These two sides will both be hoping to finish in the top ten for the second year in a row, but they will both be doing it with very different teams. Neither had the best transfer window, losing fan favourites and not adding as much quality as was needed, but both did add enough ability to suggest they can once again end up in the top half of the table. It remains early in the season, with these two sides still gelling, therefore this match is really up for grabs. The side from the South Coast have done better in this fixture since they returned to the top flight, but Alan Pardew will be keen to take something away from his former club.
Saints have survived their turbulent summer and finished the window well, adding two very good players in Toby Alderweireld and Sadio Mane. Ronald Koeman has started very well picking up four points, while they came out of their match against Liverpool with a lot of credit. The opening three matches suggest that Southampton fans have a lot to look forward to this season, but they will have to give both the manager and the new players time to adjust to the Premier League. The main problem will be scoring goals as they don’t have a proven goalscorer, but Graziano Pelle could be solution once he adjusts fully. While Jay Rodriguez will be key when he returns from injury.
Meanwhile, the negative mood that encapsulated Newcastle towards the end of last season is returning after a disastrous ending to the window. Two of the club’s most talented players in Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Hatem Ben Arfa left the club on loan, with no replacements forthcoming. The latter’s departure in particular has enraged the Newcastle fans, with Alan Pardew taking the brunt of the criticism as it was his own personal issue with the French winger that forced the move. Newcastle have still yet to win this season in the league and they need one fast, otherwise Pardew’s job will come under intense pressure.
In last season’s fixture, Southampton ran out comfortable 4-0 winners, with Newcastle putting in one of the worst performances in their recent history. Rob Elliot was many people’s man of the match, despite conceding four goals, the away side will need to be a lot better this weekend. The Southampton scorers that day were Jay Rodriguez (2), Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana. None of them will be playing this weekend, showing how much Saints have changed over the summer.
Morgan Schneiderlin has already matched his goal tally for last season after scoring twice against West Ham before the international break.
In their 22 league matches in 2014, Newcastle have only won 5, while they have scored just 14 goals, conceding 40. It’s easy to see why there is a lot of pressure on Pardew, who needs to turn this form around, or Newcastle will be in a relegation fight.
Although many left St Mary’s this summer, the retention of French international Morgan Schneiderlin could be the best piece of business the club did. He is starting to emerge as one of the best midfielders in the division as showed by his growing presence in the French squad. After appearing at the World Cup and witnessing the summer upheaval at Southampton, the Frenchman requested to leave the club, but the board stood strong and kept their star man. He has the ability to move on to bigger things and he will probably do that if he has a good season on the South Coast. His situation is very similar to that of Yohan Cabaye at Newcastle last season, and Koeman will be hoping for a more positive outcome. Schneiderlin was the key player for Southampton in their victory against West Ham, scoring twice and dominating the play in midfield. He appears to have been given a more attacking role under the Dutchman and he will thrive with the new freedom.
Throughout pre-season, there were growing doubts about Newcastle’s defence and these weren’t helped by the lack of investment in the latter weeks of the window, while Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa was allowed to leave the club. Alan Pardew has only Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson and Steven Taylor to choose from, which increases the pressure on the captain in particular to improve his performances to the level they were two years ago. The club captain has committed his future to the club and that’s a massive boost as he provides a calmness to the side, particularly in possession as he is very good with his feet. They conceded three against Crystal Palace at home and looked vulnerable, that will need to improve, and it should with the return of Cheick Tiote. Coloccini will be key this weekend as Southampton are likely to dominate possession and the Newcastle defence will have to be on top form to provide the team with a platform to go on and win the game.
New signing Sadio Mane is expected to miss this match after a long flight back from international duty in Africa, but fellow deadline day signing Toby Alderweireld could be in line for his debut. Lloyd Isgrove, Sam Gallagher and Jay Rodriguez remain on the treatment table.
Siem de Jong picked up a thigh injury over the international break and will miss a number of months, but Cheick Tiote should be in line for a return to Premier League football. Jack Colback has declared himself fit after missing England duty, but Papiss Cisse, Davide Santon and Ryan Taylor remain injured. Rolando Aarons is also expected to miss out after contracting a hamstring injury.
Graziano Pelle scored his first goal for Southampton against West Ham. The Italian was very clinical in the Eredivisie and often went on goalscoring streaks for Feyenoord. If you think he will score again this weekend, you can put a bet on here with Tailorbet at odds of 3.25.
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It will be a very tough trip for Newcastle, who have struggled at Southampton in recent seasons. The home side will be keen to win for the first time in front of their fans under Ronald Koeman and they have a great chance to do so. Their side is balanced, and they will have been boosted by the win at West Ham. Meanwhile Newcastle have been through a turbulent period, with lots of injuries and as of yet they have struggled to find a successful way to play with their new signings. Alan Pardew is under huge pressure and needs a result at his former club. It looks very unlikely he will be leaving St Marys Stadium with anything this Saturday.