Southampton begin their domestic cup campaign on Wednesday night when they take on League Two side Newport County in the second round of the League Cup.
This will be the first ever time since 1968 that these two sides have met and both sets of fans will be hoping for progression through to the next round.
Saints will have to be wary of Newport’s previous cup record and their ability to seemingly create a hostile atmosphere whenever a team from a higher league arrives in South Wales, but ultimately their quality should win out.
Here is everything you need to know about the game:
Via southamptonfc.com, Saints are likely to be without Stuart Armstrong after he missed out on Sunday’s draw with Manchester United with a minor calf injury. Will Smallbone and Sam McQueen continue their recoveries from long-term injuries.
Changes can be expected from Ralph Hasenhuttl with good depth to dip into and a first 11 to take care of ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Newcastle.
Via newport-county.co.uk, Newport could welcome back their captain and midfielder Matty Dolan to face Saints but will be without defender Mickey Demetriou.
Why Saints will win
Saints’ quality should be too much for their opponents, even if it hardly ever works like that.
They will be able to bring some talented individuals into their starting team for this game and leave some of their first-choice either at home or on the bench.
Fraser Forster, Kyle Walker-Peters, Nathan Redmond and Nathan Tella may be pushing for starts along with plenty of their other teammates. Armando Broja could potentially play a part after signing on loan from Chelsea earlier in this transfer window.
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Why Newport will win
As mentioned before, Newport have a superb record in the cups. They reached the fourth and fifth rounds of the FA Cup respectively in 2017/18 and 2018/19 and the fourth round of the EFL Cup last season. Much better than some of their League Two rivals.
Their fans will surely create a difficult occasion for Saints and the Newport players will be out to stop their visitors from playing their own game.
Thankfully for Saints, Newport’s pitch has been relayed ahead of this fixture – the state of their playing surface was often a talking point in the past given that Rugby team Dragons also play there.
Predicted Saints line-up
Fraser Forster; Kyle Walker-Peters, Jan Bednarek, Mohammed Salisu, Romain Perraud; Ibrahima Diallo, James Ward-Prowse; Mohamed Elyounoussi, Nathan Redmond; Nathan Tella, Armando Broja
This game will not be shown live on TV in the UK or the US. Highlights can be watched on Quest TV at 10:30pm on Wednesday evening.
Newport 1-3 Saints