Southampton will be looking to register their first Premier League win since early-September when they host Newcastle United at St. Mary’s Stadium this weekend. The Saints are coming on the back of a 0-0 draw against Bournemouth, and a win could potentially lift them over Crystal Palace, West Ham United and Burnley.
Newcastle, on the other hand, have been the most disappointing team in the league this season. Indeed, the Magpies are lavishing at the bottom of the table with just two points from nine games, and a win is imperative now.
Southampton team news
Unlike Newcastle, Southampton are not scourged with an injury crisis. Mario Lemina went off injured in the last game, but Hughes has ruled out any significant damage hinting at his participation in the upcoming fixture.
Predicted Southampton lineup vs Newcastle United
Alex McCarthy will continue to start ahead of Fraser Forster in goal for Southampton. The 28-year-old will be looking for his fourth clean sheet of the season.
Southampton coach Mark Hughes is unlikely to make any changes to his backline, especially after keeping a clean sheet in their last game. Thus, Wesley Hoedt will continue to partner Jack Stephens at the heart of the Southampton defence while Cedric Soares and Ryan Bertrand will be starting as the fullbacks.
Hoedt, in particular, will play a pivotal role in defence as the Saints aim to obtain two back to back clean sheets this weekend. The Dutchman has already attempted 24 tackles while making the most number of clearances than anyone else in the team, making him one of the most important players going into this contest.
Mario Lemina’s possible absence will be a massive blow for Southampton especially as the former Juventus midfielder has notched up the most number of interceptions in the team this season while attempting 25 tackles, which is only bettered by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Speaking of Hojbjerg, he will become a key figure in the Southampton midfield in case Lemina is not risked. He will be partnered by Oriol Romeu at the base of Southampton’s 4-4-2.
Elsewhere, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Nathan Redmond will occupy the wider midfield roles with the duo combining over 50 dribbles and 23 key passes. Redmond, in particular, has notched up 42 dribbles this season and is second only to Eden Hazard(46) in the league.
Shane Long could be given a start this weekend alongside Danny Ings in Southampton’s two-man offensive line. The in-form Ings has plundered three goals in nine matches, and it will be interesting to see how he fares against a disciplined Newcastle defence who are expected to sit deep.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored