Must win game for both sides as Newcastle travel to Southampton


Hojbjerg (right) and Joselu (left) tussle
Photo: Daily Echo

Must win game for both sides as Newcastle travel to Southampton

by Conor Dunford, South Coast Correspondent

Goals are to be at a premium in Southampton on Saturday afternoon, they welcome bottom of the table Newcastle in what is already dubbed a six-pointer.

The season is young with just nine games played, but both sides find themselves in danger of relegation already. Newcastle sit bottom with just two points, whilst Southampton occupy 16th, with just a single win, away at Crystal Palace, this term. Between the two sides, they have amassed just 12 goals, averaging a goal every 135 minutes. Not a good omen for those travelling to cheer on their side.

Mark Hughes’ men are currently on a five game winless streak and are still in search of a home win this campaign. In fact, Saints have managed just a single win in the last 15 league matches at St. Mary’s. They have won three on the road during that same period.

The saving grace for South-coast outfit so far this season has been the form of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Danny Ings, although the goals have recently dried up for the latter.

Newcastle have endured their worst start to a season in a decade, but can take some solace from the fact they have already had to go up against four of the current top five. Their only two points came against Cardiff and Crystal Palace, two sides who are also languishing in the bottom five. Although Rafa Benitez will feel stung by former result as Brazilian winger Kenedy missed an injury-time penalty which would have sealed all three points.

The Magpies can come into this game with some confidence, after they hammered Southampton 3-0 at St James Park last season, with the aforementioned Kenedy proving a thorn in the side for the Saints defence. Hughes will be hoping his team can nullify that threat this time around.

Despite both sides lack of goals this season, this fixture is historically one that produces an entertaining 90 minutes. The last time these two teams ended a game with less than three goals involved was back in 2013. Recent history has favoured the Saints, with four wins from the last seven meetings, Newcastle have managed just the one victory in that time.

With Newcastles last victory at St Mary’s coming in September 2004, coupled with the lack of quality and confidence in the squad, it is difficult to see the Toon leave the south with anything more than a single point. They will make it difficult for Southampton, who are long overdue a win in front of their home crowd.

Prediction – Southampton 2-1 Newcastle

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