Get ready for Southampton's big Premier League trip to Newcastle United this Saturday by checking out our in-depth match preview, in association with SportPesa...
Newcastle United vs Southampton
St James’ Park
Saturday 20th April, 5.30pm BST
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn
Fourth official: Kevin Friend
WHAT KIT ARE SAINTS WEARING?
Southampton will be in their yellow and blue away kit for this weekend's game.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Neither side is yet assured of their Premier League status for next season, although it is now within touching distance for both.
Newcastle head into the weekend seven points clear of the drop zone, while Saints currently enjoy a five-point gap to the bottom three.
The Magpies would secure safety with a win and a Cardiff loss at home to Liverpool on Sunday – a Cardiff draw in the same scenario would effectively be enough for them too, given their vastly-superior goal difference.
Saints can’t mathematically seal safety this weekend, but a win would push them ever closer and may mean they would have an opportunity to wrap things up when they visit Watford next Tuesday.
Ahead of kick-off, both clubs might have an eye on the result of Brighton’s trip to Wolves, with the 17th-placed Seagulls five points back of Newcastle and three behind Saints.
Newcastle United: Rafa Benítez is in a strong position for this game, with no injury concerns for the match, outside of defender Florian Lejeune and midfielder Sean Longstaff, who are already ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Southampton: Centre-back Jannik Vestergaard has been suffering with a slight problem since last weekend's win over Wolves and is doubtful, although Ralph Hasenhüttl was optimistic he would return to training ahead of the game. Alex McCarthy and Matt Targett suffered minor issues in training this week, but might still be available, while Mario Lemina is now close to a return and Yan Valery is fit after picking up a knock last Saturday.
Newcastle’s last five:
Leicester (a) W 1-0
Crystal Palace (h) L 0-1
Arsenal (a) L 0-2
Bournemouth (a) D 2-2
Everton (h) W 3-2
Southampton’s last five:
Wolves (h) W 3-1
Liverpool (h) L 1-3
Brighton (a) W 1-0
Tottenham (h) W 2-1
Manchester United (a) L 2-3
ralph hasenhüttlgood counter-pressing is something you need against this team.
Rafa Benítez: "Southampton are also coming into this game with a lot of confidence, so I think it will be an interesting game. Both teams are similar – they are very good on the counter attack, aggressive, and they have pace up front. We know we can’t make the same mistakes as we did against Palace."
Ralph Hasenhüttl: "They are a well-organised team, with a very good manager, with a lot of experience and a clear strategy. It will be an interesting game tactically for us and I think we should stay in the way of being brave. Against a well-organised team you have to stress them sometimes but also be clear in the mind and find a good balance of not giving them chances to counter-attack. Good counter-pressing is something you need against this team, so it's a really good challenge for us, another one in a big stadium, against a good team – we like it."
Salomón Rondón is the Magpies’ top scorer, with nine Premier League goals this season, although it is three games now since he has found the net. Ayoze Pérez is close behind him, on seven for the campaign, having netted the winner at Leicester last time out.
Nathan Redmond’s double against Wolves took his goal tally for the season to five in the Premier League and eight across all competitions, as he continued his brilliant form under Ralph Hasenhüttl. Shane Long has now struck in back-to-back games, and will be looking to score in three consecutive Premier League matches for the first time.
This will be the 96th meeting between the teams all-time, with the record even as it stands…
Previous five meetings:
October 2018: Southampton 0-0 Newcastle
March 2018: Newcastle 3-0 Southampton
October 2017: Southampton 2-2 Newcastle (Gabbiadini 2)
April 2016: Southampton 3-1 Newcastle (Long, Pellè, Wanyama)
August 2015: Newcastle 2-2 Southampton (Pellè, Long)
DID YOU KNOW?
Only one of Southampton’s most recent nine Premier League meetings with Newcastle have ended in defeat – 3-0 away from home last season – with four wins and four draws in that run.
Victory for Saints would make it back-to-back away wins in the Premier League for the first time since March 2017.
NOT AT THE GAME?
Don’t worry if you aren’t on the road with us this weekend, as we’ll bring all the action to you.
Check out our interactive match centre at southamptonfc.com, with all of the live in-game updates and free audio commentary of the match.
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