Match Preview: Southampton vs. Newcastle United
Alan Pardew’s squad has so far managed two points in their first three league matches to start the campaign. Newcastle is coming off an entertaining 3-3 draw at home to Crystal Palace back on August 30th.
The club did not add any reinforcements on transfer deadline day. Instead, Newcastle loaned Hatem Ben Arfa to Hull. And defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa also moved to AS Roma for this season.
Southampton FC on the other hand, have one win through three matches to start the season. The Saints have a lot of new faces, including new manager Ronald Koeman. Southampton beat Newcastle 4-0 in their last encounter in March at St. Mary’s.
Injuries and Suspensions
Alan Pardew received some mixed news this week in regards to injuries. He will be very pleased with the return of midfielder Cheick Tioté who has yet to play for Newcastle this season because of a hamstring injury. The Ivory Coast international played in Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers this week. He is expected to play on Saturday against Southampton.
Jack Colback suffered a calf injury while on international duty with England. But he is expected to be in the line-up against Southampton. However, the good news ends there. Summer signing Siem de Jong will be out several months with a thigh injury. Rolando Aarons has picked up a hamstring injury and will not be available for Saturday. And Davide Santon, Papiss Cissé, and Ryan Taylor are all expected to be out longer.
Southampton is still without Jay Rodriguez who continues to recover from a serious knee injury. While a pair of young attackers Lloyd Isgrove and Sam Gallagher will be unavailable for the match as well.
Alan Pardew is widely expected to continue with the 4-2-3-1 formation. Newcastle finally demonstrated that they could score goals, putting three passed Crystal Palace in the last match. Unfortunately, they looked disorganized on the defensive side of things as well.
As mentioned, Siem de Jong will not be available for several months. Tioté is expected to make his return to the line-up, which should mean that Moussa Sissoko will likely be moved further up the pitch. Emmanuel Rivière has started at centre-forward in all three league matches so far. But there is speculation that Pardew could give on-loan Argentinian Facundo Ferreyra a chance to demonstrate what he could do.
The Saints lost several important players this summer, as well as their manager. Ronald Koeman is expected to have his new acquisitions in the line-up for Saturday. Winger Saido Mane and on-loan defender Toby Alderweireld could start against Newcastle.
Koeman has primarily used the 4-3-3 formation so far this season. Highy-rated midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin will remain with Southampton despite several offers from bigger clubs. Graziano Pellè was a prolific goalscorer in Eredivisie and is expected to get the start at centre-forward once again. Former Newcastle goalkeeper Fraser Forster will start in goal.
These clubs have met four times since Southampton returned to the Premier League in 2012. The Saints have won two matches, lost once and drawn the other. Southampton has won both meetings at home, including the 4-0 defeat back in March.
Several Newcastle players should have the memory of that embarrassing defeat on their minds on Saturday. Alan Pardew will be returning to familiar territory once again. He spent just over one season in charge of Southampton between 2009-10. He is under pressure to get results after a terrible second half of last season.
Newcastle played very well in certain stages of the last match against Crystal Palace. However, they have yet to put together a solid 90 minutes. The loss of De Jong and Aarons will hurt, but the club still has plenty of quality to overcome Southampton.
Southampton 1 – 2 Newcastle United
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