early first-half goal followed by a Che Adams response.